133 articles tagged "Crop Management".

Apple Honeycrisp bitter rot sporulating

As harvest continues, so does the summer rot saga, especially bitter rot. Multiple orchards are reporting significant to complete loss of Honeycrisp throughout the Midwest, in addition to other varieties. Honeycrisp is by far the worst hit, but its seems that Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Cameo, Ida Red, Empire, Fuji and Gala have had problems in the past. If you are having problems on other varieties, please let me know. We have a trial underway to see if a preharvest application of captan or Merivon helps improves long-term storage options. I’ll have the data to you for the winter horticultural congress in Indianapolis.


Grape harvest is underway for early and mid-season varieties. Downy and powdery mildew are showing up in vineyards. Table grapes have been especially nice this year. Primocane bramble harvest is also underway. Surprising low number of spotted wing Drosophila have been found in grapes or brambles. Frequent rains are very unwelcome as they generally have a negative effect on fruit quality in both grapes and brambles. Gala and Honey Crisp apples are being harvested. Weeds and row middle covers are growing excessively with all the recent rains.

Susan Brown of Cornell probably said it best: “The performance and attributes of Honeycrisp are varied and can be grouped under the heading, ‘The good, the bad, and the ugly.’ The ‘good’ refers to a great name for marketing and excellent texture, crispness, and juiciness. The ‘bad’ refers to coloring problems, appearance defects, and susceptibility to an undiagnosed leaf dis- order. The ‘ugly’ refers to bitter pit, scald, soft scald, and a tendency to ferment due to skin permeability problems.” More than 25 years after the release of Honeycrisp, we still don’t have definitive answers. We are already experiencing numerous reports of Honeycrisp (and other apple) yellows this year (Fig. 1a,b,c). This disorder is a genetic peculiarity of Honeycrisp (and apparently a few other varieties) and is believed to be caused by excessive buildup of carbohydrates in the leaves (Snyder-Leiby and Wang, 2008). Yellowing is often most severe on trees[Read More…]

Grape harvest is just about to get started in the southern part of the state. Growers will start harvesting early varieties next week. Most varieties are slightly ahead of normal this year. In Lafayette, early varieties are at full veraison and should be ready to harvest in the next couple of weeks. We generally harvest early varieties such as Brianna, Edelweiss and Prairie Star about the third week of August and many other early varieties starting the first week of September. Depending the weather for the next couple of weeks, we might be a bit early this year. Fruit quality overall is very good. The cooler conditions lately have favored fruit quality. With wine grapes, all fruit of a given cultivar is typically harvested from the vineyard or block at a single time to coordinate winery activity and to reduce costs. It is important to plan carefully so that the[Read More…]

June bearing strawberries are “short day” plants that initiate flower buds in response to short days (less than 14 hours day length). Day length for Indianapolis drops below 14 hours about August 10.  As we get into late summer, strawberry plants respond to shorter days by setting the flower buds that will result in the crop next spring. It is important to maintain appropriate nutrition and soil water status during this time. General recommendations are to fertilize strawberry fields with 20 to 50 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre per during late summer.  Nitrogen rates depend upon amount supplied at renovation and plant vigor. New fields with high vigor may not need additional nitrogen now, but older fields should benefit. Irrigation during this time is also extremely important if rainfall has not been sufficient in your area. We suggest about 1 inch per week. Continue to irrigate strawberries through fall[Read More…]

Strawberries are primarily grown in the matted row system in Indiana, in which bare-root strawberry plants are set in the spring, fruit is first harvested in the second year and plantings are renovated each year for a few seasons. Growers in Southern Indiana have expressed interest in growing strawberries in the annual plasticultural system. With this annual system, plants are set in the fall and harvested in the spring of the following year. Plantings are not normally carried over a second year. Although the annual plasticultural system is very popular in the southern states, its usage is limited in Indiana mainly because our short fall weather conditions pose a challenge for strawberry plants to develop enough branch crowns, which allows them to achieve the optimal yield in the following spring. In the past two years, we have been testing the annual strawberry production system with additional protection from high tunnels[Read More…]

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Stone Fruit: At our orchard, we lost our stone fruit with the -20 degree F temperatures this winter. For those of you fortunate enough to have fruit, frequent and heavy rain present problems multiple problems, namely bacterial spot and brown rot. Three weeks before harvest, cease bacterial spot sprays, even though bacterial spot may continue to be an issue with this hot wet weather. You can still manage brown rot. To maintain and protect fruit, be sure to rotate chemistries by FRAC Code to minimize the risk of fungicide resistance. Some options to consider (choose one from each column and then choose a different column-do not repeat a column back to back, and always used the highest labeled rate).

PristineTM apple

Although PristineTM was selected in 1982, its history goes back to the early days of the PRI breeding program. From an original cross of Rome Beauty with Malus floribunda 821, selections and hybridizations were made incorporating Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Starking Delicious  and Cazumat along the way. The cross that resulted in PristineTM was Coop 10 x Cazumat made in 1974 at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and PristineTM was selected at the Purdue Hort. Farm in 1982. PristineTM is a very early maturing apple usually ripening in late July in Lafayette. In most seasons it will be a couple of weeks ahead of Gala. It is very attractive with a clean finish. For such an early apple, it has very good eating quality, certainly much better than other very early apples such as Lodi or Transparent. The texture is crisp and flavor has a good acid/sugar balance. If fruit are[Read More…]

ReTain (AVG) is a plant growth regulator that blocks the production of ethylene. When ReTain is applied to apple, several ripening processes are slowed, including preharvest drop, fruit flesh softening, starch disappearance, and red color formation. In order for ReTain to be effective it must be applied well in advance of the climacteric rise in ethylene production that signals the onset of fruit maturity. If applied too early the effects may wear off prematurely. If applied too late, a significant portion of the crop may not be responsive to AVG, having already begun to produce autocatalytic ethylene. A second reason for avoiding late applications of ReTain is the 21 day preharvest interval (PHI), which, combined with a late spray date could result in an undesirable delay in harvest. The label recommends applying ReTain four weeks before anticipated harvest (WBH). This has sometimes caused confusion, as the grower is timing the[Read More…]

Preharvest drop refers to the process where fruit fall from the tree prior to harvest. Not all apple varieties are affected, but with some, such as McIntosh and Pristine, pre-harvest drop can be extreme. Several growth regulator materials are available to growers to help reduce pre-harvest drop. These materials are often referred to as “stop-drop” or “sticker” sprays. The traditional material used to help prevent pre-harvest drop on apples is NAA (Fruitone N), a synthetic auxin. Other synthetic auxins you may have heard of include 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T.  Of course you also know Fruitone N as a chemical thinner.  Early in the season NAA knocks fruit off the tree and later towards harvest it sticks them on.  This highlights the importance of timing when using plant growth regulators. Another newer stop drop material is ReTain (see articles by Schupp and Schwallier in this issue). Although both NAA and ReTain can[Read More…]