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.