Caution: The observations, conditions, and recommendations reported on this page are applicable only to the eastern counties of West Virginia. Use of the information reported here for making orchard management decisions outside of the immediate proximity of Kearneysville, West Virginia, is not our intent. Fruit producers outside the eastern West Virginia area are encouraged to consult their state extension specialists for information similar to that provided here.
- April 8, 2014
- Rain beginning at 7:00 AM on April 7 with leaf wetness continuing through 9:00 AM on April 8. 27 hours of wetting at an average temperature of 41.8 F with 0.43 inches of precipitation (infection period #1). Some green tip on early apple culitvars.
- April 7, 2014
- Apple scab infections are likely today, with about 18 hours of wetting at 43 F required for infection to occur, and about 11 hours of wetting at 50 F. We will be in that temperature range all day and it is likely that buds showing green tip will be wet through the night and into tomorrow morning. Copper applied recently should provide adequate protection. An option with after-infection activity would be copper + Vanguard.
- April 1, 2014
- Apples showing green tissue will need protection from the season's first ascospores prior to our next rain event. For after-infection applications consider using Vangard + copper, but no later than the 1/4-inch green stage on fresh market cultivars.
- Insect update: Management of early season insect pests,
Provided by Dr. Daniel Frank:
Pre-bloom is the best time to control San Jose scale and rosy apple aphid in orchards. Target these insects with a silver-tip or ¼ - ½ inch green tip spray. Products such as horticultural oil, chlorpyrifos (e.g. Lorsban, Nufos, Yuma), Supracide, Esteem, or Centaur (for San Jose scale only) can be used effectively during the silver-tip to green-tip period. At ¼ - ½ inch green-tip, insecticides such as Beleaf and Endigo provide excellent control of rosy apple aphid, while horticultural oil, chlorpyrifos, and Supracide are recommended for San Jose scale. As a reminder, chlorpyrifos can be applied once during the pre-bloom season (only as a foliar spray), or as a trunk application for control of dogwood borer pre- or post-bloom. If dogwood borer is a concern you may want to consider alternating the use of chlorpyrifos for borer management every other year. Also, be aware that horticultural oil and Captan are not compatible. If managing early season pests with oil, alternative fungicides will need to be considered for apple scab management during this time. As a final reminder, spray coverage is critical for successful control of San Jose scale and rosy apple aphid. Use as close to a dilute application as possible and apply sprays at slow travel speeds under optimum weather conditions (i.e. wind speeds less than 5 MPH).
- March 29 - 30, 2014
- First apple scab ascospores caught in traps at the Winchester AREC.
- March 31, 2014
- Disease Management Reminders (while there’s still time!)
Peach leaf curl should be controlled in the spring with a fungicide application before the buds swell, unless you already made a leaf curl application in the fall. If leaf curl was severe in your peach and nectarine blocks in 2013, and you made your fall fungicide application to control the disease for 2014, a spring fungicide application will be needed to ensure complete disease control. In orchards where careful monitoring is practiced and where leaf curl has not been present for two or more years, this spray can be omitted until the disease begins to recur. For best control of peach leaf curl, make a dilute application of fungicide under calm conditions, making sure to cover each bud thoroughly. Using one of the fixed coppers for the leaf curl spray may help suppress bacterial spot in blocks where this disease is a problem. See the Spray Bulletin for fungicides and rates of application.
- Apple scab urea application: A spray of 5% solution of urea (46-0-0) in water may be applied as late as green tip to apple leaves on the ground if this was not done in the autumn (42 lb. urea in 100 gal. water, applied at 100 gallons/acre). The nitrogen will hasten leaf litter decomposition and will result in reduced ascospore production by 60 to 90%, thereby changing high-inoculum orchards into low-inoculum orchards. Moving leaves from under the trees to the row middles with a leaf blower and then shredding them with a flail mower is a good alternative to the urea spray for small acreages on level land (mud, rocks, and weeds can turn this into a futile exercise). If you had enough scab that you easily noticed it at the end of last year’s growing season, one of these inoculum reduction measures should be implemented. If the urea spray is used, remember to reduce other nitrogen applications accordingly. I estimate that about half of the urea nitrogen will land in the sodded row middles, and thus will not be available to the trees.
- Spring will be here soon! Will you be ready?
- Average daily temperatures and records
- Average last freeze date map
Web Site Author: Alan