Fire blight risks high in apples in East Michigan
Warm temperatures and thunderstorms this week bring on the threat of fire blight.
With apple bloom in most areas of East Michigan, warm temperatures expected for a few more days and thunderstorms that moved across the region last night (May 11) and more predicted, the threat of fire blight infection is taking center stage for apple growers across the region. The summer-like conditions with high temperatures into the 80s has moved the Epiphytic Infection Potential (EIP), a measure of the fire blight bacteria population, to values well above the 100 needed for infection. Many apple blocks have moved from first bloom to full bloom in the last two days.
We have all four conditions for a fire blight infection; open blossoms, high bacteria populations, high temperatures, and rain to move the bacteria down to the base of the flower. For more detailed information on conditions in your area and the fire blight model, consult the Enviro-weather website. Remember that there are many new features and new looks to that site as well.