Apple Update: May 3rd, 2016

Crop Stages

Apple buds are at tight cluster to pink in Essex County, Chatham-Kent, Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex; half inch green to tight cluster in Norfolk and Wentworth County, the GTA and in the Niagara Region; green tip to ½” green in Northumberland County and Durham Region; silver tip to ¼” green in Grey County; and silver tip to green tip in the Ottawa Valley region

Production

Pruning is close to being finished. Tree planting has been underway; many dry days have helped facilitate this to go smoothly so far.

Diseases

Fire blight risk predictions remain low for the next week based on the Cougar Blight model run by OMAFRA’s plant pathologist, Mike Celetti. The risk increases slightly for orchards that had fire blight in 2015. Prediction maps for the province are updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the end of bloom (view maps here).

Most regions have experienced one or two scab infections already, with the exception of orchards in the east (Ottawa region). The rains at the end of this last weekend may have resulted in another potential infection period as well. Two to four protectant fungicides have been applied in many orchards so far.

Cankers, such as Cytospora and black rot are showing up in many orchards across the province, likely as a result of the cold winters in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. Growers are pruning out what they can. Fungicide coverage will be important to prevent further spread to other branches and/or trees, as well as to prevent secondary infection.

Insects

Oriental fruit moth and apple leafcurling midge traps have been set up. Small numbers of both have been caught in traps in the earlier regions. No biofix has been set yet.

Oil has gone on in many of the earlier regions and continues to be applied in the later areas for mite control. With the nights dropping below freezing in recent weeks, it has been difficult to find an ideal window to apply dormant oil. However, the long-term forecast seems to be indicating a trend towards warmer nighttime temperatures.

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