Tag Archives: Central Virginia

MaluSim models for 11 May 2015

For both Winchester and Central Virginia, the Malusim model is predicting a mild to no carbohydrate stress over the next week. Although temperatures at the time of application, are less important then the carbohydrate running average (2+4 Running Average), expect chemical thinners applied Sunday (10 May) or Monday (11 May) to cause more thinning than applications made late last week or for the rest of this week. Expect a “typical” response from chemical thinners applied Tuesday (12 May) through the rest of this coming week.

Peck Winchester MaluSim 5_11_15Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_11_15

The National Weather Service is predicting sunny weather later this week, as well as daytime temperatures in the 70s. This should result in ideal conditions for plant growth, and thus less carbohydrate stress in the apple trees.

One of the weaknesses of weather-based models, is the need to use forecast data to make decisions about future events. When I ran the MaluSim models for both Winchester and Central Virginia last Thursday, the forecast was for hot, cloudy weather. Although it was in the mid-80s in most of Virginia over the weekend, there was also a lot more sunlight than predicted. Temperatures are generally a lot more reliable than cloud cover predictions, but both seemed to be less severe than originally forecasted.

Cloudy weather predicted for later in the week is causing wild swings in the MaluSim model output. My expectation is that actual carbohydrate levels will be more moderate and that running average values will remain in the 20 to -20 g CHO/day range.

Full model output:

Peck Winchester MaluSim 5_11_15.pptx

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_11_15.pptx

MaluSim Model Data for 7 May 2015

Due to warm days (>80F) and intermittent cloud cover, the MaluSim carbohydrate model is showing a strong carbohydrate deficit for both Winchester and Central Virginia over the next four to five days. Expect an aggressive to very aggressive response to chemical thinners applied today through early next week. Reduce rates, and/or do not include oil or other surfactants if overthinning is a concern.Peck Winchester MaluSim 5_7_15

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_7_15

Pay close attention to the weather forecasts. If actual temperatures are closer to 90F and/or there are prolonged periods of cloud cover, then overthinning will likely occur.

The greatest amount of thinning occurs when fruitlets are on average between 8-12 mm in diameter. Thinning when fruitlets are slightly smaller or larger will result in less thinning, which may be desirable if there is a severe carbohydrate deficit.

Cooler temperatures forecasted for the middle to end of next week should result in less carbohydrate stress and reduced chances of overthinning. However, fruitlets that are greater than 15 mm in diameter are more difficult to thin with NAA or 6-BA.

During these warm days, expect the average fruitlet size to increase by at least 0.5 mm per day.

Full MaluSim model output:

Peck Winchester MaluSim 5_7_15.pptx

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_7_15.pptx

Central Virginia MaluSim for 4 May 2015

Warmer temperatures and cloud cover from some rainstorms later in the week will cause a moderately stronger carbohydrate deficit for Central Virginia.

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_4_15

Thinning applications made Tuesday through Thursday will result in the strongest response this week. Long term weather forecasts predict days in the 80’s and nights in the 60’s for the next 10 days. Carbohydrate levels will likely remain in the 0 to -40 range during that period.  To get the strongest response possible, make your applications when average fruit size is 8-12 mm in diameter.

Due to a technical glitch, I was unable to run the MaluSim model for Winchester. I hope to have the problem resolved Tuesday morning. I will post an update for Winchester as soon as possible.

Full MaluSim report:

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_4_15.pptx

Central Virginia MaluSim for May 1

Moderate temperatures and adequate sunlight are resulting in slight carbohydrate deficits according to the MaluSim model.

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_1_15

 

This means that chemical thinners applied today through the first part of next week should cause an “average” response. Warmer temperatures are forecast for the middle of next week, which should result in greater carbohydrate deficits. I will run another simulation for Central Virginia, as well as the first Winchester run on Monday.

Central Virginia MaluSim for 1 May 2015:

Peck Central VA MaluSim 5_1_15.pptx

MaluSim Model for Central Virginia, 27 April 2015

Today, I ran the first Central Virginia MaluSim model for 2015. I will start the Winchester models later this week.

For Central Virginia, I use data from a weather station set up at Silver Creek Orchards and managed by my colleague, Dr. Mizuho Nita. A big thank you to Dr. Nita for allowing me to install the necessary instrumentation and for maintaining the station and associated software.

This year, I will be using forecast data from the National Weather Service. In past years, I used Intellicast.com data because they provided 10-day forecasts with cloud cover predictions. Intellicast no longer provides the cloud cover data in an easy to use format, so I am switching to the National Weather Service’s forecasts. Note that these forecasts only project five days into the future.

We will discuss the details of the model at Tuesday’s meeting at Saunders Brother. Peck Central VA MaluSim 4_27_15

However, this first model run suggests that the relatively cool weather, and mostly sunny weather that has occurred since bud break has resulted in a moderate carbohydrate deficit in apple trees. Growers can expect average results from chemical thinners applied the last couple-few days through to the weekend. In blocks where significant thinning is needed, growers should apply carbaryl at petal fall and then look to the warmer weather that is predicted for the weekend and early next week for their 10 mm application.

Central Virginia weather data, MaluSim data, and an interpretation chart are in the pdf linked to below:

Peck Central VA MaluSim 4_27_15

Impromptu Pruning Discussion, Monday February 23

I will be meeting with Bennett Saunders and a few other growers at Saunders Brothers’ Cub Creek Orchard this coming Monday to discuss pruning strategies for tall spindle and other high density orchards.

This will be a fairly informal meeting oriented towards group discussion and demonstrations.

For those who can make it, we will meet at 10AM just inside the gate near the entrance of Cub Creek Orchard located off of Carter Hill Lane, Roseland, VA.

Click here for Google Map directions.

It looks like it’ll be decent weather, but the ground might be a bit wet. Bring your own lunch, loopers, boots, etc.

UPDATE (Sunday Feb. 22): This meeting is still scheduled to proceed as planned. However, only four wheel-drive vehicles will be able to drive further than the orchard entrance. We will coordinate carpools at 10AM.

________________________
Gregory Michael Peck, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Horticulture • Virginia Tech
Alson H. Smith, Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center
595 Laurel Grove Road • Winchester, VA 22602 • USA
540.869.2560 X19 greg.peck@vt.edu
Tree Fruit Homepage: www.anr.ext.vt.edu/tree-fruit/
Research Homepage: www.arec.vaes.vt.edu/alson-h-smith/treefruit/horticulture/

2015 Winter Fruit Schools

The 2015 Winter Fruit School dates, times, and locations have been set. These in-depth meetings focus on commercial tree-fruit production. The schedule will be similar to the 2014 schedule, with the Carroll-Patrick meeting occurring on Tuesday morning and the Central Virginia meeting occurring on Wednesday evening. The full list of locations is below, as well as the local contact for each meeting. NOTE: There is a new location for the Carroll-Patrick Fruit School meeting this year.

Presentations by will include the following topics: brown marmorated stink bug update, tall spindle systems, hard cider resources, neonicotinoid impacts on pollinators, spotted winged drosophila and spotted lanternfly updates, and summer disease management updates with a focus on Glomerella leaf spot. Additional programing is still being developed at each location and more details are forthcoming. Pesticide recertification credits are usually available, check with the local contact for more information.

Date Location Registration opens Local Contact Contact’s phone
number
Tuesday
February 10
<Program>
Hungry Farmer Cafe
15297 Fancy Gap Highway (US 52)
Cana, VA 24317
9:00AM Steve Pottorff 276-730-3113
Wednesday
February 11
<Program>
Brambleton Center
3738 Brambleton Avenue SW 
Roanoke, VA 24018
8:15AM Kate Lawrence 540-473-8260
Wednesday
February 11
<Program TBD>
The Nelson Center
8445 Thomas Nelson Highway
Lovingston, VA 22949
4:30PM Michael Lachance 434-263-4035
Thursday
February 12
<Program>
Grave’s Mountain Lodge
Rte. 670
Syria, VA 22743
8:15AM Kenner Love 540-675-3619
Friday
February 13
<Program &
Registration Form
>
Best Western-
Lee Jackson Banquet Hall

711 Millwood Ave.
 
Winchester, VA 22601
8:00AM Mark Sutphin
&
Marsha Wright
540-665-5699

 

Predicted 2014 Apple Harvest Dates

Predicting harvest date depends upon many factors, including full bloom date, accumulated heat units (growing degree days) over the course of the growing season, physiological stressors (e.g., disease and insect damage or drought), day to night temperature differentials as harvest approaches, and the amount of precipitation. However, the number of days between full bloom and harvest has been shown to be the most reliable predictor of harvest date.

Click here to learn more about pre-harvest drop management.

More than two decades ago, researchers in Michigan determined that there there are an average of 143 days between full bloom and the first commercial pick of Red Delicious apples that are to be held in controlled atmosphere storage (i.e., firmness between 17-18 lbs; starch between 2.5-4 on the 8-pt scale Cornell Starch Chart). Additional seasonal adjustments above or below the average number of days until harvest are made based upon the average daily minimum temperatures for the 15 days after full bloom.

For the past several seasons I have tested the Michigan model using fruit from a block of Bisbee Red Delicious on MARK rootstock. Results to date have shown that this model is very good at predicting harvest maturity in Virginia.

Based on the Michigan model, here are the predictions for 2014:

In Winchester, Bisbee Red Delicious full bloom was April 27 and average minimum temperature for the 15 days after full bloom was 0.5°F more than 50°F. Using this data in the Michigan model, harvest is predicted to be 143 days after full bloom. This puts the predicted harvest date for the first CA pick of Red Delicious at September 16.

In Central Virginia (Tyro), full bloom for Red Delicious was estimated to be April 20 and the predicted harvest is September 9.

If you want to compare the model to your own situation, here are the previous years’ predicted harvest dates:

2011 Winchester: September 10
2012 Winchester: August 26
2012 Central VA (Batesville): August 25
2013 Winchester: September 18
2013 Central VA (Piney River): September 15

Since most growers have Red Delicious trees in their orchards, other cultivars (and strains of Red Delicious that ripen earlier than Bisbee) can be estimated based upon experience on their picking date relative to Red Delicious.

Another method for estimating harvest date uses the rule-of-thumb that says, “for each 2-3 days departure for the normal bloom date, there will be a one-day departure from the normal harvest date.” (Blanpied and Silsby, 1992).

You can find more information about harvest maturity indices in this post.

Starting in August, I will start conducting maturity evaluations of fruit from the Winchester AREC and surrounding orchards.

References

Blanpied, G. and K. Silsby. 1992. Predicting Harvest Date Window for Apples. Cornell Information Bulletin 221. <<pdf>>

Beaudry, R., P. Schwallier, and M. Lennington. 1993. Apple Maturity Prediction: An Extension Tool to Aid Fruit Storage Decisions. HortTechnology 3(2): 233-239.

Central Virginia Orchard & Tree Fruit Day Tour – July 15, 2014

We have a fantastic day tour of several Central Virginia orchards scheduled for Tuesday, July 15, 2014.  The tour will include high density (tall spindle) apple orchards, vineyards, retail markets, a packing operation, a cidery, a box lunch, and an evening meal on top of Carter Mountain overlooking Charlottesville, Virginia.  We will likely be traveling by coach from the Shenandoah Valley and there will be other transportation and carpooling options planned as the need dictates.  If you are interested in this day tour, please complete the registration on the attached brochure and send in the registration fee of $15.00/each by July 1, 2014.

Feel free to contact me for additional information or any clarifications.

We continue to thank our Tree Fruit Program Sponsors for making this educational tour possible.  Please see the attached flyer listing our many faithful industry partners.

Download the registration form: Central VA Tour Brochure <pdf>

Mark Sutphin

Associate Extension Agent | Agriculture and Natural Resources, Horticulture | Unit Coordinator (Frederick)

Virginia Cooperative Extension – Frederick County Office | 107 North Kent Street | Winchester, VA 22601

Phone – 540.665.5699 | Fax – 540.722.8380 | Cell – 540.398.8148 | Email – mark.sutphin@vt.edu | http://offices.ext.vt.edu/frederick/ | http://vacoopext.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/VCE-Northern-Shenandoah-Valley-Agriculture-and-Natural-Resources/183932085102951

 

9:30 am Stop 1: Silver Creek Orchards (The Flippin Family) 

John & Ruth Saunders

5529 Crabtree Falls Highway, Tyro, VA

11:30 am Stop 2: Saunders Brothers (box/sandwich lunch)

Bennett Saunders & Family

2717 Tye Brook Highway, Piney River, VA

1:30 pm Stop 3: Crown Orchard Packing House* 

Chiles Family

5861 Piedmont Apple Ln., Covesville, VA

3:00 pm Stop 4: Albemarle Ciderworks 

Charlotte Shelton & Chuck Shelton

2545 Rural Ridge Ln., North Garden, VA

5:00 pm Stop 5: Carter Mountain Orchard (catered supper)

Chiles Family

1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA

The itinerary above is the proposed schedule and subject to change. 

* This is a GAP certified packing house and will require all visitors to abide by the following policies: guest sign-in, long pants must be worn, and no jewelry

Central Virginia In-Orchard Meeting to be Held on June 3 at 7K Farms in Rustburg

From Michael LaChance:

May 23rd, 2014

To People Interested in Virginia Fruit Production:

The fifth in-orchard production meeting of the 2014 Central Virginia Orchard Meeting series will be held on Tuesday, June 3rd at 11:00 a.m. at 7 K Farms, located at 837 Red House Rd, Rustburg, Virginia  24588.   The event is hosted by farm manager Bill Beni and the rest of the staff at this most interesting entrant into the Virginia fruit industry.  It is open to all but will be especially interesting to new and established fruit growers, people considering conversion of some of their acreage to higher value crops, and regional decision makers.   You will have an opportunity to tour the farm and have your questions addressed by our hosts and Drs. Chris Bergh, Greg Peck and Keith Yoder, Extension tree fruit specialists based at the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center near Winchester.

If you are bringing specimens of insects pests or plant disease for diagnosis and control recommendations, please follow good sanitation practices by putting the material in sealed plastic bags and properly remove your material away from the host orchard after the meeting.

The program begins at 11:00 a.m. so plan on arriving sometime soon after 10:30 a.m.  This is an excellent opportunity to see:

  • This rapid development of over 200 acres of commercial fruit in central Virginia
  • Use of “sleepy eye” propagation technique
  • Meeting the need for adequate irrigation and deer control
  • Innovative high density fruit tree training

A nice lunch for everyone is being prepared plus water and other cold drinks will be provided that day.  Register by Thursday, May 29. To assist us with our planning Please contact either Lucinda MacRae at the Nelson  County Extension Office: 434 263 4035 / lmacrae@vt.edu or 7 K Farms main office. Your contact there is Melanie Mahone, (434) 332-4460 / mel7kfarms@centurylink.net.

Directions from Lynchburg:   Rustburg is located southeast of Lynchburg.  Take Route 501 off of Highway 29 and continue 10 miles to the stoplight in Rustburg, turn left onto Hwy 24 toward Concord and travel 0.5 miles to the next stoplight and turn right onto Red House Road.  Travel 0.8 miles to the farm entrance, extra signage will be put up to help you.

Please email us, fax or phone us today so we can get a head count for this very informative meeting. For more information on Extension programs to assist with your fruit growing interests go to: www.anr.ext.vt.edu/tree-fruit/

Sincerely,

Michael W. Lachance

Extension Agent

 

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Nelson County Extension Office at (434)263-4035 to discuss accommodations five days prior to the date of the meeting. 

 

 ‘Sleeping eye’ describes a summer-budded

rootstock cut above the dormant scion bud and stored for planting in a nursery or orchard.

 

 ADVANTAGES

 DISADVANTAGES

A good quality tree can be produced in

one season as opposed to two for a

summer- budded tree

Costs more than twice that of unbudded

rootstock

 

Simpler for grower than benchgrafting,

yet can produce a tree of similar

quality in same period of time

Quality of root and bud important for success of this method

 

Source:  http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/treefrt/product/Tree_Fruit_Home_Nurseries.pdf