The OMAFRA Apple Team will be providing weekly crop updates reported from across the province, including growth stages, production, weather-related impacts, pest status and other issues affecting Ontario growers at the time. Continue following ONfruit for up-to-date crop information.
Apple buds are at tight cluster in Essex County; half inch green to tight cluster along the rest of the north shore of Lake Erie in Chatham-Kent, Elgin and Norfolk County and in the Niagara Region; green tip to ¼” green in Grey and Northumberland County and Durham Region.
Pruning has been ongoing over the last two months; some growers are already finished. Tree planting began last week and will continue for the next two weeks or so.
Dormant copper has been applied in many orchards for fire blight to reduce overwintering bacteria that ooze out of cankers. Rains occurring after application may have partially washed off the copper, reducing the effect of this treatment.
Most areas have at least one scab protectant spray applied. Earlier regions of the province have experienced a few potential infection periods already this season. The cooler weather during the recent rains may have decreased the likelihood of a scab infection due to prolonged leaf wetness requirements. During breaks in prolonged wetting events, many growers are opting to re-apply fungicides to replace residues washed off. Others are choosing to apply a product with good post-infection activity when conditions dry.
High powdery mildew pressure last year followed by a mild winter has some growers concerned about management this season. A low rate of sulfur is being incorporated into a protectant scab program in orchards with a history of powdery mildew. Some orchards with historically low powdery mildew pressure are using dormant and summer oil sprays to help with suppression.
European red mite eggs are quite prevalent on fruit spurs in many orchards. With the warmer weather, growers have been applying dormant oil for scale and mites.
Traps for oriental fruit moth, apple leafcurling midge and European apple sawfly will be going up in many regions over the next week or so to monitor adult flight.
Herbicides are being applied over the next few weeks during the critical weed-free period.