Insects | Diseases | General Information | Credits
Volume 7, No. 5 April 20, 1998
COMING EVENTS 43F 50F Current DD accumulations (Geneva 1/1-4/20): 266 138 (Geneva 1997 1/1-4/20): 141 57 (Geneva "Normal" 1/1-4/20): 145 60 Coming Events: Ranges: Green fruitworm flight peak 64-255 19-108 Tarnished plant bug adults active 71-536 34-299 Rosy apple aphid nymphs present 91-291 45-148 Pear psylla nymphs present 111-402 55-208 Green apple aphid present 127-297 54-156 Pear thrips in pear buds 137-221 54-208 Spotted tentiform leafminer 1st oviposition 141-319 48-154 Obliquebanded leafroller larvae active 149-388 54-201 European red mite egg hatch 157-358 74-208 Redbanded leafroller 1st flight peak 180-455 65-221 Spotted tentiform leafminer flight peak 180-544 65-275 McIntosh at pink 258-356 96-182 Phenologies (Geneva): Apple (McIntosh) - Early Pink (Red Delicious) - Tight Cluster Pear (Bartlett) - Green Cluster Sweet Cherry (Darrow) - Bloom Tart Cherry (Montmorency) - White Bud Peach - Early Bloom Apricot - Petal Fall Plum - White Bud (Highland): Apple (McIntosh) - 25% Bloom Pear (Bartlett) - Full Bloom Plum (Stanley) - Petal Fall Peach - Petal Fall Apricot - Petal Fall TRAP CATCHES (Number/trap/day) Geneva: 4/2 4/6 4/13 4/16 4/20 Green Fruitworm 0.7* 0.6 0 0 0 Spotted Tentiform Leafminer 0.2* 0 10.5 414 96 Redbanded Leafroller 0.2* 0 1.5 8.7 9.6 Oriental fruit moth (apple) - 0 0.1* 0.3 0.9 Oriental fruit moth (peach) - 0 0 0 0 Highland (Dick Straub, Peter Jentsch): 3/27 3/30 4/6 4/13 4/20 Pear Psylla (eggs/leaf) 3.0 9.7 5.5 9.3 9.6 Pear Psylla (nymphs/leaf) - - - 0.5* 0.7 Green Fruitworm 0 3.0* 0.1 1.0 0.4 Spotted Tentiform Leafminer 0 0.1* 0.1 0.1 0.1 * 1st catch
by Jan Nyrop and Dave Kain
The mite predator Typhlodromus pyri can give biological control of European red mite when the predator is conserved in apple orchards. Experiments have shown that, once established in an orchard, this mite can completely eliminate the need for miticides. While T. pyri is endemic throughout much of western New York, it can take as many as three years in specific orchard blocks for predator numbers to increase to the point where biological control is realized. Moving T. pyri from blocks where they are abundant to sites where more predators are desired (seeding) can speed this process.
Phytoseiid mite after feeding on European red mite
Instances will occur when it is necessary to use pesticides that are toxic to T. pyri to control other orchard pests. To combat the resulting disruptions of mite biological control caused by these pesticide applications, it has been suggested that orchardists establish sites to be used as mite "nurseries". These sites would not be treated with pesticides harmful to T. pyri and would be used as sources of predators that could be moved to orchards where predators are scarce; the practice of transferring them could therefore become an important ingredient of any integrated mite control program.
Transferring T. pyri entails removing wood (and foliage when present) from a source orchard to target trees. There are several timing possibilities, but in recent research trials, we found that bloom appears to be the preferable time to conduct this transfer. It has been noted that predators tend to concentrate in flower buds and the flowers themselves during bloom, most likely to feed on pollen. In our trials, predators were transferred from the source orchard to target trees by attaching five 20-inch-long branches collected from the source orchard to each of twelve recipient Red Delicious trees. Branches were chosen so that they each had approximately seven flower clusters. Transferring predators at bloom resulted in higher numbers of phytoseiids compared with transferring predators at tight cluster or at half-inch green.
Moving as few as 40 predators per tree resulted in substantial increases in predator abundance. Orchardists may not be willing to cut branches with flowers to transfer predators. In such cases, terminal branches cut later in the summer could be used; however, more branches will be required. Using winter prunings or branches cut early in the spring to transfer predators is not the most effective way of accomplishing this goal. While T. pyri overwinter throughout the tree, there are apparently many predators that overwinter on large branches or the trunk itself and that move into the canopy as foliage appears. Use of nurseries in which T. pyri are cultivated, and transfer of branches harboring T. pyri from these nurseries to target sites, should allow biological mite control to be more persistent on a farm-wide scale. The second season after seeding T. pyri and using nondisruptive pesticides in our IPM Demo blocks in western N.Y., predator numbers were at levels of more than 1/leaf by the end of August, and true biological control (that is, no oil or acaricides) of ERM is anticipated this year.
Phytoseiid mites feeding on European red mites
Unlike petroleum oils applied early in the growing season, oils applied during the summer can have an adverse effect on phytoseiid numbers. However, this effect is apparently only significant when high volumes of oil suspension are applied. Our opinion is that oil applied using conventional airblast sprayers will have only a minimal negative effect on phytoseiid numbers. As such, summer oil applications can be recommended as a way to help manage European red mite numbers if predator numbers are insufficient for biological control.
by Nick Calderone
Making a decent living in farming demands close attention to costs, and it is only reasonable that a grower will try to find the best price for each of the inputs that go into his or her crop production system. When it comes to honey bees, however, growers usually don't look inside the hives to see what they are buying, and even if they did, most wouldn't know a good hive from a bad hive. Most growers understand the need for quality hives, but don't have the expertise to determine that quality. The result is that the emphasis is usually on unit cost rather than the cost/benefit ratio, and the goal is generally to pay as little as possible. Downward pressure on prices does not always produce the highest quality. Beekeepers, faced with low rental fees, may have little choice but to split colonies so that they have more units to rent. Nobody really comes out a winner.
A lot has changed in the past few years. Most notable is a new system put in place by Cherryfield Foods, Inc., the largest producer of lowbush blueberries in Maine. Cherryfield Foods is a progressive, successful and rapidly growing concern. As new management practices have increased plant and flower density, they have also increased the need for honey bees. One of the reasons for Cherryfield's success is that it has a farm manager who recognized the role honey bees play in determining yield and quality. Cherryfield has adopted a very reasonable policy to ensure a sustainable supply of high quality honey bees for pollination - they pay well! That's right, they aren't shopping the bargain basements, they pay top dollar for the top hives. They take care of the beekeeper, and they take care of the bees. It's all spelled out in a simple contract. The basic points in the contracts are:
That's pretty much all there is. Cherryfield is happy with the results they have gotten, and so are the beekeepers. The contract is based on the carrot and the stick. Beekeepers that provide top quality colonies and make a good living; those that don't, either get up to speed or are weeded out to make room for those who will. Cherryfield ensures a ready supply of the very best colonies because they make it economically possible for the beekeeper to provide them. You can hold the beekeeper to a high standard and, if you pay a reasonable rate, they will be more than happy to do whatever it takes to keep your account. Ask your local county extension educator for sample contracts.
by Dick Straub
The recent furor surrounding EPA's implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act has led us all to believe, in the worst-case analysis, that OP's will eventually be unavailable to combat many of our most important apple pests. Obviously, this would be extremely detrimental to our management programs for two pests in particular - plum curculio (PC) and apple maggot (AM). Because no practical non-OP alternatives are currently available for these two pests, we (Straub, Reissig, Nyrop and Agnello) sought and were awarded grants from USDA's Northeast Pesticide Impact Assessment Program, the NYS Apple Research and Development Program, and the NYS Apple Research Association to investigate alternative management strategies. The research will concern three major objectives:
* Within one objective we will utilize a number of NY locations to investigate the concept of pyrethroid border-row sprays to manage PC during early season. We will also conduct experiments to validate our degree-day PC oviposition model - that in essence indicates when PC have ceased to lay eggs. In laboratory and field trials, we will evaluate currently registered alternative pesticides, as well as novel insecticide classes and baits for managing AM during late season.
* Given the absence of OP's, the use of pyrethroids would increase dramatically. Because of detrimental effects on phytoseiid predators, pyrethroid applications contribute to secondary outbreaks of European red mite (ERM). It is not known, however, to what extent such outbreaks are variously affected by the residues of four miticides that have recently become available to NY growers. Within a second objective we will assess the propensity of esfenvalerate (applied in multiple covers for PC and AM) to flare mites in the presence of prebloom (Apollo or Savey), petal fall (Agri-Mek) and mid-season (Pyramite) miticide residues.
* It is well established that the mite predator Typhlodromus pyri can regulate ERM densities to very low levels and mitigate the need for miticides, provided that only pesticides non-toxic to T. pyri are employed. Recently, this biocontrol agent has been successfully introduced into a number of orchards throughout NY. While these T. pyri are resistant or tolerant to OP's, they are very susceptible to pyrethroids. If widespread pyrethroid use occurs, biological mite control will be impossible without pyrethroid-resistant predators. During 1995, pyrethroid-resistant T. pyri from Nova Scotia were introduced into two Western New York T. pyri populations. Subsequent bioassays have shown that the gene that confers pyrethroid resistance has become established in this NY population. Within a third objective we will further select for this gene and determine the patterns of resistance to commercial pyrethroid applications that this gene confers.
Even though there appears lately to be some modicum of rational thought diffusing into EPA regarding the FQPA, the campaign to either eliminate or greatly curtail OP and carbamate usage will remain. The search for alternatives and alternative management tactics must begin in earnest. The investigators are indebted to ARDP and ARA for their support; and to cooperating apple growers, without whose assistance we could not attempt to satisfy these objectives.
by Wayne Wilcox
Plant Pathology, Geneva
With many stone fruits in bloom and abundant rain last week, growers already should have applied a blossom blight spray. However, it's not too late for a few brief reminders about brown rot control, for both blossoms and fruit.
WEATHER. Brown rot likes it warm and wet. Ideal temperature is about 70 to 75°F. If inoculum is plentiful, significant infection can occur after only a few hours of wetness at these temps, but as temperatures get lower and/or inoculum gets scarcer, progressively longer periods of wetness are required. We certainly had suitable conditions for blossom blight infections in western and central NY last week.
INOCULUM. In relative order of importance, the main sources of blossom blight inoculum are mummies retained in the tree, mummies on the orchard floor, and nearby wild or abandoned stone fruit trees. On peaches, twig cankers that developed from infected fruits last summer also can be very important. If you had more brown rot than usual last summer, expect to have more inoculum than usual this spring.
FRUIT SPECIES SUSCEPTIBILITY. Apricots and sweet cherries seem to be the most susceptible to blossom blight, sour cherries the least. Peaches and plums are somewhere in the middle. Remember also that the very young fruit (before pit hardening) of all species EXCEPT sour cherries are fairly susceptible to infection during wet weather conditions, and the usual influences of temperature and inoculum pressure should be considered. Sometimes these early infections show up immediately, but often they remain latent until the preharvest period when they suddenly seem to appear from nowhere.
Thus, the first few weeks after petal fall CAN be an important time for protecting young fruitlets. However, many labels make no provision for brown rot control between petal fall and preharvest, although some do allow sprays during this period for control of other diseases (peach scab, cherry leaf spot). Read the labels carefully and treat as needed.
FUNGICIDE CONSIDERATIONS. There are three general categories of fungicides for brown rot control:
Bravo has several positive and negative properties that should be considered: (a) less prone to washoff than captan; (b) more expensive; (c) can't be used beyond shuck split; (d) best material available for control of black knot on sour cherries and plums. If weather is wet at petal fall/shuck split and disease pressure is high, a Bravo spray should provide good residual protection against brown rot infection of young fruitlets and black knot where needed.
In my trials over the years, all three of these materials have provided excellent control when sprayed fruit have been challenged with brown rot inoculum shortly after the final application. These differences have often been significant; e.g., when sour cherries were inoculated 9 days after the final spray of 1997, disease incidences were: unsprayed = 72%, Elite = 24%, Orbit = 17%, Indar = 1%.
For resistance management purposes, try to use a non-SI during bloom if you're planning on using SI's preharvest. Using SI's during bloom plus preharvest won't burn them out over a season or two, but it all adds up after awhile.
by Dave Rosenberger
Plant Pathology, Highland
Timing apple fungicide sprays from the pink bud stage through petal fall is often difficult because of all the factors that need to be considered. Virtually all apple orchards in the state are sprayed with an insecticide at petal fall to control plum curculio, and a fungicide is naturally included in this petal fall spray. The difficulty in timing pre-petal fall fungicides involves forcing the spray interval to "come out right" so that trees are fully protected through bloom but are due for another fungicide spray just as petal fall rolls around. The arrival of petal fall is as unpredictable as the weather, so optimizing fungicide sprays during bloom involves a mix of luck and skill.
SI fungicides (Rubigan, Nova, or Procure) provide a bit more flexibility for timing sprays than do traditional contact fungicides because of the eradicant capabilities of the SI's. Drs. Wilcox and Kovach demonstrated that SI fungicides, when used in combinations with a contact fungicide, will control scab effectively in low-inoculum orchards if the fungicides are applied at tight cluster, pink, petal fall and first cover. This strategy is described on pages 79-80 in the 1998 Pest Management Recommendations for Commercial Tree-Fruit Production. Using this 4-spray program, the back-to-back sprays at petal fall and first cover provide eradicant activity against infections that may have occurred during the latter part of the bloom period when fungicide protection may have been exhausted.
The 4-spray SI fungicide program can only be used in orchards that were virtually scab-free the previous year. Even then, the 4-spray program may be a high-risk strategy in years where the period between pink and petal fall stretches beyond 12 days. In the absence of a short-bloom period, what are the options to consider when fungicide coverage runs out midway through bloom?
Option 1: Protect trees for a short (3-5 day) period prior the anticipated petal fall spray by applying mancozeb or captan on an alternate row basis. An alternate row spray will require only half of the material and application time that would be required for a full spray, but it will usually provide adequate protection for a short interval prior to the full cover spray at petal fall. Where this strategy is used, the alternate row spray of contact fungicide should be applied prior to any mid-bloom infection periods that occur after protectant activity of the pink spray has lapsed. Those using SI fungicides on a 10-day interval should recognize that the protectant activity of the SI-contact fungicide combination spray applied at pink will only last 6 or 7 days. Therefore, the contact fungicide spray applied during bloom should be applied ahead of predicted infection periods that might occur on days 7 to 14 after the pink spray was applied.
Option 2: Growers who traditionally use only contact fungicides could opt to ignore infections periods occurring 3 or 4 days before the anticipated petal fall spray. These late-bloom scab infections could then be controlled by using an SI fungicide (in combination with a contact fungicide) at petal fall and first cover. This strategy saves the costs associated with an extra trip through the orchard during bloom, but it is advisable only if one is certain that the petal fall spray can be applied within the 96 hr window for eradicant activity with the SI fungicides.
Option 3: Growers using SI fungicides may opt to apply a full SI-plus-contact combination spray at mid-bloom if the anticipated petal fall spray is still 7-10 days away. In years with a very extended bloom period, this strategy may be preferable to using alternate row sprays of contact fungicides alone. With this approach, the fourth SI spray of the year would be applied at petal fall. For those seeking mildew control on mildew-sensitive cultivars, a fifth SI spray will probably be needed at first cover. Where mildew is not a concern, the SI fungicide program could be discontinued with the petal fall spray, and contact fungicides could be used for disease control beginning at first cover.
The most important consideration in timing fungicides during bloom is ensuring that trees are adequately protected during this period of peak susceptibility. Ascospores are usually still abundant at pink and early bloom stages, and any primary infections that became established early in the season will begin producing conidia during bloom. Fruit and foliage are extremely susceptible. "Stretching" spray timing just a few days so one can reach petal fall can be a costly mistake if trees are left unprotected during critical bloom-time infection periods.
Moving right along, we offer the following errata:
Scaffolds is published weekly from March to September by Cornell University - NYS Agricultural Experiment Station (Geneva), and Ithaca - with the assistance of Cornell Cooperative Extension. New York field reports welcomed. Send submissions by 3 p.m. Monday to:
Scaffolds Fruit Journal
Editors: A. Agnello, D. Kain
Department of Entomology, NYSAES
Geneva, NY 14456-0462
Return to the Scaffolds 1998 Directory
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Photographs courtesy of New York State Integrated Pest Management Program