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Healthy Fruit 2008 Vol. 16:17

Aug 12, 2008

Observations from Belchertown

The wet weather continues and it goes without saying that fungicide coverage for summer diseases and rots needs to be maintained. If you get 2+ inches of rain -- and who hasn't lately? -- you need to reapply. Diseases are running rampant, including black rot as manifested by leaf spot, rusts, and bitter rot. I expect sooty blotch and fly speck to be a real problem in orchards that have not been able to maintain good fungicide coverage. Cherry trees are starting to defoliate from cherry leaf spot.

We are entering the brunt of peach harvest and should be picking Redhaven by the end of the week or first of next week. Maturity seems to have slowed a bit without the hotter weather and sun. Early apple harvest has started and I have seen local Paulared and Jerseymac for sale. I don't have a handle yet on maturity, so assume we are running on schedule with a 'normal' harvest.

I have heard several more reports of hail which is becoming ever more widespread, and no part of Massachusetts -- as well as VT, NH, and CT -- has been spared. Don't forget to contact your crop insurance agent if you have any damage. Expect a tight supply of apples this fall.

J. Clements

Duane Greene comments on ReTain application to apples for 2008

We are now approaching the time to apply ReTain on McIntosh. Historically we have recommended application to be made about 4 weeks before the anticipated start of harvest. This was done to comply with the provisions in the first ReTain label. Subsequent research with ReTain on McIntosh revealed that under most circumstances application 2 to 3 weeks before the anticipated start of McIntosh harvest was better for at least two reasons. First, delaying the application resulted in much better control of preharvest drop later in the season, a situation that is most helpful. Second, the later application of ReTain results in less reduction or delay in red color development. It is important to know that once applied, it requires between 10 to 14 days for the drop control to take effect. If drop occurs within 14 days of application, ReTain most likely will not control this.

It has been widely publicized that the later ReTain application in the Hudson Valley were ineffective in controlling preharvest drop. This failure was associated with stressful conditions especially high temperatures and low rainfall. The way this season is progressing it appears unlikely that similar stressful conditions will occur in most of Massachusetts. The crystal ball as far as when to expect the normal time of ripening is always cloudy. However, based upon calculation from New York the season may be advanced by up to 4 days this season. We are not recommending application of Retain any earlier than 3 weeks before the anticipated start of harvest, especially if the weather forecast suggests is for cool temperatures in the future. The gamble in delaying ReTain application in cool conditions is not great, especially if you can gain an additional two weeks of drop control later when you can achieve much better red color development.

ReTain must be applied with specific surfactants, and in our case it is usually Silwet L-77. Care must be taken when timing Retain application to be aware of when the last calcium chloride application was made. If there is significant calcium chloride residue on the leaves when ReTain is applied, the Silwet may aid the penetration of Calcium chloride and causing leaf burn. Thorough coverage of ReTain is important since movement within the tree is minimal.

D. Greene

Jmcextman blog posts

FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2008 Two new Fruit Advisor web pages

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2008 Observations from Belchertown

Hudson Valley tall-spindle apple meeting

Although not definite, I may be going to these, sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Hudson Valley Fruit Program. There is probably room in the van if anyone wants to ride down with me. Just let me know. J. Clements

Tall Spindle Planting System Twilight Meeting 3-5 PM 8/19/08 Come learn about managing the Tall Spindle Planting System from Dr. Terence Robinson, Steve Hoying and Mike Fargione. The meeting will take place at Dressel Farms, Old Route 208, New Paltz, Ulster Co., NY 12561. From Thruway Exit 18 (New Paltz): Left on Route 299, then 0.3 miles. Left on South Putt Corners Road to end (1.7 miles). Left on Route 32. First right onto Jansen Road (Ulster Route 17) to end (1.1 miles). Left on Route 208, then 1.7 miles (past Dressel’s farm stand). Right onto Old Route 208. Park on road along deer fence.

Apple Pre-Harvest and Storage Meeting 6:30-8:30 PM 8/19/08 Late-season insect, disease, horticulture, and storage issues will be discussed by Dr’s Rosenberger, Robinson, Watkins, Peter Jentsch and Steve Hoying. The meeting will be held at Cornell’s Hudson Valley Lab, 3357 Route 9W, Highland, NY 12528.

Call Mike Fargione (845-691-7117) for more information.