Friday, April 16, 2010

Fruit Crop Advisory Team Alerts and News

The Michigan State University Extension and The MSU IPM Program have published new articles for the MSU Fruit CAT Alert newsletter. Visit their web site, to read the articles or use the links below for individual articles. They have also posted the full printable pdf version.

Tree fruit

· Update on resistance to strobilurin fungicides in the apple scab   fungus in Michigan

· Current status on resistance to sterol inhibitor fungicides in the apple scab fungus in Michigan

· Apple scab control 2010

· Agri-Mek label expanded to all stone fruits

· TNRC trapline data: Green fruitworm

· Copper products, characteristics, and uses

The next issue will be April 27, 2010.


A new issue of Scaffolds Fruit Newsletter from the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, one of the premier horticulture research and extension institutes in the world, for the week of 4/12 has been posted at:

and  includes the following articles:


- Orchard Radar

- Pink pest management


- Movento


- Tree Fruit Guidelines corrections


- Powdery mildew

- Black knot on plum





The USU Tree Fruit IPM Pest Advisories provide nearly weekly updates on current insect and disease occurences, biology, and treatment recommendations for Utah.  Updates run from mid-March through September.


The current issues is available at:

and includes the following articles:


Eco-Apple IPM Conference Calls begin Tuesday, April 20

Starting on April 20, the UW-Madison Eco-Fruit Project will offer another season of free weekly conference calls with IPM consultant John Aue and other IPM experts.  Royal Oak Farm will be participating in these calls again for the 2010 season.

Why would we want to listen in?
These calls will help network growers to know what to watch out for, will answer current pressing questions, and will give an idea of what other growers are doing. At the start of each call, John Aue provides a comprehensive review of pest trends and activity in orchards. Next, he answers growers’ questions about pest and disease management issues. He also asks growers to talk about their own strategies for managing pests. John Aue provided IPM consulting services to Royal Oak Farm prior to 2007 and many other apple growers in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota for over 20 years. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Apple Scab Control 2010

Apple scab, caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, is an important constraint on apple production in the Midwest. The primary inoculum for apple scab develops in the spring in infected leaves on the orchard floor from the previous season. If primary scab infection is not controlled, significant levels of leaf and fruit infection can be expected. Infection periods for apple scab occur every year in northern Illinois orchards. Although apple varieties with resistance to scab do exist, these varieties are not widely planted; thus, scab must be actively controlled each year through intensive usage of fungicides. This intensive fungicide usage has led to the development of resistance in V. inaequalis to some classes of fungicides such as dodine and the benzimidazoles in Michigan and elsewhere across the United States where apple scab is prevalent. The following article from the IPM - Crop Advisory Team Alerts - Fruit > MSU Fruit Crop Advisory Team Alert newsletter will give a fungicide spray protocol for those orchards where resistance to these fungicides has developed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2009 Trial Results From the Use of Pheromone Disruption to Control Codling Moth in Bayfield, WI Area Apple Orchards


Codling moth is one of three major insect pests of apples in the northern Illinois, Wisconsin and particularly the Bayfield fruit growing
region of northern Wisconsin. The female adult moths lay their eggs on or near developing apples and the larvae tunnel into the apple and become the classic worm in the apple. Apples attacked by codling moth are unfit for sale. There are typically two generations per year in Il and WI with a peak flight in late-June and again in mid-August.  Producing quality apples requires managing codling moth, usually with a conventional or organic chemical spray program.

In cooperation with the Bayfield apple growers, a two-step codling moth control program is underway to help growers reduce the number of spray applications for codling moth.

Step 1: Removing Abandoned Apple Trees to Reduce Codling Moth Populations

Step 2: Using Mating Disruption to Prevent Egg-Laying

Download the research bulletin here:
Download file

The two-step codling moth control program appears to be working for Bayfield growers and should provide an alternative or supplement to the typical chemical control programs. However, because there are other insect pests in the orchards at the same time as the codling moth, the pheromone disruption will not eliminate the need for spraying. Treatments for apple maggot or plum curculio  will likely be necessary with the added benefit of providing some codling moth control. However, as was the experience of the growers in 2009, the pheromone disruption can reduce the number of sprays needed and can allow the growers to target the other pests. The goal of the research project in 2010 is to trial the pheromone disruption on a wider scale.

We have not yet adopted the use of pheromone disruption at Royal Oak Farm but have opted instead to make use of a new product called Virosoft that is a 100% ecological solution. Virosoft is a biological, natural baculovirus which specifically and exclusively attacks the target pest. Virosoft is absolutely harmless to all other members of the ecosystem, including humans. Because of the success of this product we have not had to apply any sprays in the month of August when growers would normally apply at least one timed spray.  But pheromone disruption is beginning to look like another alternative for apple growers as a means of reducing the use of chemical controls.