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2017 insect pest dynamics & NO SPRAY fruit (well, not quite)

Posted by Josh Karp 
2017 insect pest dynamics & NO SPRAY fruit (well, not quite)
June 06, 2017 01:18AM
I usually spray Entrust once ('In Dow we Entrust') at petal fall for EAS and early PC, along with surround coverage thru June for PC and to make life generally unpleasant for EAS and CM larvae.

I suggested in another post that EAS be employed to help with thinning this year. For those of you that think that was a terrible idea, I'll serve up another slice: thinking about taking a year off from Entrust and Surround.

Here are some factors:
1. Based on trap catches there's very low EAS pressure this year.
2. Historically I have very low PC pressure.
3. Due to a very light wild tree crop last year, thinking PC & CM migrant populations are going to be small this year
4. Cold, unpleasant rainy weather might knock back PC & CM populations a bit (...or will it just delay emergence/activity?)

There are tons and tons of fruit out there...let the poor, cold, soggy EAS & PC have some of the apples, I say. I'll be hand thinning early so will have the opportunity to thin out some infested fruitlets, minimizing trouble next year. Ones that we miss (which drop & pupate) can be hammered by next year's Entrust spray if necessary.

However, don't want to mess with 2nd generation CM problems. Was planning to try Cyd-X but it happens that I have a bunch of DiPel on site...I know, I know - it's not very effective but since I have it (and it will be worthless next year), I can spray that for 1st gen CM for a bit in June, hopefully minimizing 2nd gen. CM populations.

Crossing my fingers that AMF pressure will be light this year due to
1. diligent p/u of drops last year IN the orchard, and
2. very light wild apple crop OUTSIDE of the orchard (fewer migrants)

Instead of spraying hundreds of lbs. of clay for (what feels like) hundreds of hours, I can focus on nutritional sprays to the tree and ground, thorough borer checks, & use the money saved to really get thinning done properly...'cause otherwise there'll be no fruit to speak of next season!

Any thoughts & comments appreciated.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2017 01:24AM by Josh Karp.
Re: 2017 insect pest dynamics & NO SPRAY fruit (well, not quite)
June 06, 2017 04:47PM
Last year I sprayed Surround but once, this on the pears, plums, and pie cherries to establish a base coat at the time of stone/pear fruit set. This is my usual strategy, to start by protecting early favorites of both plum curculio and apple curculio. (Here, AC especially go for the pears as the feeding frenzy begins.) Subsequently, I spray Surround with spinosad (Entrust) on all fruiting trees the next week when apple fruitlets start to have enough size to be of interest. I didn't do this in 2016 as I saw very little sign of either curculio and hardly a whisper from sawfly larvae whose winding scars on pea-size fruit prove to be quite obvious if you look carefully.

I assumed at the time that the full strategy had indeed worked very well in the 2015 season, especially as regards sawfly. I have learned over time that trap counts of EAS during the bloom period do not necessarily reflect the pressure when push comes to shove and scarring on fruitlets becomes apparent. And thus my classified ad response to Josh earlier about EAS as a thinning ally. This year I also am not yet seeing sign of any EAS larvae at work when I survey the orchard daily on thinning checks.

Yesterday I got the first coat of Surround on the usual suspects (pears, plums, cherries) where I have seen sign of some curculio activity. This pest grouping has definitely been delayed by the cool wet weather in this part of the hemisphere. I will continue looking for signs of curcs and EAS in apples this week to determine if indeed I will skip the spinosad once again in 2017.

Spring4 went on on Sunday evening so I'm up-to-date with the holistic spray schedule. I will be making Comp1 early next week . . . after which the full monty decision to do with fruitlet pests will be made based on what I see for actual damage. First generation codling moth (and its cousin LAW) are not really a concern given many years of neem protection here.

The curious thing is my half quart of Entrust is now three-years old. Two hundred dollars' worth! This Dow-Agro product will have no activity whatsoever in 2018. I'll definitely be using it for AMF later in the summer (if I don't use it up next week) as I'm interpreting AMF potential in 2017 far differently than Josh.

This discussion is about how orchardists think based on observations and site experience, as no growing season is ever the same. If you want this forum to be meaningful and broad-reaching, then chime in!

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
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