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April 2015


               How early are we?  Over the last ten years at my orchard in Cedaredge full bloom on peaches has been on the average 114 days from Jan 1st.  The earliest bloom came in 2012 on April 13th at a 103 days.  The latest bloom occurred 2011 on May 8th at 128 days.  This year occurred on April 2nd at day 92!  That works out to be 22 days earlier than the ten year average!!!


New (or nearly so) products:


SANIDATE 5.0  If your GAP program requires the use of a sanitizer Cropworx is now stocking one. SaniDate 5.0 is broadly labeled for hard surface sanitization and disinfection, as well as fruit and vegetable wash treatments to eliminate human health and plant spoilage pathogens on contact.  SaniDate 5.0 is also NOP compliant and OMRI listed for organic production.


GRANDEVO is an OMRI listed insecticide developed by Marrone Bio-Science.  It looks to be a great new tool in the “organic” box.  GRANDEVO is naturally derived from a newly discovered bacterium, commonly known as Achromacil™, which produces a number of compounds that contribute to the creation of complex modes of action, resulting in a potent biopesticide that is highly active against labeled insects and mites such as aphids, thrips, mites and psylla. Control of pests is achieved by unique combinations of repellency, oral toxicity, reduced egg hatch, and reduced fecundity (ability of pest to reproduce). Grandevo has also been shown to maintain populations of most beneficials and introduced biological controls.


REGALIA® advanced biofungicides activate a plant’s natural defenses to protect against a variety of fungal and bacterial diseases.  This OMRI listed fungicide is label for use on a wide variety of crops such as Peaches, Apples, Grapes, Hops and Vegetables. It can be used as stand-alone product or in combination with other fungicides to strengthen integrated pest management programs (IPM) and to help manage resistance in a wide range of organic and conventional crops, as well as in turf and ornamentals.


SEDUCE is an insecticide bait that has Spinosad as the active ingredient.  This certified organic insecticide has a carbohydrate base that acts as a bait to attract pests to feed on the material.  The current label lists use on Earwig, Ants and Cutworms.   Applications made earlier in the season at lower rates seem to give as good or better control as later applications at twice the amount.  The addition of ants to the label is great news to those fighting grape mealy bug since ants tend mealybug colonies for their own benefit.  In so doing ants protect mealybug colonies from natural predation.  Seduce bait placed in vineyard locations with mealy bug problems will greatly assist with natural predation.  


SUPPRESS Herbicide EC is a broad spectrum contact herbicide for post-emergent, non-selective weed control for use in and around all agricultural food and non-food crops. The active ingredients of Suppress are naturally-occurring fatty acids which disrupt the plant’s waxy cuticle and cell walls, causing weeds to dehydrate and die.  The proprietary formulation is a non-volatile, emulsifiable concentrate that provides rapid, effective control for various weeds.


CUEVA fungicide concentrate is a patented, fixed copper fungicide made by combining a soluble copper fertilizer with a fatty acid to form a true soap. This copper soap fungicide protects plants from infection from a wide range of diseases, including Fireblight, Coryneum blight and powdery mildews.  This organic approved product has shown to be safe for use during the season.


Don't let powdery mildew catch you flat footed.   Control is best obtained early in the season, not once you notice it!  Cherries are best treated by starting at petal fall & shuck fall; peaches from bloom to pit hardening and apples before bloom.  There's a wide selection of materials with various modes of action available.  Don't fall into a rut and build resistance in you orchard.  Rotate classes of materials and start early!  It’s important to have a thorough understanding of the types and capabilities of the fungicides you use to manage plant diseases. Using the correct fungicide at the right time in the proper amount can often mean the difference between a clean, high quality crop or a significant loss in yield or quality.


“Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of s***t  by the clean end!”  


- Unknown



If you grow cherries, there’s a new publication that’s a must read!  A new cherry training system manual is now available on line from Lynn Long with Oregon State University.



Codling moth flight (biofix) generally begins in apples during bloom or shortly after, so traps should be in place by bloom.  If mating disruption is used for codling moth management, dispensers should also be in place before bloom.   Biofix in Palisade occurred four days earlier than the earliest date in the last 15 years. 




--Did you know that Cropworx is the largest supplier of seed on the West Slope?  We carry a wide array of orchard cover crops, grass pasture mixes, alfalfas, small grains and corn seed.  Whatever your seed needs, we can fill your planter!  For over twenty years Bob Starr has been watching the performance and success of different varieties of seed planted in our area.  If you have a question on what to plant, or when to plant it, or how to plant it…..give Bob a call!--




“If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”   -  Mark Twain



I don’t know of a subject that draws more debate or varied opinions than that of calcium sprays.  “It’s a must in my program!” “That calcium you sold me didn’t do a thing!”  So what do the experts say?  I read back through my collection of literature on calcium.

It functions in plant cell elongation and division, structure and permeability of cell membranes, nitrogen metabolism, and carbohydrate translocation.  Considered a secondary or micro-nutrient even though the concentration of calcium in the plant is as great as nitrogen or potassium.  Since calcium is part of the cell wall and acts as the cement that binds the cell walls together it is one of the most significant factors of firmness and storage life of fruit.


Water, containing elements and organic compounds, moves through the xylem up the tree. Stomates, which are small openings on the undersides of leaves, allow gases to move in and out of the leaf. Water evaporates from the stomatal openings in the process of transpiration, causing sap to be pulled through the xylem and into the leaf. This transpiration pull is responsible for the movement of water, containing nutrients, into the leaf and fruit.


Calcium moves very slowly in the tree and it may take more than a year for calcium to move from the roots to the leaves. Leaves transpire far more water than do fruit (stomates vs lenticels). Anything that reduces transpiration, such as high humidity, very low light levels, or drought stress, slows the movement of calcium up the tree. Because most transpiration occurs in the leaves, calcium moves preferentially into shoots and leaves, rather than into the fruit.


The cell division period is critical for Ca levels in the fruit.  Early in the season prior to rapid shoot extension the fruitlet can accumulate Ca on an equal basis with other demands in the tree.  Once the tree gets cranked up the Ca gets sucked right by the fruit.  As fruit enlarges there’s no additional internal Ca supply!  The concentration of Ca in the fruit declines for the remainder of the season.



There are several reasons that calcium deficiency symptoms show up in fruit: 


·   Quite often excess nitrogen is the cause.  In an attempt to boost yields the first solution always seems to be ….. more N! A big               shot of N causes the plant to grow faster than calcium can be moved within the plant. Nitrogen is translocated through the plant               approximately 20 times faster than calcium.  The increase in growth magnifies the problem. 

·   As a rule, the larger the fruit the less the Ca concentration.

·   Excessive soil applications of K or Mg compete with Ca uptake, reducing it.

·   Lack of adequate soil moisture, especially during the 1st half of the season when growing roots take up Ca.


            So what’s the solution?  Pay attention to your overall program.  Don’t get too aggressive with vigor, don’t let the orchard suffer for water and keep your nutritional program within bounds.  If you do decide to supplement with Ca, keep in mind the early window during bloom and immediately post bloom before rapid shoot extension starts.  Later in the season, applications of Ca must contact the fruit to be effective.  Give me a call to discuss the different formulations of calcium available.



          "Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves."


Thomas Jefferson: letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787




Questions?  Please give us a call, email or shoot us a text!

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