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Fruit Program News

  • Eco Apple app now available

    May 7, 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.
  • May fruit twilight/thinning meetings scheduled

    May 2, 2017

    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 updated...

    May 1, 2017

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

  • NEW Fact Sheet: Crop load guide for young apple trees

    April 26, 2017

    Crop load management on young apple trees is important to balance fruit load with vegetative growth so that "runting out" or biennial bearing does not happen. This is important with varieties such as Honeycrisp (in particular) that are prone to "runt out" and/or go into biennial bearing if over-cropped in the early orchard establishment years. See the NEW Fact Sheet Crop load guide for young apple trees for more information and guidance on cropping young apple trees.

  • Apple Orchard Management Decisions in 2017: Take Advantage of Technology

    March 29, 2017
    jon.clements@umass.eduOnline Decision Support Systems (DSS’s) provide guidance in managing disease and insect pests using weather based forecasting models.  These DSS’s predict pest development and risk of infection/damage. Weather data can be acquired from either on-site weather stations or by virtual gridded data. For 2017, Massachusetts apple growers have a choice of four DSS’s, which are briefly outlined here.
  • UMass RIMpro Advisory Service 2017

    March 22, 2017
    In cooperation with the New England Tree Fruit Research Committee (NETFRC), we will be offering a RIMpro advisory service to New England apple growers in 2017.
  • Climate, Weather and Apples publication

    February 15, 2017
    "Climate, Weather and Apples." Published February, 2017. Lois Wright Morton, Daniel Cooley, Jon Clements, Mark Gleason. Available as downloadable PDF here.
  • Crop insurance deadline November 20!

    October 30, 2016
    Crop insurance for apples is available in all Massachusetts counties.  Crop insurance for peaches is available in Hampshire, Hampden, Middlesex & Worcester counties. Peaches in other Massachusetts counties may be insured by Written Agreement (a process completed by a licensed Federal Crop Insurance agent using existing actuarial data from neighboring counties) if specific criteria are met.  If crop insurance is not available, similar protection may be available through the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) from the USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office that serves your farming operation.  All other fruit crops may be insured through a Written Agreement or NAP.
  • Does crop insurance pay?

    October 29, 2016
    This year has been one of the most challenging in the history of Massachusetts farming. We saw record low temperatures in February that wiped out the 2016 peach crop followed by extreme low temperatures in April followed by an extreme drought. All farmers suffered losses on almost every crop either by lower yields and/or increase operating expenses. Every farmer got a chance to evaluate their risk management plan. Did they have coverage and was it at the right level? 
  • 2016 Drought Information and Resources

    September 16, 2016
    2016 Drought Status and Related Information - As of Sept. 16, 2016 the US Drought Monitor is reporting over 98% of Massachusetts is in a state of Moderate to Extreme Drought.  See:  Extreme Drought (area shaded in red) now extends across the state to Western Mass and covers over 50% of the land area of the state.