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An Organic Apple Production System for New York 2002

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Project Leader(s):

Terence Robinson, Dept. of Hort. Sci., NYSAES, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456

Art Agnello, Dept. of Entomology, NYSAES, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456

Ian Merwin, Dept. of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850

Harvey Reissig, Dept. of Entomology, NYSAES, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456

Jim Schupp, Dept. of Hort. Sci., NYSAES, Cornell University, Highland, NY 14456

Cooperator(s):

Deborah I. Breth, Cornell Coop. Ext., Lake Ontario Fruit Team, Albion, NY 14411

Mike Fargione, Ulster County Coop. Extension, Highland, NY 12528

Stephen A. Hoying, Cornell Coop. Ext.-Lake Ontario Fruit Team, Newark, NY 14568

Kevin Bittner, Dept. of Horticulture, Ithaca, NY 14850 (Undergraduate Student Assistant)

James Bittner, Fruit Grower, Singer Farms Olcott, NY (Grower Cooperators)

Steve Clark, Fruit Grower, Milton, NY (Grower Cooperators)

Type of grant: Pheremones, biorationals; microbials; organic pesticides

Project location(s): Throughout the Northeast

Abstract:

Several NY apple growers have indicated they see a marketing opportunity for NY grown organic apples (both fresh and processed products) and have requested a Cornell University led effort to develop a system of organic apple production for NY. In 2002 we studied apple maggot management, fruit thinning, and weed control tactics that are organically approved. We have evaluated an organic approved insecticides (Surround) for apple maggot control using 2 application methods. We also evaluated an experimental antagonist for apple maggot control. Surround showed gave very good control of apple maggot regardless of application method. With organic approved thinning agents we had excellent success. The Fish Oil/Lime Sulfur combination gave excellent thinning efficacy and a wide window of application (full bloom to post petal fall). NC-99 also gave significant thinning but gave more phytotoxicity. Both products also resulted in a small improvement in fruit size. We successfully modified and improved a weed flaming unit that gave promising results in 2001 and 2002 for cost effective weed control in organic apple orchards. The use of a shroud allowed faster travel times and more effective weed suppression. This method should allow organic apple growers to limit weed competition and improve tree growth, yield and fruit size.

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