Monday, April 10, 2006

And now for a commercial message! One of the best organizations for any fruit grower to become involved with is the North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX), a network of individuals throughout the United States and Canada devoted to the discovery, cultivation and appreciation of superior varieties of fruits and nuts. With over 3000 members, NAFEX includes professional pomologists, nurserymen, commercial orchardists as well as back yard orchardists, all motivated by their LOVE of fine fruit.

NAFEX members work together helping each other by sharing ideas, information, experiences, and propagating material. My involvement with NAFEX has been mostly through their e-mail list at Many great ideas are shared there on a daily basis. I would encourage any fruit grower, whether a back yard orchardist or a large commercial grower to become invloved with NAFEX. Please visit their website at and join today.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Here is our 2006 Spray Program. Keep in mind that Royal Oak Farm is in the USDA Hardiness Zone 5a and the Spray Program is specific to Royal Oak Farm and its historical IPM program. I am including the notes from our initial IPM meeting with John Aue of Threshold IPM Services who assists us with our scouting and spraying program. John can be reached at and is involved with the Wisconsin Eco-apple Project, a collaboration between the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association(WAGA), the University of Wisconsin Extension and the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems(CIAS). Since Royal Oak Farm is only 2 miles south of the Wisconsin state line, we make more use of the resources available to us from the University of Wisconsin Extension than we do from the University of Illinois Extension.

We identified some potential problems for the 2006 growing season. The list follows, with no attempt to prioritize:

1. Short Storage Life, Fruit-Drop:
- Retain to be applied to the following varieties (This list may not be inclusive): OzarkGold, Jonafree, Liberty, Redfree

It is my opinion Redfree storage-life is insufficient under ideal conditions to
economically justify the cost of Retain. If this variety is capable of being
pressed, however, your net return on the cider may be sufficient to justify its use.

From a sustainability standpoint, there may be a second justification for applying
Retain on this variety. It is known that apple maggots prefer apple varieties that
ripen early, soften quickly, and suffer significant drop-loss. Redfree therefore, is a
prime host for this species. If we intend to reduce our reliance on the organo-
phosphate insecticides such as Imidan, control sprays for apple maggot will cost
substantially more (material cost increases range from 30%-125% more than
Imidan). If we have persistent apple maggot pressure from within the orchard
stemming from dropped, early fruit, the cost of cost/benefit ratio of Retain improves.

- Calcium sprays (as Calcium Chloride) will be applied post bloom. We did not
discuss amounts per tank, or frequency.
Obviously, the application of this nutrient is aimed strictly at increasing the
storage life; it does not play a significant role in abscission.

2. Thinning: The following varieties need to be monitored for fruit set, and appropriate
thinning methods used if necessary to prevent induction of biennial bearing, and to
increase fruit size:

- Jonafree (Mark)
- Senshu
- JonaMac/Mac (Mark)
- Gala
- Empire (Mark)
- Ultragold (Mark)
- Goldrush
- Braeburn

- Peaches

I would greatly prefer to avoid the use of carbaryl (Sevin) as a thinner because of its non-target effects (beneficial mortality). I realize however, its utility and economy, used @ the 0.5 lb.-1.0 lb. /Acre rate either alone or in conjunction with NAA. Where possible, I would recommend NAA alone (not possible with some varieties), and the use of Accel or Maxcel wherever possible.

3. Excessive vegetative growth:
Problems associated with this include greater susceptibility to fireblight, possible reductions in fruit-bud formation in some varieties, and poor coloring conditions at harvest..
We should avoid nitrogen application to all but the non-bearing portions of the orchard. Other nutrients such as foliar applied boron, zinc, manganese, would reflect leaf tissue analysis. I can help you decide per acre rates and timing if you’d like. Apogee will be used on a small scale (Jonafree 0n MM7).
Soil pH is higher than desired throughout orchard, excessive in some spots where raspberries or pumpkins were grown (I’m not sure I noted that correctly). Avoidance of soil amendments containing the carbonate ion (chiefly lime), and rather employing amendments containing calcium and/or sulfur (calcium sulfate, calcium nitrate., etc.) would gradually acidify the soil. I would recommend a series of soil probes for pH testing, breaking the probes into various depths (e.g. 0-3”, 3-6”, 6-9”). I would be interested if manure, etc amendments over the years that may have raised the pH have done so throughout the active root zone. I am hoping that this is not the case.

4. Orchard Sprayer: New pump last year, calibration should precede season.
Throughout year, Paul will test water pH with each tank and note the result in the
spray record.

5. New weather station: We discussed the orchard needs; determined that the data
logger with two inputs was sufficient.

6. Diseases:
Apple scab – will attempt to mow 2005 leaf debris very finely, after prunings have been chopped. This is particularly important in scab susceptible varieties.
Fireblight – Will apply copper (either as COCS or CuOH – the choice is solely economic) at budbreak. We will discuss rate when copper product has been determined.
Compare the price of Regulaid per pint with Streptomycin per pound. Should have enough product purchased to apply to the entire orchard one application of either 2 lbs/acre Strep or 1 lb Strep combined with 1 pint Regulaid.

7. Insects: Major problem with codling moth. Paul and Dennis will assume
responsibility for pheromone trapping this species with my assistance. We will also
trap Oriental Fruitmoth and Lesser Appleworm. Insecticide timing is critical with codling moth.
2006 Royal Oak Farm Orchard

Similar to last year’s program, the recommendations concentrate fungicide applications in the early season, coinciding with the release of Venturia inequalis (Apple Scab) ascospores. After this “primary scab“ release period, field readings will be made for primary scab lesions on leaves and fruit, and on which we will base our fungicide requirements for the remainder of the season. For this reason, as well as weather unknowns, the total fungicide demand for 2006 listed below is only an estimate.

Insect and Mite controls will be targeted as noted below.
Based on 2005 field observations, the primary insect concerns are Codling Moth(CM), Plum Curculio(PC), and San Jose Scale(SJS). Additionally, Oriental Fruit Moth and Lesser Appleworm may have been responsible for some CM-like fruit damage, and will be monitored.
Arthropods that did not cause economic damage last year, but require scouting based on orchard history include: Spotted Tentiform Leafminer(STLM), Wooly Apple Aphids(WAA),, and Potato and White Apple Leafhoppers(PLH and WALH).

Additional possible insect problems indicated below are (in order of their mention): Green Fruitworm (GFW), Oblique-Banded Leafroller(OBLR), Red-banded Leafroller (RBLR), White-Marked Tussock Moth(WMTM), Tarnished PlantBug(TPB).

Special Peach Spray – Dormant
For Peach Leaf Curl: or Kocide @ 8 lbs./Acre, or Champ
@5.5 pts/Acre (This spray needs to be applied before bud swell.)

Apple Spray no.1 – Silver-tip
For Fireblight: Kocide @8 -10 lbs./Acre, or Champ (@5.5 -6.5 pts/Acre
Apply orchard-wide to all scab susceptible varieties, as well as any scab-immune varieties with fireblight susceptibility. Since copper containing compounds exert some control on the scab fungus, this approach could take the place of the Green-tip application.

Green-tip to Quarter Inch Green: Captan @5lbs./Acre, or 2.5 lbs/acre each of captan
and an EBDC.
This and most of the following fungicide applications will be applied only
to the scab susceptible portion of the orchard. They may also be applied in
a split-application, applying to alternate rows at 3-4 day intervals.

Half-inch Green: EBDC @ 3.0 lbs./Acre. Possibly tank mixed with 5 oz/acre Nova,
weather dependant.
Oil @ 4-5 gals./acre applied with 90-100 gals water / acre.
Application to be made between green-tip and full pink, with high
temperatures in the 70s or 80s(F).

Tight Cluster/ Pink: EBDC @ 3.0lbs./Acre, with an option of either 5-8oz Nova/Acre,
or 2 oz/acre Flint to be tank-mixed.

Bloom: EBDC @ 3 lbs./Acre, plus Flint @2oz/Acre

- Bloom – Special spray: Streptomycin @ 2lbs./Acre on fireblight sensitive varieties.The
2 lb. rate may be halved if 1 pt Regulaid /Acre is included. Also this
spray needs to be applied only as fireblight-favorable conditions

Petal-fall: EBDC and Captan, each @ 2.5 lbs/acre, with the option of only one of those,
tank-mixed with Flint or Nova at above rates (decision to be
Insecticide: Imidan @ 3 lbs/Acre applied to perimeter only for PC control.
Insecticide: If necessary, Avaunt to be applied to PC “hotspots”.

First Cover: EBDC and Captan, each @ 2.5 lbs/acre.
Insecticide: [Possible application-decision will be based on scouting results]
Assail @ 2.5 oz/acre for control of CM, PC, STLM, WALH.

Following First Cover we will spray according to weather and pest needs.
- Assume we will use approximately 12 lbs Captan per scab susceptible acre for the
remainder of the season.
- Assume 2 complete applications of Imidan @ 2 lbs/Acre (6 lbs per acre total) for codling moth and apple maggot for the remainder of the season, and one additional application of Assail at 2.5 oz/acre for CM and PC control.
- Assume one application of Flint @ 2oz/Acre in late July for control of summer
diseases (sooty blotch and flyspeck).
This program assumes some bio-control of secondary pests such as STLM, ERM, SJS, and WAA. If the control exerted by the beneficial populations is insufficient, additional applications of insecticides or miticides may be needed.