Hello Wisconsin Fruit News subscribers, and welcome back to Notes from The Field: A Grower’s Perspective. This week Steve Louis (Oakwood Fruit Farm) and I had our ninth chat as harvest operations were underway.
Oakwood Fruit Farm made the last cover spray this week. End of season fungicide sprays are critical for the orchard, however as harvest begins for the early varieties these sprays cannot be neglected on the later varieties which will stay on the trees much longer and remain susceptible to diseases and insect pests. The amount of rain since the last pesticide application will make an impact on the frequency of these end of season sprays. Remember to check the PHI’s of the chemistries you select.
With harvest being the major priority at Oakwood, Steve also reminds us that this can be an easy time to forget about young trees which require continued management. This is especially true in situations where wet conditions prevail; wet soils during the winter months can be problematic to young trees. Fertilizer applications on young trees have ceased since the end of July, to allow hardening off this winter. Young trees should also be included in disease and pest management spray programs along with the rest of the orchard, if not, the effects will be apparent in the following season.
As the farm switches over into marketing mode, spot treatments are utilized to address areas within the orchard that need specific attention. Whole orchard management is broken down into these spot treatments to accommodate the varying harvest dates. Steve says this block-by-block approach can be especially beneficial for U-Pick operations to lengthen the season. Oakwood will start packing next week and managing storage conditions.
That’s all for now! Check out the notes from my next chat with Steve Louis in the 10th issue of Wisconsin Fruit News on August 26.
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 Leslie Holland, Notes from the Field, Steve Louis.