What's HOT in Peach Production and Research

(Updated 4 April 2018)

2018 Orchard Meetings

Nelson-Albemarle:  Meeting will begin a 11:00 am.  Please come to discuss fruit production issues and concerns with other fruit growers and Extension fruit specialists.  Please being a bag lunch; cold drinks will be provided by the host orchard. April 3: Crown Orchard. We will be meeting at the Johnson Purvis orchard block which is located just south of the village of Covesville.  DIRECTIONS:  From Charlottesville: Travel on Route 29 south for 15 miles (about 20 minutes). Approximately one mile south of Covesville turn left on Route 632 (Faber Road). From Lynchburg: Travel on Route 29 north. Approximately 1 mile north of the Nelson County line, at the top of the hill, turn right on Route 632 (Faber Road.)  April 17: Fitzgerald Orchard, Lowesville. From Lynchburg and Points South:  From Hwy-29 northbound, head northwest on VA-11 for 6.0 miles, then turn left onto Warrick Barn Rd for 1.6miles.  Turn right onto State Rt. 78,  Fro Rt. 778 in Lowesville, turn right onto Rt. 666, travel 2.5 miles. Stay straight ahead onto Dillard's Hill Rd.  Orchard will be on the right.   From Charlottesville and Points North: Take US-29 South to VA-56 W.  Turn right onto VA-56 for 10.5 miles. Take a sharp left onto VA-151 S for 1/2 mile, then turn fight onto State Rt. 778.  From Rt. 778 in Lowesville turn right onto Rt. 666, travel  2.5 miles. Stay straight ahead onto Dillard's Hill Rd.  Orchard will be on the right.  May 1: TBA.  May 15: TBA.  May 29: TBA.

Spotted lanternfly a new invasive concernA new invasive pest of small fruit crops and vineyards moved into eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, and has been spreading.  In 2017, the range increased from 6 to 13 Pennsylvania counties, and also into Delaware, New York and northern Virginia.  Specimens of dead adults and egg masses were found in January 2018 (actually 2017 individuals).  This pest poses an important risk for grape, orchard and tree crops.  Click here for an Adobe Presenter talk on this species.  A fact sheet is available from Virginia Tech (a USDA fact sheet is available in Spanish).  Now that spotted lanternfly has been found in Virginia, it will be important to follow its spread through the state.  To report a suspected find, please follow this link: https://ask.extension.org/groups/1981/ask.

Fruit Insect Blog for current information of fruit insects! 
Visit https://virginiafruitinsectupdates.blogspot.com/.


2018 Revisions to Tree Fruit Spray Guide:
Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland 2018 Spray Bulletin for Commercial Tree Fruit Growers (Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland Coop. Ext. Pub. 456-419) (The Complete PDF version is available on-line at no charge.  To obtain a hard copy of the 2018 guide ($17.00 including tax.  Shipping will be charged) contact (address being updated) https://apps.cals.vt.edu/flex/SprayBulletinVegGuideOrdering/SprayBulletinVegGuideOrdering.html) Tables on apple pest efficacy and toxicity to orchard predators are also updated in the recommendations for 2018.

2017 Revisions to Home Fruit Spray Guide:

The revised Pest Management Guide for Home Apples is now available.  (The Pest Management Guide is available on-line for free. Hard copies are also available for $14.00 plus shipping).  Order from https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/pmgstore.html. Recommendations for home apple trees are also available in the web page

Section 18 Approved for bifenthrin against BMSB in 2017

On April 21, EPA approved bifenthrin (Bridgade WSB, Bifenture EC, Bifenture 10DF) for use against brown marmorated stink bug in apple, peach and nectarine.  Pears are already included in the full Section 3 label. Click here for more details.

Brown marmorated stink bug and Virginia fruit:  See StopBMSB.org web site A new addition to the stink bug complex is brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål).  Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has recently been introduced from Asia into the northeastern U.S.  It was first detected in 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania (see NAPIS map; this map underrepresents the situation in Virginia).  It was later found in New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, and in October 2004 it was found in Montgomery County, Virginia, and in Tennessee in 2008.  Injury in tree fruits can be severe, exceeding 25% (individual blocks have been estimated to have much higher levels of fruit injury).  Externally, fruit may have multiple reddish dents at feeding sites, resembling hail strikes.  Upon cutting into fruit, corky areas are seen in the flesh of the fruit.  In vineyards, a unique problem is posed.  Stink bugs may be harvested along with clusters and be transported to the winery in lugs or bins, where the wine can be imparted with a "stink bug taint".  Research is underway to test short-residual insecticides to knock down BMSB from clusters at harvest.  For further information and images, see the Brown marmorated stink bug page.  A working group on organic management of BMSB has been established, with their own web site.  There is opportunity to participate in grower forums.

New!  The College of Agriculture and Life Science at Virginia Tech has established a new on-line Master's in Agriculture and Life Sciences.   This curriculum has been approved by the State Council of Higher Education and is now accepting applications for Fall semester 2007.  In this program, you can earn a master's degree in agriculture while working in your current job - emphasis is on education for place-bound learners, and all courses are taken on-line.  In addition to a core area, there are courses offered in five areas of concentration: (1) Biosecurity, Bioregulations and Public Health, (2) Education, (3) Environmental Science, (4) Food Safety, and (5) Plant Science and Pest Management.  In addition to course work, the student completes a project decided upon in consultation with your major advisor.  Lists of courses within each concentration may be found in the web site linked above.  This program was recently the subject of an interview by Jeff Ishee with Virginia Public Television's Virginia Farming.  For more information, contact Doug Pfeiffer (dgpfeiff at vt.edu) or Sharon Proffitt (sproffit at vt.edu) (see 2008-2009 Extended Campus tuition rates).

Mating disruption and Organic certification:
The National Organic Standards Board has recently amended organic guidelines so that many pheromone dispensers for mating disruption will now be allowed in organically certified orchards.  Most hand-placed dispensers are now considered to emit negligible amounts of inerts, and will be allowed.  Sprayables and puffers will not be allowed.  More information will be posted when available.


Mating disruption tools:

For several years, researchers at Virginia Tech have been involved in developing mating disruption as a control tactic for codling moth and the leafroller complex, including tufted apple bud moth, variegated leafroller, and redbanded leafrollers. Control of codling moth has been very good, even in processing blocks (where CM control is more critical). Several commercial sources of codling moth mating disruption are now available. Several sources of products for oriental fruit moth are also available, including a sprayable product. Mating disruption for leafrollers is available as a sprayable formulation, but check the label carefully. At present it is only available for leafrollers using (Z)-11-14:Ac as the primary component. Such species include obliquebanded lefroller and redbanded leafroller. The main species in the mid-Atlantic region, tufted apple bud moth and variegated leafroller will not be affected. Mating disruption is now registered for borers in peach as well.

Plum Pox: A New Disease of Stone Fruits for Mid-Atlantic Region:

A multi-disciplinary task force was established at the recent Cumberland-Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference, to facilitate educational efforts in response to the recent detection of plum pox virus in Pennsylvania. This disease was recently announced that plum pox has been confirmed in Pennsylvania. I have received further information from USDA-APHIS-PPQ in Richmond on October 27. The following update contains information from these sources, as well information presented in the West Virginia and Virtual Orchard web sites.

The presence of the disease was confirmed on October 13, in a block of Encore peaches in Adams County. A survey was carried out in orchards within one mile of the infected block; 10 blocks with plum pox were found, belonging to three different growers, including cases in peach, nectarine and plum. The search was expanded on October 21-22 to an additional one-mile radius. No symptoms were detected, though leaf analyses are pending. A map of the quarantined area is available on the web. This is the first case of plum pox in North America, although it was introduced into Chile in 1995, and caused concern for North American specialists at that time.

To date in 2000, the disease has also been found in Cumberland County PA, and in Canada. As of November 2000, the disease had not been found in Michigan. More information regarding this important development can be found in the plum pox page in the Virginia Fruit Web Page.


Other Sites
  • West Virginia Orchard Newsletter
  • Fruit Times newsletter from Penn State

  • Archived Orchard Fruit Schools

    2018 Tree Fruit Schools
    The Patrick-Carroll school will be held on Monday, Feb 1
    2.  The Botetourt-Roanoke school will be held on the morning of Wednesday, Feb 13, starting at 8:00 AM. A recently added fruit school, the Southside school in the lineup again this year, and will be held on the morning of Feb 14.  The Nelson-Albemarle (Central Virginia) school  will be held in the late afternoon-evening of that Wednesday, Feb 14, starting at 3:00 PM.  The Madison-Rappahannock school will beheld on Thursday, Feb 15, and the Winchester school will be held on Friday, Feb 16.  Additional details on the agendas will be posted when available.
    2017 Tree Fruit Schools
    The Patrick-Carroll school will be held on Monday, Feb 13.  The Botetourt-Roanoke school will be held on the morning of Wednesday, Feb 14, starting at 8:00 AM. A recently added fruit school, the Southside school in the lineup again this year, and will be held on the morning of Feb 15.  The Nelson-Albemarle (Central Virginia) school (see Registration) will be held in the late afternoon-evening of that Wednesday, Feb 15, starting at 3:00 PM.  The Madison-Rappahannock school will beheld on Thursday, Feb 16, and the Winchester school will be held on Friday, Feb 17.  Additional details on the agendas will be posted when available.  Click here for Proof of 2017 Spray Bulletin for Commercial Orchards.
    2016 Tree Fruit Schools

    The Patrick-Carroll school will be held on Monday, Feb 8.  The Botetourt-Roanoke school will be held on the morning of Wednesday, Feb 9, starting at 8:00 AM. A new fruit school, the Southside school (brochure and agenda) in the lineup this year, and will be held this year, morning of Feb 10.  The Nelson-Albemarle (Central Virginia) school will be held in the late afternoon-evening of that Wednesday, Feb 10, starting at 3:00 PM.  The Madison-Rappahannock school will beheld on Thursday, Feb 11, and the Winchester school will be held on Friday, Feb 12.  Additional details on the agendas will be posted when available.

    The agendas of the 2015 fruit schools are linked here:  The Patrick-Carroll school (Mt. Airy) was held on Tuesday, Feb 10.  The Botetourt-Roanoke school was held on the morning of Wednesday, Feb 11, starting at 8:00 AM.  The Nelson-Albemarle (Central Virginia) school was held in the late afternoon-evening of that Wednesday, starting at 4:00 PM.  The Madison-Rappahannock school was held on Thursday, Feb 12, and the Winchester school was held on Friday, Feb 13..


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