Hello Wisconsin Fruit News subscribers, and welcome back to Notes from The Field: A Grower’s Perspective. This week Steve and I had our third chat during the fast and furious bloom period that characterized Wisconsin orchards this spring.
The cold and wet spring quickly transitioned into a hot and humid early summer in Wisconsin. With bloom moving very quickly everyone was prioritizing fire blight control including Steve. In all of Steve’s years growing apples he said “this is the craziest bloom” he’s ever seen, with full bloom happening in a matter of 3 days with temperatures in the 90s. Worsening the short and tight bloom period and increasing the risk for fire blight were the warm nighttime temperatures in the 70’s. Prediction numbers in the NEWA models were off the charts meaning streptomycin applications were applied on Thursday and Friday last week at Oakwood. Now, Steve is on the lookout for shoot blight and making applications of Apogee (prohexadione calcium) to minimize the risk for shoot blight infections. For particularly vulnerable blocks such as fire blight susceptible varieties and young trees, Steve will apply a combination of Apogee (2 oz/A) + Actigard (1 oz/A). This combination has shown excellent shoot blight control in Michigan field trials; however, this combination treatment can be expensive so prioritizing applications to the most vulnerable blocks may be preferred. Additionally, during the bloom period, Steve and his crew began hand pulling blooms on the trees that were just planted to minimize the risk for fire blight. Thinning and evaluating set on trees will begin next week.
While most of the efforts in the last week have been centered on fire blight control, with the short-lived bloom, efforts will soon transition to pest control. Specifically, establishing mating disruption in the next week at Oakwood for codling moth. Degree day models indicate that codling moth should start emerging soon. To see degree day models for codling moth in your area check out NEWA’s model.
That’s all for now! Check out the notes from my next chat with Steve Louis in the 5th issue of Wisconsin Fruit News on June 3.
Need to monitor the risk for fire blight infections in your area? Check out the Cougar Blight and EIP models in NEWA. Enter the fire blight history of your orchard and your first blossom open date and pay attention to possible infection events.
Missed the notes from my last chat with Steve?? Check them out here!
The mention of a product is NOT an endorsement. This article series is NOT intended to provide recommendations; simply to hear from other growers about in-season tasks on their farm. Always follow the instructions on product labels and consult weather stations (ex. NEWA) in your area for current weather forecast and disease prediction models.This article was posted in Notes from the Field and tagged Fire Blight, Leslie Holland, Notes from the Field, Steve Louis.