Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Enrollment

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Recommendations for Harvest Management Plant Growth Regulators in Eastern NY

Dan Donahue, Tree Fruit Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

August 10, 2018

Plant Growth Regulator Review for 2018

 In 2018 there are 3 materials which are registered for control of pre-harvest drop in apples:  NAA, ReTain and Harvista:

  • NAA provides modest drop control because it inhibits abscission, however fruit softening and reduced storage life are likely if warm weather follows application or if harvest is delayed until ripening has been substantially advanced.
  • ReTain is a plant growth regulator which inhibits ethylene production in the fruit and reduces pre-harvest drop. It also reduces fruit cracking and fruit greasiness, but it delays the development of fruit red color about 1 week.  Application rates and timings vary by variety.  Applied at varying timings (2-4 weeks pre-harvest) and rates (1/3 to 1 pouch/A) ReTain provides different levels of control of pre-harvest drop and fruit maturity.  Its performance is improved when combined with NAA since the two products work synergistically to reduce fruit drop while the ReTain suppresses the increased production of ethylene triggered by the NAA. 
  • Harvista is a newer class of drop control chemical for foliar application, which inhibits the action of ethylene in the fruit and reduces fruit drop.  The AgroFresh Company provides very specific, on-site recommendations for the timing of Harvista recommendations to its customers.

Recent Harvest Management PGR Strategies, Still Under Testing

  • Delaying Honeycrisp Harvest:  Single pouch/acre rate of ReTain, 24 days pre-first pick will significantly delay Honeycrisp harvest.
    • Potential to delay harvest 2.5 to 4 weeks. 
    • If you wait long enough, color will eventually develop.
    • Pre-harvest drop was not excessive at 13% in our 2016 Hudson Valley trial, and was not reduced by the ReTain treatment.
    • A second, full pouch treatment 10 days prior to first pick did not have any measurable beneficial effects.
    • Serious soft scald developed in the ReTain treated fruit when rated after 90 days in refrigerated storage in our 2016 trial.  If you try using ReTain on Honeycrisp in this manner, and the fruit is stored, monitor the stored fruit on a weekly basis for soft scald.  Until you gain some storage experience with this program, we can't recommend controlled atmosphere storage.
  • "Stacking" Harvista on top of an earlier ReTain application:
    • Several growers in the Hudson Valley have tried this out on McIntosh and Honeycrisp in the last two years.
    •  We have no independent university research results to report on this strategy.
    • Certainly expensive, does it pay off?  Need to see some hard data before it can be recommended.  If you try it, leave an unsprayed control and contact your CCE-ENYCHP fruit specialist to help with evaluation.


McIntosh Harvest Management PGR Recommendations for Eastern New York State

  • NAA:  NAA requires 1-2 days to come into effect and will provide a degree of drop control for a period of 7-10 days, although drop control is not always reliable.  In the case where you may need 3-4 days of drop control and long-term storage is not planned, NAA can be useful.  However, since NAA stimulates ripening and can provide unreliable drop control when applied alone, in general the use of NAA alone is not recommended.
  • ReTain Timing:  ReTain can be applied 2-4 weeks before anticipated normal harvest.  In general, apply ReTain at 3 weeks before harvest in cool years and at 4 weeks before harvest in hot years.   Growers in the Hudson Valley commonly apply ReTain 4 weeks before the estimated first harvest date, with good success.  The long-range weather forecast through mid-September for both the Hudson and Champlain Valley's predicts warmer that average temperatures for the period.
  • ReTain Application Rates:  One pouch of ReTain per acre will give the best drop control but will delay color development by 7-10 days.  A pouch of ReTain will also work and has a less negative effect on fruit color but the control of fruit drop will wear off sooner, perhaps too soon.
  • ReTain + NAA:  Dr. Terence Robinson's research in the last several years has shown the best combination of drop control with the least negative effect on fruit color is achieved by splitting a full rate of ReTain into 2 sprays of rate of ReTain each time and including 10ppm NAA in both sprays. Application of the first 1/2 pouch of ReTain per acre + 10 ppm NAA (4oz/100 gal) should be made 3 weeks before normal harvest.  The second application of 1/2 pouch of ReTain per acre + 10 ppm NAA is timed for one week before normal (untreated) harvest.
  • Surfactants:  It is critical to include an organosilicone surfactant with ReTain especially when combined with NAA. The organosilicone surfactant, such as Silwet (12 oz. /100 gallons), improves the uptake of ReTain better than other surfactants thus ensuring that sufficient ReTain is absorbed by the leaf to suppress the stimulatory effect of NAA on ethylene production.


Gala Recommendations for Eastern New York State

  • Effects of ReTain on Gala:
    • Fruit will remain on the tree an additional 7-14 days.
    • Improved fruit size as fruit will increase in size approximately 1% per day
    • Reduced stem end cracking and greasiness in 2nd & 3rd picks.
    • Aspects of fruit maturity are delayed, and fruit appear to ripen more evenly on the tree.  As a result, is sometimes possible to reduce the number of picks necessary down to one or two.
  • ReTain Rates:  Apply a pouch of Retain per acre.   The 1- 2 pouch rates of Retain are almost never recommended since Retain at higher rates has a very strong negative effect on Gala color development.  Our trial in 2016 showed that Gala treated with these high rates will eventually color if harvest is delayed 2.5-3 weeks.
  • ReTain Timing:  Apply 2-3 weeks before expected first harvest. 
  • Surfactants:  It is critical to include an organosilicone surfactant with ReTain.  The organosilicone surfactant, such as Silwet (12 oz. /100 gallons), improves the uptake of ReTain better than other surfactants.


Honeycrisp Recommendations for Eastern New York State 

  • Honeycrisp is a low ethylene producing variety that has very uneven ripening but can have significant pre-harvest drop in some years.  The use of retain is recommend in blocks that have had a pre-harvest drop problem in the past.
  • ReTain Timing:  Apply three weeks before expected harvest. 
  • ReTain Rates:  Apply 1/3 of a pouch/acre rate of Retain on Honeycrisp.  Champlain Valley growers may want to consider a pouch rate and avoid blocks with a history of soft scald.
  • Surfactants:  It is critical to include an organosilicone surfactant with ReTain.  The organosilicone surfactant, such as Silwet (12 oz. /100 gallons), improves the uptake of ReTain better than other surfactants.


 Harvista Observations and Recommendations

  • Pre-Harvest Fruit Drop Control.
  • Safe delay of harvest for additional color and fruit size development.
  • Maintenance of fruit firmness before and/or after harvest (storage benefits are short term).
  • Slowed starch conversion.
  • Delayed and reduced incidence of water core.
  • Greater consistency in maturity for improved storage performance.
  • Fewer pick dates required for multiple-pick varieties.
  • Recent research has demonstrated a reduction in Soft Scald in Honeycrisp.

Harvista Timing & Rates:  The general timing range is 3-14 days pre-harvest.  Please contact AgroFresh technical support for specific guidance.

 



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Apples

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Beets

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Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

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Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

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Upcoming Events

Farm Financial Management Tuesdays - Planning for a Change or Exiting Your Farm Business

November 30, 2021 : Assessing the Financial Ramifications of and Options for Significant Change to Your Farm Business

The inflationary economy is upon us! The huge influx of money into the US economy following the COVID-19 pandemic has manufactured high prices and in turn increased operating costs for farm business thus forcing many businesses into net operating loss situations. Other farms are facing high labor costs or chronic labor shortages.  Some farms have taken on debt loads that make these increased costs unaffordable.  Depending on the stage in the business lifecycle, it may make sense to change enterprises or exit the farming business entirely. 

Join CCE ENYCH Ag Business Educator, Elizabeth Higgins, and CAAHP Ag Business Educator, Dayton Maxwell, for a one-hour program to learn about the financial aspects of changing or exiting a farm business. 

December 7, 2021 : The Family and Emotional Component; Shifting Business Direction and Life After Farming

As farm business enterprises are changed or disbanded, the emotional stress can be tremendous, especially when individuals and family members maintain diminished assurance relative to future security. 

Join Gabriel Gurley and Brenda O'Brien of New York FarmNet for a one-hour program focused on successfully navigating the emotional turmoil of a family farm business transition.

December 14, 2021 : New Venture Creation; Shifting Business Direction and Life After Farming

Change creates opportunity and new opportunities are certain when farm businesses change or end. 

Join Gabriel Gurley of New York FarmNet for a one-hour overview of identifying ways and means to capitalize on new opportunities resulting from farm business transitions.

 

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Remote Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course - Dec 2021

December 8 - December 9, 2021

A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for farms subject to the Produce Safety Rule. All farms are welcome to attend to learn about recommended food safety practices for growing, handling, and storing fresh produce. Course registration fee includes a course manual and certificate of course completion by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

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Tax Management for Beginning and Small Farm Businesses

January 18, 2022

Tax Management for Beginning and Small Farm Businesses.

A one-night virtual meeting for beginning and part-time farmers that provides useful tax information enabling participants to be make better tax decisions for their business.   Federal and state income taxes will be covered. Tax regulations specific to NYS will be covered as well. 


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Announcements

2021 SWD Insecticide Quick Guide

Prepare your sprayer and make sure you have the insecticides of choice on hand. Click on the following link for the revised 2021 SWD Insecticide Quick Guide: https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_981.pdf

Current recommendations are to use the most effective material you can early in the spray program - even though the population seems small. The strategy is to keep the population small for as long as possible as it's very hard to gain control after the numbers have ballooned.  

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather

Severe weather events create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

Risk Management
For producers who have risk protection through Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), we want to remind you to report crop damage to your crop insurance agent or the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

If you have crop insurance, contact your agency within 72 hours of discovering damage and be sure to follow up in writing within 15 days. If you have NAP coverage, file a Notice of Loss (also called Form CCC-576) within 15 days of loss becoming apparent, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be reported within 72 hours.

Disaster Assistance
USDA also offers disaster assistance programs, which is especially important to livestock, fruit and vegetable, specialty and perennial crop producers who have fewer risk management options.
First, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died as a result of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed and forage. And, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides assistance to producers of grazed forage crop acres that have suffered crop loss due to a qualifying drought. Livestock producers suffering the impacts of drought can also request Emergency Haying and Grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres.

For LIP and ELAP, you will need to file a Notice of Loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days. For TAP, you will need to file a program application within 90 days.

Documentation
It's critical to keep accurate records to document all losses following this devastating cold weather event. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking time and date-stamped video or pictures prior to after the loss.

Other common documentation options include:
- Purchase records
- Production records
- Vaccination records
- Bank or other loan documents
- Third-party certification

Additional Resources
On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options.

While we never want to have to implement disaster programs, we are here to help. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact the Rensselaer County USDA Service Center @ 518 271 1889 ext. 2. The office is open for business, however due to pandemic restrictions all in-person visits require an appointment.


Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

FSMA Updates with Gretchen Wall

August 10, 2021
In this episode, Elisabeth Hodgdon discusses news and updates related to FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule with food safety specialist Gretchen Wall. They discuss inspection schedules for the 2021 season, On Farm Readiness Reviews, water testing, new resources available for growers, and more.

Resources:
Records Required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, by K. Woods, D. Stoeckel, B. Fick, G. Wall, and E.A. Bihn. This fact sheet includes an explanation of required records as well as printable record templates:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/sites/producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/Records-Required-by-the-FSMA-PSR.pdf

Upcoming Remote, Online, and In-Person Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Courses:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/training/grower-training-courses/upcoming-grower-trainings/

Interactive Google map of water testing labs, created by the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?amp%3Busp=sharing&mid=1C8KHM6jJszj9auYQttUbVtPKtb4eEBSJ&ll=41.22288057139939%2C-78.58548244999999&z=5\

Interested in joining the Produce Safety Alliance listserv? Sign up here to receive FSMA updates, notifications of educational opportunities and new resources, and more:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/

Contact Information:
To schedule an On Farm Readiness Review or discuss your farm’s FSMA PSR coverage status, contact Steve Schirmer (315-487–0852 or steve.schirmer@agriculture.ny.gov), or Aaron Finley (518-474-5235 or aaron.finley@agriculture.ny.gov).

Episode speakers:
Elisabeth Hodgdon, ENYCHP vegetable specialist: 518-650-5323 or eh528@cornell.edu
Gretchen Wall, Produce Safety Alliance coordinator and Northeast Regional Extension Associate: 607-882-3087 or glw53@cornell.edu

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