Tag Archives: Rappahannock County

Hard Freeze is Expected This Tuesday (March 29)

Based on the weather forecast for Tuesday, March 29, temperatures will drop to 19 oF for a couple of hours (6:00 – 8:00 am) in the Frederick County and Rappahannock-Madison area, which could be devastating for the majority of apple cultivars and some early-bloom peach cultivars grown in these locations. Our apple cultivars in Winchester are currently in the tight-cluster stage, and some (e.g. Pink Lady and Zestar) are in the full pink-stage now. The majority of peach cultivars are in the pink stage now, with some early-blooming cultivars (e.g. John Boy) are already in bloom. Sweet cherries, on the other hand, are still in tight-cluster stage. Based on the critical temperature tables below, 90% of apple buds at tight-cluster can be killed if exposed to temperatures at 21oF and below for more than 30 min. Similarly, peach flowers at full bloom can be killed at the temperatures forecasted for Tuesday. Sweet cherry cultivars that are still in tight cluster will be likely OK, and only 10% can be damaged by this freeze event.

This is a typical advective freeze, accompanied by wind > 5 mph and dry air. Unfortunately, none of our frost mitigation measures, e.g., wind machines, overhead and under-tree sprinklers, can be of utility with this type of frost. Using any sprinklers, or spraying the tree with water using an air-blast or any other sprayer, will cause more damage than benefit. Heaters, on the other hand, can provide some protection if used for several hours, probably starting from midnight.

Tree fruit growers in the Nelson County may also face a brief, less damaging frost event, with the lowest temperature predicted to reach 24 oF before sunrise. Based on the current forecast, no frost/freeze is predicted for Roanoke and Carroll-Patrick counties.

Source:New Mexico State University
Source:New Mexico State University

Accede: a new chemical thinning material for apples and peaches

Accede is a new thinning product from Valent BioSciences that you may need to consider for apple fruit thinning and peach blossom thinning. The active ingredient of this product is ACC (1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid (ACC); a chemical that is produced naturally in plant as a precursor for ethylene (the ripening hormone). Unlike other ethylene-based products (e.g. ethephon), Accede doesn’t cause gummosis in peach and nectarine; and is not as aggressive when thinning apples. 

For apple fruit thinning: Accede can be used when the king fruit’s average fruit size ranges from 8-25 mm. However, this product is mainly intended for later thinning treatments (fruit size 15-18mm) when the primary thinning materials (e.g. 6-BA and NAA) are no longer effective. This product should be applied at a 23-46 fl oz/acre rate. A reduced rate should be considered if the temp on the day of application is >90 oF, and the best results are achieved under slow drying conditions (e.g., early morning, at night). 

For peaches and nectarines: Accede is the only labeled chemical thinning product. Unlike apple, Accede is mainly used as a bloom thinning treatment for peaches and nectarines. It should be applied between bloom and petal fall at 34-69 fl oz/acre rate. However, it was found that two applications (at 10% bloom and full-bloom), each at 34 fl oz/100 gal/acre, can achieve the best thinning results. The product works by causing early senescence to the flowers, thus preventing fertilization and fruit set of the unwanted crop. According to research conducted in MSU in 2021, two applications of Accede, reduced fruit set significantly and cut the time needed for hand-thinning in half, compared to untreated trees. 

Source: Dr. Anna Wallis, Apple Production Specialist at MSU

Precautions when using Accede for peaches and nectarines:

This product should not be applied to stressed, unhealthy trees as it may cause over-thinning. If frost occurs during bloom, you should wait until assessing the percentage of frost damage before applying Accede. The product should not be applied if rain is expected within 8h of application. Finally, this product should not be used for peaches and nectarines after petal fall.  

Here is a link for the product label for more information about Accede.

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

711 Millwood Ave.
Winchester, VA 22601
8:00AM Mark Sutphin
Marsha Wright


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/



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

Rappahannock-Madison Winter Fruit School Rescheduled for March 6

The Rappahannock-Madison  Winter Fruit School has been rescheduled for March 6 at Grave’s Mountain Lodge. The start time is 8:15AM and agenda will remain the same. Contact Kenner Love (klove@vt.edu) with questions or for more details.

A rescheduled date for the Central Virginia Fruit School is still being determined.

Nelson and Rappahannock County Fruit School Meetings are Cancelled

Due to the approaching snow storm, we have decided to cancel the Nelson and Rappahannock County Winter Fruit School meetings that were scheduled for Wednesday evening and Thursday, respectively. At this time, we still plan to hold the Roanoke and Winchester Fruit Schools as scheduled.

More details will be forthcoming regarding the rescheduling of these meetings.

Here is the link to the original Fruit School Meeting schedule.

Stay safe, and stay warm.

Dr. Greg Peck

AREC to Host Field Tour and Twilight Meeting

The faculty and staff of Virginia Tech’s AHS Jr. AREC and Virginia Cooperative Extension invite you to a Field day and Twilight Meeting on Thursday, July 18, 2013. In addition to a traditional twilight meeting, there will be a comprehensive tour of the research plots at the AHS Jr. AREC. Growers from throughout Virginia, as well as nearby states are invited to attend. Please note that the mealtime is earlier than in past years.

2:30pm – 5:15pm: Tour of Research Orchards (Entomology, Horticulture & Pathology) – Meet at the main building

5:30pm – 7:00pm: Catered Supper & Seasonal Updates – Equipment Shed

Registration is required.  To ensure that you are provided with a meal, you must email Mark Sutphin at mark.sutphin@vt.edu or call his office: (540.665.5699) before noon on Monday, July 15th.

Directions: The facility is located at, 595 Laurel Grove Road, Winchester, VA 22602. From I-81: take the Stephens City exit (Exit 307). Go west into Stephens City on Fairfax Street. Proceed straight through Stephens City onto Rt. 631 (Fairfax Street becomes Marlboro Road). Continue west on Marlboro Road for approximately 3.5 miles. When Marlboro Road dead-ends at a “T”, turn right (north) onto Middle Road (Rt. 628). Proceed on Middle Road for 1.5 miles. Turn left (west) onto Laurel Grove Road (Rt. 629). Travel 0.8 miles to the AREC, which will be on your left. Parking is available in front of the building.

Drs. Keith Yoder, Chris Bergh, and Greg Peck will be providing seasonal updates at dinner and will be available for discussions and concerns regarding the growing season.

**Please save the date of Tuesday, August 27, 2013 for a joint Twilight Meeting with WVU Extension at Orr’s Farm Market in Martinsburg, WV.**

Many thanks to all of our faithful sponsors for making this event possible!


Bayer CropScience, L.P.

Bowman Andros Products, LLC

Certis USA, LLC

Crop Production Services

Dow Agro Sciences

DuPont Crop Protection

First Bank & Trust

Frederick County Farm Bureau

Frederick County Fruit Growers

Gowan Company LLC

Helena Chemical Company

Knouse Foods Co-Op., Inc.

MidAtlantic Farm Credit

National Fruit Product Company

Nichino America

Peterson Farms, Inc.

Southern States


Syngenta Crop Protection

Trece, Inc.

Valent USA

Valley Fertilizer & Chemical Company

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Farm Bureau

Winchester Equipment Company


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/

Serving the counties of Frederick, Clarke, Page, Shenandoah, & Warren

Upcoming Meetings

The next in-orchard meeting will be held on Wednesday June 12 at 11AM in Fauquier County at Stribling Orchard with a post meeting visit to Heartland Orchard. For more information, contact Kenner Love: klove@vt.edu or (540) 675-3619.

On June 18 at 11AM, we’ll be meeting at Tommy Fitzgerald’s Orchard in Central Virginia. The address is 621 Dillard Hill Road, Lowesville, VA 22967. The main office phone number is (434) 277-5051.

Google map location: http://goo.gl/maps/1UB47

For more information, contact Michael Lachance: lachance@vt.edu or (434) 263-4035.

At both meetings there will be updates from Dr. Peck (horticulture), Dr. Yoder (plant pathology), and Drs. Bergh and/or Pfeiffer (entomology). Horticultural topics will include predicting harvest maturity, pre-harvest drop control, and sampling leaves for nutrient analyses.

These meetings are open to anyone who has an interest in commercial tree-fruit production. A full listing of the tree-fruit meetings being held in Virginia can be found by clicking on the Upcoming programs & events link on the Tree fruit extension and outreach website.

Additionally, the International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) is still accepting registration for the upcoming Study Tour in and around Adam’s County Pennsylvania. The organizers have put together a fantastic program and growers are highly encouraged to attend.

Commercial Tree-Fruit Production Meetings for May 15 and May 16

On Wednesday (May 15) starting at 11AM, we will have the next Rappahannock County In-Orchard meeting at William’s Orchard.

And, on Thursday morning (May 16) starting at 7AM, we will have a breakfast meeting at the Winchester AREC with plant pathology, entomology, and horticulture updates.

Meeting dates, times, and locations can be found at: http://www.anr.ext.vt.edu/tree-fruit/index.html by clicking on the “Upcoming Programs & Events” link on the righthand side of the screen.