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Fruit Program News

Beginning in early September, apple maturity reports from the UMass Orchard are being updated here until the end of harvest...

Jon Clements, Extension Tree Fruit Specialist, University of Massachusetts Amherst

It is not necessary to wait for peaches to soften before they are tree-ripe. Here are a few pointers for picking tree-ripe peaches, and then for handling peaches when you get them home.

NEW Fact Sheet: F-140 Branching Young Apple Trees with Plant Growth Regulators

Cowgill, W., J. Clements and W. Autio

Plant growth regulator use instructions for promoting/increasing branching on nursery and young apple trees for better tree quality and early fruit production...

Annual Summer Meeting of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association

in cooperation with University of Massachusetts Fruit Program
TUESDAY, July 11, 2017
Cider Hill Farm
45 Fern Avenue, Amesbury, Massachusetts

10:00 AM Welcome to Cider Hill Farm and the morning tour -- Glenn Cook, President, MFGA

10:15 AM Orchard Tour

Blueberry and raspberry plantings
Primocane blackberry patch
Seedless grape planting
Fruit-tree spacings and preferences
New planting of cider apples
Renewable energy program (solar, small turbines, and high efficiency wood boilers)
Tomato greenhouses
Day neutral strawberry high tunnel trial
insect and disease control updates/IPM strategies for tree and small fruit (Jon Clements and Sonia Schloemann)

NOON Lunch by Goody Coles BBQ provided with the registration charge

1:15 PM Welcome to the afternoon tour -- Glenn Cook, President, MFGA

1:20 PM Facilities Tour

Brand new hard cider venture
CSA, food truck, and fledgling jam factory
Labor profile

2:30 PM Adjourn

Registration for this meeting will be $25 for Mass. Fruit Growers’ Association members ($35 for non-members) per person and will include the tour, educational program, pesticide recertification credits, and lunch.

To ensure the availability of the meal, please pre-register by adding the appropriate number and type (member or non-member) registrations to your shopping cart and paying with a credit card.

We must receive pre-registrations by Friday, July 7 to assure availability of the lunch.

PDF version of this announcement -- print and register via US Mail.

Register on-line by July 7 using PayPal and a credit card here...

SWD ID (from Oregon State Univ.)

The 2017 insecticide recommendations for controlling Spotted Wing Drosophila can be found here:


Dr. Wayne Wilcox of Cornell University has released his annual grape disease control update for 2017.  This is the most thorough discussion of all the issues related to disease management for grapes that is available for our region.

Current bud stages updated have been updated on 15-May, 2017

An Eco Apple app is now available on both the iOS (Apple) and Android (Play) stores to help apple growers choose crop protectants that are specifically allowed in the Eco Apple protocol.

McIntosh apple in bloom
May fruit twilight/thinning meetings have been scheduled. These will be important meetings for you to attend after a heavy bloom to see what your apple chemical thinning options will be. Dr. Duane Greene will attend with chemical thinning recommendations. Hope to see you there!

10-May, 2017 (Wednesday) Fruit Twilight/Thinning meeting, 5:30 PM. Honey Pot Hill Orchards, 138 Sudbury Road, Stow, MA. 1 pesticide credit will be offered. $20 admission. Light supper will be served. Contact: Jon Clements, 413-478-7219. Pre-registration is not necessary.

11-May, 2017 (Thursday) Fruit Twilight/Thinning meeting, 5:30 PM. UMass Cold Spring Orchard, 391 Sabin Street, Belchertown, MA. 1 pesticide credit will be offered. $20 admission. Light supper will be served. Contact: Jon Clements, 413-478-7219. Pre-registration is not necessary.

Honeycrisp apple

Orchard bud stage photos have been updated...taken at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard, Belchertown, MA.