2016 Final Keeping Quality Forecast
The Final Keeping Quality Forecast for 2016 is VERY POOR. We calculated only 2 of the 16 total points possible - one point each for the low precipitation (average of East Wareham and Middleboro) in March and April.
This forecast suggests that fruit rot incidence at harvest and in storage could be very high unless timely and effective disease management strategies are employed. This year, it is important that you make every fungicide application count! When planning your fungicide program for 2016, consider the overall efficacy for each product and the timing for each application.
To enhance product efficacy and reduce risk of infection it is also critical to incorporate cultural management practices during and at the end of the season. This includes proper irrigation and fertilization practices, late water, trash floods after harvest, and overall canopy management (remember that fungi survive in the duff layer and they also like lush and overgrown canopies). In beds with a history of fruit rot, you should not reduce fungicide rates or the number of fungicide applications.
Please don't hesitate to contact me via email (esaalau[at]umass[dot]edu) or phone (ext. 18) if you have questions or if you'd like to discuss your disease management plan.
Erika Saalau Rojas, Extension Plant Pathologist
2016 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast
The preliminary forecast is for POOR keeping quality.
As of April 1, there is only 1 of 10 possible points that favor keeping quality for the 2016 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The single point was awarded for the less than 4.4 inches of rainfall recorded during March. The final keeping quality forecast (available after June 1) may improve if temperature and rainfall conditions during April and May remain cool and dry.
This preliminary forecast suggests that fungicide applications should not be reduced this year. Additionally, fungicide efficacy can be enhanced by properly timing your applications and applying the maximum rate of fungicide recommended on the product label.
You may also consider holding late water to enhance fruit quality if cranberry buds have not yet broken dormancy. As of now, buds in the Wareham area appear to remain dormant.
Follow me on Twitter @esaalau for weekly updates and pictures on bud dormancy starting next week, or call me (Extension 18) with any questions about fungicide programs for this year.
Erika Saalau Rojas (Extension Plant Pathologist)