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Keeping Quality Forecast Archive

Format: 2017

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@umass.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)

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@umass.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)

2014 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The keeping quality forecast for June 2014 is for POOR keeping quality.

We calculated 4 of a possible 16 points to arrive at this forecast.  We were awarded 2 points for cool March temperatures, 1 point for low rainfall in April, and 1 point for low rainfall in May.

This is the fourth consecutive year (2011-2014) for poor forecast keeping quality. What does this mean?  It is likely that fruit rot fungal inoculum has built up over this period.  If no steps are taken to manage fruit rot disease by using late water and/or fungicides, one can expect a high incidence of fruit rot at harvest and particularly in fruit that is stored post-harvest.  We can also predict that inoculum will be high going into the 2015 season.

What to do?  Careful management can overcome the predicted quality problems.

  • If you held your bog under late water, one or two mid-rate applications of fungicide should suffice.  In research studies, we were able to skip fungicides entirely in the late water year.  However, since the forecast is not good, some use is probably warranted.
  • If you did not hold late water, and particularly if you have a history of high fruit rot, use three fungicide applications beginning at 10-20% bloom.

2014 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

As of April 1, there are only 2 points out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2014 Massachusetts cranberry crop. These points were awarded for favorable (low) temperatures in March. Consequently, the forecast is for POOR keeping quality. The final keeping quality forecast (issued after June 1) could be upgraded if we have a cool and dry April and May. Based on the present forecast, fungicide applications and the rate of fungicides applied should NOT be reduced, and close attention should be paid where fruit rot has been a major or regular concern and for fresh fruit beds.

This should be a fairly good year for holding late water as we discussed in the last newsletter. The winter was severe but most growers protected with floods. Other indicators for late water are all favorable. This practice can significantly reduce fruit rot incidence and allow for fewer and lower-rate fungicide applications.

Ice sanding that was done this past winter may help to reduce fungal inoculum by burying it and thus improve the outlook on those bogs.

Please take note that the Keeping Quality Forecast is a prediction of disease pressure, that is the amount of fruit rot expected if no measures are taken to manage the disease. Fungicide use or holding late water are management strategies to reduce fruit rot incidence. If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn (extension 25) or Hilary (extension 21).

2013 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The Keeping Quality Forecast for June 2013 is for VERY POOR keeping quality.

We calculated 2 of a possible 16 points to arrive at this forecast. We were awarded 1 point for February sunshine hours and 1 point for April precipitation.

What does this mean?  If you take no steps to manage fruit rot disease, you could end up with a high incidence of fruit rot at harvest and particularly during storage of the fruit.  Inoculum produced during the current growing season might exponentially increase during the following year, meaning that more fungicide applications will be required to reduce the inoculum load for subsequent crops. Careful disease management this season can overcome this prediction.

This is a year that you should definitely not reduce your fungicide rates and/or the number of fungicide applications. If you have a bed that had late water held this spring, you can still reduce your fungicide inputs in spite of the forecast.

If you have any questions, you can call me at 774-238-0698 or email me at fcaruso@umass.edu if you have any specific questions or concerns about a particular bed. I'll be driving cross-country from July 3-9, and I'll be moving westward in time zones, concluding in the Pacific Zone (3 hours difference).

Frank L. Caruso, Extension Plant Pathologist

2013 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

As of April 1, there is only 1 point out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2013 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The sole point was awarded for favorable sunshine hours in February. Consequently, the forecast is for POOR keeping quality. The final keeping quality forecast (issued after June 1) could be upgraded if we have a cool and dry April and May. Based on the present forecast, fungicide applications and the rate of fungicides applied should NOT be reduced, and close attention should be paid where fruit rot has been a major or regular concern. This should be a good year for holding late water because we have had a more typical winter, avoiding severe temperatures along with adequate water for the winter flood and sufficient snow cover over long stretches of time. Minimal ice sanding was done this winter due to a lack of sufficient ice thickness beyond a few days. Sanding is one of the best cultural control strategies, as it covers overwintering inoculum, so the lack of sanding resulted in a minimal reductive effect. At any rate, expect the worst regarding fruit rot in what appears to be a much more typical growing season than we had in 2012. If you have any questions, please contact me (extension 18) or Carolyn (extension 25).

FRANK CARUSO,
EXTENSION PLANT PATHOLOGIST

2012 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The Keeping Quality Forecast for June 2012 is for VERY POOR keeping quality if fungicides or late water are not used. We calculated 2 of a possible 16 points to arrive at this forecast. We were awarded 1 point for March precipitation and 1 point for April precipitation. This is a year that you should definitely not reduce your fungicide rates and/or the number of fungicide applications. If you have a bed that had late water held this spring, you can still reduce your fungicide inputs in spite of the forecast. As usual, call me if you have any specific questions or concerns about a particular bed. 

Frank L. Caruso, Extension Plant Pathologist

2012 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

As of April 1, there is only 1 point out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2012 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The sole point was awarded for favorable rainfall in March. Consequently, the forecast is for POOR keeping quality. The final keeping quality forecast (issued after June 1) could be upgraded if we have a cool and dry April and May. Based on the present forecast, fungicide applications and the rate of fungicides applied should NOT be reduced, and close attention should be paid where fruit rot has been a major or regular concern. Carolyn did not recommend holding late water because of the earliness of the season – we are running about 23-25 days ahead of a normal schedule. At this point it is too late to start late water. There are several factors that could also help contribute to higher levels of fruit rot in 2012. Minimal sanding was done this winter due to a lack of ice. Sanding is one of the best cultural control strategies, as it covers overwintering inoculum. The mild temperatures probably resulted in a reduced mortality of a certain percentage of this overwintering inoculum as well. Should this drought pattern continue (we are currently 7 inches below normal for precipitation for the year), this will be another stress on the plants, possibly contributing to higher levels of fungal infection during bloom. Warmer than average temperatures will only continue this trend of increased susceptibility of the cranberry vines. At any rate, expect the worst regarding fruit rot in what appears to be a very odd growing season. If you have any questions, please contact me (extension 18) or Carolyn (extension 25). 

Frank Caruso, Plant Pathology

2011 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The Keeping Quality Forecast for June 2011 is for POOR keeping quality. We calculated 4 of a possible 16 points to arrive at this forecast. We were awarded 1 point for sunshine hours in February, 2 points for March sunshine hours, and 1 point for March precipitation. We received no additional points beyond the Preliminary KQF. This is a year that you should probably not reduce your fungicide rates and/or the number of fungicide applications. If you have a bed that had late water held this spring, you can still reduce your fungicide inputs in spite of the forecast. As usual, call me if you have any specific questions or concerns about a particular bed. 

Frank Caruso, Plant Pathology

2011 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

The forecast is for FAIR TO GOOD keeping quality. As of April 1, there are 4 points out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2011 Massa-chusetts cranberry crop. The 4 points were awarded for favorable sunshine hours in February (1 point), favorable sunshine hours in March (2 points) and
favorable rainfall in March (1 point). The final keeping quality forecast (issued after June 1) could be upgraded if we have a cool and dry April and May. Based on the present forecast, fungicide applications and the
rate of fungicides applied could be reduced, but only in those situations where fruit rot has not been a major issue.

As for the holding of late water, there are no negative indicators that rule against doing it this spring. Growers should determine whether to hold late water based on bed condition: was the bed sanded (and there are some
of these), does the bed show visible winter injury or other stresses (there may be some yellow vine syndrome showing up at this point) and was fruit rot incidence high in 2010? There should be minimal winter injury to vines because most beds were properly flooded with good snow and ice cover during the periods of coldest temperatures. Check the section on late water in the Chart Book for advice regarding whether to use this cultural practice. If you have any questions, please contact me (extension 18) or Carolyn
(extension 25).

Frank Caruso, Plant Pathology

2010 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The Keeping Quality Forecast for June 2010 is for GOOD keeping quality.

We calculated 7 of a possible 16 points to arrive at this forecast. We were awarded 4 points for sunshine hours for the 2009 growing season, 1 point for February sunshine hours, 1 point for April precipitation and 1 point for May precipitation. This is a year that you should probably be able to reduce your fungicide rates and/or the number of fungicide applications. If you have a bed that had late water held this spring, you can reduce your fungicide inputs in that situation as well. As usual, call me at 508-295-2212 X 18 if you have any specific questions or concerns about a particular bed.

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