All Networks meeting summary

At last — a meeting summary for your review and comment.

Eco-Apple All Networks Meeting
Monday, November 13, 2006
DATCP Board Room

Attending: Tom Green, John Aue, Craig Schultz, Jim Hauser, Tom Galazen, Jason Fischbach, Bill Ferraro, Samson Oriecho, Bill & Judy Stone, Anna Maenner, Bob Willard, Dave Flannery, Jim Lindeman, Libby Rens, Regina Hirsch, Dave Pagoria, Wendy and Ken Schaeffer, Matt Stasiak, Bill Roethle, Roger Sprangers, Dick Green, Mike Bauer, Keith Schmidt, Dan Scheel, Bob Barthel, Dale & Loretta Young, Ralph Couey, Dan Keiler, Michelle Miller (32 total)
Network reports: The network participants in their third year are just starting to feel comfortable with their pest management programs. Those without full financial support from the project are feeling a bit more distant and it is unclear who will step up and take leadership in the SE network. The group has depended in large measure on John to act as catalyst. Many relied on weekly phone calls with John to trouble shoot through the growing season and the networks tended to meet 3-4 times during these critical months to steer their pest management activities. Growers noted more disease and coddling moth pressure than ideal and some were using Assail for the first time. Now that growers better know their orchards, they are finding new problems that they didn�t know they had. (Plum curculio and summer disease were mentioned specifically.) A primary grower concern was how to handle the increase in workload due to the time it took to scout one�s own orchard. Responses to this question were that scouting was worth the time in that it increased awareness of what was happening in the orchard. Unfortunately for growers, it meant �a lot less time fishing�. The Chippewa Valley network was finding it difficult to get people together and was looking for a way to improve contact with John. Both the CV and Lake Superior networks will have student helpers 2007-2009 (June 30) and so these networks are talking about how they can best use these summer interns to meet their field needs.
In an effort to make better use of John�s time during the growing season and take advantage of grower field experiences, the group wants to set up a weekly conference call to discuss field issues from April through July. The call would be on the same day and time of the week. Growers would make the long-distance call through a service that could also record the call. Tom or someone else could take notes every week and post it to Apple Talk. If possible, the sound recording could also be posted to the web. For growers not connected to the web, hard copy summaries could be provided and possibly a CD of the recorded message (assuming CIAS has a student on board to do this). CIAS will set up the call with (See their website) and will provide more information mid-winter.
It became apparent that growers in various networks were at very different places in terms of their need for weather monitors, monitor software, pesticide record-keeping software, coaching, traps, and training (ie MSU Fruit School). The intention had been to discuss these needs in-depth at the meeting, but time prohibited extensive discussion.
Attached is a summary of grower / network needs for 2007-2009 growing season. If everyone could look this over and then have their network organizers get back to me with a final �list� before 12/30/2006, I will do my best to re-budget the project to meet as many of these needs as possible with existing resources. For instance, 16 people indicated interest in attending the MSU Fruit School. I think I originally budgeted money for 10 people to attend. It may be necessary for each network to choose the people that the network will send in 2007, with the hope that we will have enough money in 2009 to send a second, different group of growers to the meeting. (The full registration fee for the meeting, lodging and food is $375, with travel to be covered by the participant.)
Neglected orchards issue. Michelle and Regina tried to find some state statute or rule regarding neglected or abandoned orchards, but came up with nothing. From Craig�s rundown, Chippewa Valley growers were able to apply an ordinance on the books with the Town of LaFayette. The township had a covenant restricting homeowners to 5 apple trees/acre. Jerry used UWEX district discretionary funds to cover the costs of tree removal. Anna gave us a good idea of the issues facing growers on older orchards regarding arsenic. The DATCP committee has only met once so Anna will get the word out as meetings progress.
Marketing: Tom gave us a review of Red Tomato, the non-profit broker interested in working with apple growers in Wisconsin to secure markets in Chicago and possibly Minneapolis. Red Tomato is committed to a grower premium of a $1/box for growers who follow their points system and use their red � yellow � green list for pesticides. There is an annual fee of $350-750 depending on the orchard�s size, to cover certification costs. They are interested in marketing less common varieties � not Mac, Empire, Cortland. Growers need to have CA storage (or other long-term storage options) available to them, and a truck to run product to market. Bob Willard remains interested and John thought that some of the larger growers may be interested (Sacia�s,. Teeche�s, the packer at Wescott who markets Craig�s apples). Anna will let all of WAGA know about the opportunity and we hope to have a grower meeting with Red Tomato in early February.
For more information on grower needs, down load this table. Download file