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Keeping Quality Forecast

For more information on the Keeping Quality Forecast, please contact the Plant Pathologist, Dr. Erika Saalau-Rojas at (508) 295-2212, extension 18.

View past Keeping Quality Forecasts »

2015 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The Keeping Quality Forecast for June 2015 is for GOOD keeping quality.

We calculated 7 of a possible 16 points for the final 2015 forecast. The positive forecast derives mainly from the low rainfall averages observed during April and May (2 points awarded). The Keeping Quality Forecast (KQF) should serve as a reference when making fungicide management decisions against fruit rot.

A GOOD forecast suggests that in beds with little or low disease pressure, 2 to 3 fungicide applications may be sufficient to control fruit rot this season. That is not to say that you should make all fungicide decisions based on the final KQF. Other factors such as disease pressure, drainage conditions, overall plant vigor, and plant varieties should be considered when designing your fruit rot management program. For example, beds with a history of fruit rot may require more fungicide applications for adequate disease control. Bear in mind that proper bog management (drainage, irrigation, and fertilization), practicing late water, and removing crop debris (trash floods) may also help in increasing fungicide efficacy.

If you have any questions about fungicide efficacy, fungicide resistance management, or need help in deciding which fungicides to use this year, please feel free to reach Erika at (508) 295-2212 ext.18 or via email at esaalau[at]umass[dot]edu.

Erika Saalau Rojas (Extension Plant Pathologist)

2015 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

The forecast is GOOD for keeping quality.

As of April 1, there are 5 out of 10 possible points that favor keeping quality for the 2015 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The 5 points were based on the cumulative sunshine hours being low in February and high in March (3 points) and low average air temperature during March (2 points). High rainfall in March prevented us from getting any additional points. The final keeping quality forecast (available after June 1) may improve if temperature and rainfall conditions during April and May remain cool and dry. Unless the final keeping quality forecast worsens or you have areas with a history of high fruit rot disease pressure, the preliminary forecast suggests that fewer fungicide applications and /or using less than the maximum recommended fungicide application rate may be sufficient for proper fruit rot management. However, keep in mind that all chemical applications should be carried out according to product label instructions and that due to fungicide resistance concerns you should never use less than the lowest recommended fungicide rate.

As for holding late water this spring, it appears that there is no compelling reason to use late water to enhance fruit quality at harvest. Before considering this practice, assess if there was any major winter injury or if plants display any other stress symptoms and consider carefully your reasons for using later water.

Erika Saalau Rojas (Extension Plant Pathologist)