Northern Michigan FRUITNET'99
James E. Nugent Gary E. Thornton William M. Klein
NW Michigan Horticultural Research Station
Michigan State University
Cooler conditions this past week have slowed bud development, so while about 10 days ago the degree day accumulation equaled last year's very early season, it is now behind last year (though still well ahead of normal). Precipitation for April (including snowmelt) at the NWMHRS has totaled 2.36".
This Year Last Year
Base 42° 170 213
European Red Mites – Overwintering populations look to be moderate in number. This recent mild winter has resulted in very little injury to the eggs. Oil sprays are still strongly recommended at least every third year for apples. It is wise to include the oil to prevent resistance to other miticides from showing up in the population. Oil will also keep the San Jose Scale population in check.
Green Fruit Worm – Adults continue to fly.
Pear Psylla – Egg laying activity has been light up to now, but should pick up as warmer weather moves in. Oil sprays will help to deter egg-laying activity when applied at the swollen bud stage.
Apple Scab – Green tissue is showing on the early varieties and is now susceptible to scab infection. According to the spore maturity model, 6% of the spores are now mature and ready to be released. Growers should be a little cautious this year and not delay their first spray beyond tight cluster. I suspect that a higher number of spores have matured this year than in an average year for us. This is due to the mild winter that we experienced, where spores matured at any of the temperatures that we had that were above 32° F.
Powdery Mildew – Look for 1999 to be a similar, if not a worse year for powdery mildew than 1998 was. In a cold winter where temperatures drop below –10 F. up to 95% of the overwintering inoculum is killed. This winter we did not have temperatures that cold in the fruit region and there also is an enormous overwintering population, which should provide us with some control challenges this year.
Tart Cherries – Utah is reporting frost damage to tarts. I am not aware of problems in other growing districts.
Peaches – SW Michigan lost most of their peach crop this past winter. Temperatures one morning in January at the SW Michigan Research Station hit -16° F, while our low that same morning was +13° F (we had a cloud cover). The fresh peach market will be short this year in Michigan.
AG TASK FORCE ON AGRICULTURE PRESERVATION
-- TIME CHANGE
Michigan Senate Task Force on Agriculture hearings were announced in the last newsletter. The time of the NW Michigan hearing has been changed. The hearing will take place on April 26th at 10 a.m. (not 9:00 a.m.) at the NW MI Horticultural Research Station.
The bipartisan task force, chaired by Sen. George McManus, is soliciting testimony in person and in writing, which will provide the basis of their recommendations and report. Farmland preservation will be a key topic. Please come with your suggestions on what may be done at the local, state and federal level to preserve both farming and farmland! Your ideas are important to the future of agriculture; you can make a difference!
The Code-A-Phones are now scheduled to start up on April 26th. Until approximately mid-May, the phone numbers and the operation of them will remain the same as in years past. Sometime in mid-May we will hook up to our new menu driven "code-a-phone." At that point, the number to call will only be 947-3063. This number will access both stone and pome fruit information at that time. This will ring into the computer and if someone is on the line, it will roll over to another line. In the event two callers are using the system at the same time, then the line will be busy. Once on the system, you will then be asked to press 1 for the cherry message, 2 for the apple message, 3 for the grape message, 4 for additional information on controlling plum curculio in tart cherries and so on. The system will eventually have a fax-back system, so additional bulletins or information can be requested at any time of the day.
We also will have a toll free number at that time for those of you outside the Traverse City area; that number is 1-877-763-PEST (7378).
The major improvements will be fewer busy signals, toll free access, expanded topics and less waiting for the information that is needed.
Until then, use these numbers as in the past.
By Gary Thornton, District Fruit IPM Agent
Where Date Time
NWMHRS April 26th 7:00-9:00 p.m.
With the trouble in the apple markets this past year, there does not look like there is a lot of room for undersized fruit. Phil Schwallier, District Horticultural and Marketing Agent, will be joining us for half of the evening to share with us the latest in thinning strategies and materials.
Doug Sandmann, Bayer Crop Protection Products, will be joining me for the IPM update. There are quite a few label changes this year and the significance of those will be discussed, as well as control strategies for the upcoming season. The annual "pesticide cost comparison" guide will be available at this meeting.
Pesticide recertification credits have been applied for. In the past, 2 credits have been granted for this session.
LABEL CHANGE POAST HERBICIDE: The poast label has been expanded. It is now labeled for bearing and nonbearing apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach and pear orchards. It can not be used on bearing plum trees.
LABEL CHANGE - APOLLO SC label for apple has been modified to now allow applications up to 45 days before harvest. Dr. Jim Johnson’s original work with this product was at a first cover timing. This timing performed exceptionally well, as the leaf area is vastly greater at this stage than at the old-labeled timing of "no later than tight cluster". Apollo and Savey are similar in chemistry and although allowed to be used every year, growers should refrain from doing so. Resistance has shown up in some areas in as little as 3 years when used consecutively. An acceptable rotation is to use Agrimek in year 1, Apollo or Savey in year 2 and oil and Pyramite (if needed) in year 3. It is beneficial to use the oil in other years too, if the egg numbers in a given block are heavy.
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