Southeast Michigan fruit update – June 20, 2011

Apple growers have reached the end of primary apple scab season in east Michigan, and strawberry growers are struggling to keep fields picked.

I am pleased to share with you that with rainfall at both of our apple scab trapping stations late last week, we did not catch a significant number of apple scab spores. Thus, we are now at the end of primary apple scab season across east Michigan. The end of primary apple scab means that apple growers who have kept apple scab under control to this time can now relax their fungicide programs for the rest of the season. I can find small amounts of mostly leaf scab in most apple blocks across the region. With the exception of the Thumb area, this year’s primary apple season has been one the most severe and toughest to overcome for even our most veteran apple growers. I am proud of the job that most of you have done at overcoming apple scab this season.

For strawberry growers, I continue to find that there is not much depth to our harvest season this year. With the heat of the last few days and predicted for the next few, it will put more pressure on strawberry growers to get as many berries harvested as quickly as possible. Many farms in the southern part of our region are finding that their third picking has too many small berries. It will become harder and harder to keep strawberry fields picked well.

You can continue to track pest and weather concerns this season at Enviro-weather.

If you need to see me at your farm for a farm visit, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or calling my office at 810-244-8555 (remember, this is a new number as of the first of the year) or my cell at 810-516-3800.

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