Take Advantage of Technology to Help Manage Diseases, Pest Pressure

Online Decision Support Systems (DSS) provide guidance in managing disease and insect pests using weather-based forecasting models. These systems predict pest development and risk of infection/damage. Weather data can be acquired from either on-site weather stations or by virtual gridded data. This season, apple growers in our region – the Northeast – have a choice of four systems, which are briefly outlined below.

SkyBit E-Weather (skybit.com) is a commercial service that provides weather data and model output via daily e-mails.

  • Weather data – virtual, gridded, customer provides location details
  • User interface – daily e-mail
  • Models – apple scab, fire blight, sooty blotch/flyspeck, codling moth, oblique-banded leafroller, apple maggot fly, and more; also daily weather history and forecast and spraying conditions (wind, drying)
  • Cost – $50 per site, plus $10 each for disease and/or insect models per month; can be turned on or off at will, but recommended period is April-September

Ag-Radar (agradar.info) is run by Glen Koehler at the University of Maine and uses SkyBit subscription data to run many, many disease/insect and horticulture models and tools.

  • Weather data: virtual, provided by SkyBit subscription
  • User interface: website
  • Models: apple scab, fire blight, sooty blotch/flyspeck, codling moth, oblique-banded leafroller, apple maggot fly, plum curculio, and many more; also horticultural tools such as bud stage prediction, fruit thinning conditions, and harvest date predictions; spray residue depletion
  • Cost: Free, however, one must provide daily hourly weather observations to AgRadar via SkyBit subscription (see above for cost).

Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) (newa.cornell.edu) provides weather data and model outputs by a network of weather stations of which there are currently 46 in Massachusetts.

  • Weather data: on-site weather stations, mostly in orchards but also at airports
  • User interface: website
  • Models: apple scab, fire blight, sooty blotch/flyspeck, codling moth, oblique-banded leafroller, apple maggot fly, plum curculio, and several more; also horticultural tools including Apple Carbohydrate Thinning and Apple Irrigation
  • Cost: Free, cost of supporting the Massachusetts NEWA state network provided by University of Massachusetts Extension (NEWA annual fee $1,750), plus in-kind support (ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting) by growers who have stations and University of Massachusetts Extension network.

RIMpro (www.rimpro.eu) is a European-based cloud service that produces mostly graphical model outputs in greater detail than the other DSS’s mentioned above.

  • Weather data: either on-site NEWA weather stations or virtual data provided by meteoblue
  • User interface: website
  • Models: apple scab, fire blight, codling moth, European apple sawfly, weather data; spray residue depletion
  • Cost: 200 Euros per site payable by PayPal for an individual account, plus $50 for NEWA data or 50 Euros for meteoblue

Note that all these DSS’s require user input in terms of setting biofixes (when things happen in your orchard), including bud stage (phenology), and in some cases pheromone trap captures. Also, there is typically some initial setup involved, however, anyone can visit NEWA or Ag-Radar to view model outputs and pest management tools.

We encourage you, however, to get your own site set up on one of these DSSs as it will be more accurate than a site that is “close to you.” You will find these important tools for Integrated Crop Management should help you produce a better apple crop this growing season.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Apples & Pears Stories
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2017
U.S. Apple Association Hosts Annual Apple Outlook Conference in Chicago
American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazine’s 2017 Apple Grower of the Year will be officially presented on Thursday, Aug. 24, during the first day of the conference. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 20, 2017
APHIS Seeks Comments on Risk Removal for Dormant Apple Cuttings
Dormant live cuttings from countries in the European Union must currently go through pest risk assessment. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 15, 2017
Wet Weather Breeds Phytophthora in Young Apple Plantings
Crown rot, root rot flourishing in very wet growing season. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 9, 2017
2017 Washington Apple Crop Down Slightly
Forecasted harvest predicted to be 131 million boxes, down 1.2% from 2016. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 5, 2017
Penn State University Develops Bitter Pit Prediction Model
Research team unlocks relationship between bitter pit, minerals, and shoot lengths. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 1, 2017
New York Growers’ Input Needed on Apple Tree Decline
Project has begun to identify rapid collapse and chronic decline being found in young Eastern apple orchards. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 25, 2017
Tips to Transition to an Apple Fruiting Wall System
Follow these suggestions to make the move from a 3-D spindle-shaped canopy to a 2-D system using mechanical pruning. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 30, 2017
Tackling the Challenges of Organic Apple Production Head-on
Researchers at Michigan State University test organic controls for fire blight. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 29, 2017
Integrating Control Methods to Tackle Fire Blight
Fire blight is a damaging disease, no matter the location. Most production areas of the Pacific Northwest and California experience Read More
Apples & Pears
June 28, 2017
Apple Tree Insurance Program Being Developed
U.S. Apple Association working with AgriLogic Consulting, LLC and USDA Risk Management Agency to offer new risk management option which takes into effect weather damage and fire blight loses. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 26, 2017
Cosmic Changes Coming in Apple Production [Opinion]
‘Cosmic Crisp’ is an apt moniker for Washington’s new apple, because the changes coming to the industry are immense Read More
Apples & Pears
June 23, 2017
Take Advantage of Technology to Help Manage Diseases, Pest Pressure
Expert farm advisers provide several options for apple orchard management decisions. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 19, 2017
Bee-ware: New Resources Released for National Pollinator Week
New videos, webinars available during week-long observance. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 13, 2017
Two Bookkeepers and Family Charged With Stealing $1M from Zirkle Fruit
Payroll-scheme printed checks for phantom employees on payroll, but not working for the operation. Read More
The Latest
Apples & Pears
September 16, 2017
Researcher Finds Bacteria Can Stop Blue …
The natural bacterium found in soil can survive in cold storage; this promising biocontrol offers an alternative to chemical treatments. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 5, 2017
Pears Finding Home in Fermentation
Perry, a fermented beverage similar to hard apple cider, is gaining popularity in the U.S., and growers are learning about the production process from square one. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 26, 2017
‘EverCrisp’ Apple gets PLU Approval
Midwest Apple Improvement Association prepares for large harvest and larger distribution reach for first variety released. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2017
U.S. Apple Association Hosts Annual Appl…
American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazine’s 2017 Apple Grower of the Year will be officially presented on Thursday, Aug. 24, during the first day of the conference. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 20, 2017
APHIS Seeks Comments on Risk Removal for…
Dormant live cuttings from countries in the European Union must currently go through pest risk assessment. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 15, 2017
Wet Weather Breeds Phytophthora in Young…
Crown rot, root rot flourishing in very wet growing season. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 9, 2017
2017 Washington Apple Crop Down Slightly
Forecasted harvest predicted to be 131 million boxes, down 1.2% from 2016. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 5, 2017
Penn State University Develops Bitter Pi…
Research team unlocks relationship between bitter pit, minerals, and shoot lengths. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 1, 2017
New York Growers’ Input Needed on Apple …
Project has begun to identify rapid collapse and chronic decline being found in young Eastern apple orchards. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 25, 2017
Tips to Transition to an Apple Fruiting …
Follow these suggestions to make the move from a 3-D spindle-shaped canopy to a 2-D system using mechanical pruning. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 6, 2017
International Fruit Tree Association See…
Deadline for proposals is July 31. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 30, 2017
Tackling the Challenges of Organic Apple…
Researchers at Michigan State University test organic controls for fire blight. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 29, 2017
Integrating Control Methods to Tackle Fi…
Fire blight is a damaging disease, no matter the location. Most production areas of the Pacific Northwest and California experience Read More
Apples & Pears
June 28, 2017
Apple Tree Insurance Program Being Devel…
U.S. Apple Association working with AgriLogic Consulting, LLC and USDA Risk Management Agency to offer new risk management option which takes into effect weather damage and fire blight loses. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 26, 2017
Cosmic Changes Coming in Apple Productio…
‘Cosmic Crisp’ is an apt moniker for Washington’s new apple, because the changes coming to the industry are immense Read More
Apples & Pears
June 23, 2017
Take Advantage of Technology to Help Man…
Expert farm advisers provide several options for apple orchard management decisions. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 19, 2017
Bee-ware: New Resources Released for Nat…
New videos, webinars available during week-long observance. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 13, 2017
Two Bookkeepers and Family Charged With …
Payroll-scheme printed checks for phantom employees on payroll, but not working for the operation. Read More