2017 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast
The preliminary forecast is FAIR to GOOD for keeping quality.
As of April 1, there are 4 of 10 possible points that favor keeping quality for the 2017 cranberry growing season. There were two points awarded for total March sunshine hours and two additional points for average March temperature (below 34° F). The final keeping quality forecast (available after June 1) may improve if temperature and rainfall conditions during April and May are cool and dry.
This preliminary forecast suggests that you could consider reducing the number of fungicide applications in beds where fruit rot has not been a problem every year and bogs where canopy management practices that help reduce fruit rot disease pressure (e.g., sanding, pruning, proper fertilization and irrigation programs) are practiced routinely.
Holding late water can help improve fungicide efficacy and fruit quality, but with last year’s drought conditions, late water should only be considered for beds or varieties with no evident plant stress symptoms such as leaf drop or yellow vine. Late water should be in place before buds break dormancy (white bud or bud swell first stages). As of April 6, cranberry buds in the Wareham area appear to be 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)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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