We are less than 55 days away from the official start of spring, and apple producers are already making plans for the upcoming season.
Kenny Seebold, product development manager for Valent USA, says the key to managing diseases such as powdery mildew and scab for the entire season is to make plans early.
“What you do early in the growing season dictates what’s going to happen all the way through harvest,” he said. “It’s really important to be thinking about what steps you’re going to put in place.”
The pathogen that causes scab overwinters in leaf litter and dead fruit in the orchard. Cool, mild temperatures from this winter could help push the development of scab this spring.
“All it takes is a certain number of days of temperatures of a certain level and moisture, and you’ll start to release spores as the apple begins to bud out and grow,” said Seebold. “Those spores will get released and come into contact with tissue and start a disease cycle.”
Some growers might start scab management based on the calendar, but Seebold said growers should base their plans off the temperature.
“Keep an eye on where your trees are in terms of their phenological development and the weather,” he said.
To combat scab, Valent has launched a new product this year called Excalia.
“It’s powered by new active ingredients called INDIFLIN,” said Seebold. “It gives excellent control of scab and powdery mildew and rust in areas where cedar apple rust is a problem.”