Apple Talk: Working with Growers over the Phone to Achieve Sustainability Goals

Since 2014, Apple Talk, a weekly phone call subscription service, has been helping apple producers tackle tough pest management and production issues throughout the growing season.


Pests prove to be a large issue for many apple growers. Integrated pest management (IPM) provides holistic pest management tactics that improve the health of workers, consumers, and the orchard. Consultants can be extremely helpful throughout the challenging process of adopting IPM, but there are not enough consultants to reach interested growers across a large geographic range. Apple Talk is a solution to this issue. It enables consultants to provide growers with relevant and accurate information over long distances.


AppleTalk is managed by The Sustainable Food Group in collaboration with Threshold IPM Services and the UW-Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. A subscription to Apple Talk includes a weekly conference call during the growing season, followed by an in-depth report discussing current weather conditions, pest management and other issues occurring in the region. Our apple growing consultants host the weekly talks and occasionally researchers and other growers are invited to join the call.


There have been 50-75 participants in each AppleTalk session, including growers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa. Click here to see positive feedback on their experience with Apple Talk.