What's HOT in Apple Production and Research

(Updated 6 February 2024)

2024 Revisions to Fruit Pest Management recommendations:

The guides are available free online in PDF, and will also be available for purchase.

2024 Tree Fruit Schools
This year's orchard fruit schools will be held the week of Feb 12-15 Note different arrangement of dates from the past. Details are provided below: Mon, Feb 12, 8:30 AM - The Winchester School, Alson H. Smith AREC, Winchester (contact Mark Sutphin, mark.sutphin@vt.edu). Tues, Feb 13, 8:30 AM - The Rappahannock-Madison school, Graves Mt Lodge, Syria (contact Kenner Love, klove@vt.edu). Wed, Feb 14, 8:30 AM - The Nelson-Albemarle (Central Virginia) school, Lovingston Fire Hall, Lovingston (contact Grace Monger, gimonger@vt.edu). Thur, Feb 15, 8:15 AM - Carroll-Patrick school, Lambsburg Community Center, Lambsburg (contact Ashley Edwards, aledwards@vt.edu).

2023 In-Orchard Meetings
This year's orchard meetings are posted here. Meetings start at 11:00AM, unless noted. March 28: Crown Orchard, 837 Red House Rd, Rustburg. April 4: Woodbine Farms, 452 Barley Lane, Winchester. April 11: F.T. Valley Farm, 513 F.T. Valley Rd, Sperryille. April 25: Silver Creek Orchard, 5529 Crabtree Falls Highway, Tyro. May 2: Alson H Smith Jr AREC, 595 Laural Grove Rd, Winchester. May 9: Jenkins Orchard, 355 Yancey Rd., Woodville. May 23 Dickie Brothers Orchard, 2685 Dickie Rd, Roseland. June 6: Carroll County Orchard Meeting, 9AM. TBA. June 20: Spring Valley Orchard, Hampshire Co WV. 5PM. TBA: USDA ARS 2217 Wilshire Rd, Kearneysville WV. August 15: Cider Production Meeting. 5PM TBA.

Spotted lanternfly a new invasive concern: Update on range expansion

Spotted lanternfly egg first hatch for 2022 was reported on 21 April. First adult emergence for 2022 was noted on 11 July. This new invasive pest of vineyards and other small fruit crops moved into eastern Pennsylvania in 2014, and has been spreading.  During the 2018 season, the infestation zone in Virginia expanded from approximately 1 square mile block in Winchester, Frederick County, to about 18 square miles, and 40 square miles in fall of 2019. By the end of the 2020 season, the zone encompassed 140 square miles. On May 28, 2019, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced the establishment of a quarantine to limit the spread of SLF; this zone was significantly expanded in July 2022. As of 2022, in addition to the original counties of Frederick, Clarke and Warren, SLF is established in Albemarle, Augusta, Carroll, Page, Prince William, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Shenandoah and Wythe Counties, plus the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Staunton and Waynesboroor a map of the current Virginia distribution. This includes the entire Shenandoah Valley, with spread further into the Virginia Piedmont.

Links to the quarantine map and quarantine protocol may be found here. One of the requirements of the protocol is one person at each operation becoming certified to insect produces and conveyances leaving the quaranine zone. The certification program may be found here. This pest poses an important risk for grape, orchard and tree crops.  Click here for a recorded talk on this species.  A fact sheet is available from Virginia Tech (a USDA fact sheet is available in Spanish).  In addition, there is a Virginia Tech Pest Alert, with additional information on recognition and reporting (this is also available in Spanish).  Specific fact sheets for vineyards and residential areas have been posted.  Now that spotted lanternfly has been found in Virginia, it will be important to follow its spread through the state.   For a current Virginia map, click here  To report a suspected find, please follow this linkhttps://ask2.extension.org/widget.html?team_id=1981?default_location=VA?default_county=All.

Checking for public comment periods of proposed pesticide rule changes:

EPA has a challenging task in modifying pesticide regulations to meet the needs of all stakeholders. When a change in rules is proposed, there is a public comment period. This is chance to let regulators know how the proposed changes will affect you. Here is a link of notices of open public commment dockets. It will be helpful to check this regularly to make sure you don't miss an opportunity to provide input to decision-making.