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Keeping Quality Forecast Archive

Format: 2021

2020 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

Leela Uppala and Peter Jeranyama

The final keeping quality forecast is GOOD.

We calculated 7 points out of a possible 16 to arrive at this keeping quality forecast for the 2020 Massachusetts cranberry crop. This score is based on (1) the total of sunshine hours for February for the present year is less than the 50-year average for that month (143 hr), 1 point. (2) the total of sunshine hours for March for the present year is more than the 50-year average for that month (179 hr), 2 points. (3) the average temperature for April for the present year at Middleboro is below the April threshold of 44°F, 2 points. (4) the total precipitation for April for the present year is less than the average of East Wareham and Middleboro (6.70 inches), 1 point.  (5) the total precipitation for May for the present year is less than the average of East Wareham and Middleboro (3.20 inches), 1 point.

Implications

You may be able to reduce the number of fruit rot fungicide applications if your answer is yes to at least one of the following criteria. If a particular cranberry bed:

  • Held late water in spring 2020.
  • is planted with resistant varieties.
  • Had a low fruit rot incidence in 2019.

Even if you answered YES to one of the above three criteria, you should not reduce the number of fruit rot fungicide applications:

  • For newly planted beds.
  • Beds with excess vine growth that prevents rapid drying.

Please note:

  • Do not use a fungicide at less than the registered label rate.
  • Proper timing and uniform coverage of fungicides are critical for effective fruit rot management.  
  • Above normal sunshine hours during June, July and August (especially July) have been associated with good or better quality than predicted. Less than normal sunshine hours during these three months may result in keeping quality not as good as predicted.  

 

2020 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

The forecast is for FAIR preliminary keeping quality.

As of April 1, there are 3 points out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2020 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The 3 points were awarded for sunshine hours in February which was less than 143 hours (1 point) and favorable sunshine hours in March which were greater than 179 hours (2 points). 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 preliminary forecast, fruit rot fungicide applications and the rate of fungicides applied should not be reduced. As for the holding of late water, there are no definitive indicators pro or con. Growers should determine whether to hold late water based on bed conditions. Please check the table below and the section on late water in the Chart Book for advice regarding the implementation of this cultural practice. If you have any questions, please contact Leela Uppala: 334-728-1025 or suppala@umass.edu

Late Water is Advised:

  • Once in three years for 4 weeks from Mid-April to Mid-May.
  • If your bog looks healthy and not showing signs of stress.
  • If your bed was properly flooded at the periods of coldest temperatures.
  • If the scale and/or fruit rot incidences were high in 2019.
  • If you have access to good quality water supplies.

Late Water is Not Advised:

  • If you held late water in the past two years.
  • If your bog produced a heavy crop in 2019.
  • If the bed was sanded the previous year.
  • If the bog is stressed and shows signs of winter injury.
  • If your bog is severely out of grade.

 

 Peter Jeranyama and Leela Uppala

2019 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The final forecast is GOOD keeping quality.

We calculated 7 points out of a possible 16 to arrive at this keeping quality forecast for the 2019 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The final forecast is GOOD for keeping quality.

The final keeping quality score of 7 was based on (i) the previous total year sunshine hours which were less than 2,274 hours (4 points), (ii) favorable sunshine hours for March which were more than the 50-year average for that month (2 points) and (iii) the total precipitation for April which was less than the average of East Wareham and Middleboro precipitation of 6.70 inches (1 point). However, the average temperature for April and May for Middleboro were both above the required values to gain additional points.  

This is a year that you should probably be able to reduce 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.

Peter Jeranyama, Plant Physiology

2019 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

The preliminary forecast is for VERY GOOD keeping quality.
 

As of April 1, there are 6 points out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2019 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The 6 points were based on the previous total year sunshine hours which were less than 2,274 hours (4 points). In our case the previous total year sunshine hours were 2,154 hr. In addition, an extra 2 points were awarded for favorable sunshine hours for March which were more than the 50-year average for that month. Consequently, the preliminary forecast is for VERY GOOD keeping quality.
 

The final keeping quality forecast (issued after June 1) could be upgraded if we have a cool and dry April and May, otherwise it could be downgraded to as low as FAIR. 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, the preliminary forecast offers no compelling reason to use late water to enhance fruit quality at harvest. Since the final forecast could be as low as FAIR (if no further points are gained in April and May), late water may still make sense for beds with high fruit rot history.  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.

 

Peter Jeranyama, Plant Physiology

 

2018 Final Keeping Quality Forecast

The final forecast is POOR keeping quality.

We calculated 3 points out of a possible 16 to arrive at this keeping quality forecast for the 2018 Massachusetts cranberry crop. This score makes the final keeping quality poor.

The final keeping quality score of 3 was based on (i) the favorable sunshine hours for February (124 hr.) which were less than the 50-year average for that month (143 hr.), (ii) the total precipitation for April 2018 which was less than the average of East Wareham and Middleboro precipitation of 6.70 inches and (iii) the total precipitation for May 2018 which was less than the average of East Wareham and Middleboro precipitation of 3.20 inches. However, the average temperature for April and May for Middleboro were both above the required values to gain additional points.  

Based on previous recommendations by Frank Caruso, this is a year that you probably should not reduce your fungicide rates and/or the number of fungicide applications. However, if you have a bed that had late water held this spring, you can reduce your fungicide inputs in that situation.

Peter Jeranyama, Plant Physiology

2018 Preliminary Keeping Quality Forecast

The preliminary keeping quality forecast is POOR.

As of April 1, there is only 1 point out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2018 Massachusetts cranberry crop. The sole point was awarded for favorable sunshine hours for February (124 hr) which were less than the 50-year average for that month (143 hr). 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.

According to Carolyn DeMoranville, former Station Director, a poor keeping quality forecast would be reason to hold late water this year.  However, if you see winter damage from not being under water in December and January, you should not use later water and now is the time to inspect for possible damage.  Based on the current weather, you should not have to start late water particularly early. Late water floods should be applied prior to the breaking of bud dormancy. Generally, the 30-day LW flood will be applied between April 15th and 20th. Do not apply the flood if the buds have broken dormancy.  See Chart Book for more information on late water floods.

Peter Jeranyama, Plant Physiology

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 (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).

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