Organic Apple Grower’s Hour: May 15 Summary

Participants: (16 total) Bill Wright, Green Bay, WI, Patty McManus, Madison, WI, Peter Johnson, Waupaca, WI, Sam Atkins, Bayfield, WI, Dierdre Birmingham, Mineral Point, WI, Rob Hartman, location unknown, Tom Galazen, Bayfield, WI, Ken Mandley, Turtle Lake, WI, Doug Waples, Soldier, IA, Jim Lindemann, McFarland, WI, Peter Werts, Bayfield, WI, Paul Rasch, Solon, IA, Bob Willard, Rochester, WI, Harry Hoch, La Crescent, MN, Lisa DiPietro, Madison, WI, Michael Phillips, Groveton, NH
Discussion topics:
1. Weather and apple tree stage in the Midwest and in New Hampshire
2. Supporting wild pollinators
3. Spring as an important time for tree nutrient take-up
4. Surround: spraying before pink; spraying at petal fall; frequency of sprays; mixing with sulfur or Entrust or neem oil
5. Importance of trap trees when using Surround for PC
6. Managing internal feeders (CM, LAW, OFM): CM virus, Dipel, Entrust, mating disruption, Trichogramma wasps
7. Use of table salt for thinning
Here is a word from Michael aimed at abetting the conversation:
The beauty of this weekly call arrangement amongst organic-minded apple growers is the chance to compare observations of what has worked (and not worked!) in your orchard. It’s fine for me to take the role of “talking head” and roll through what I have learned about holistic orcharding. Yet our time together becomes that much more powerful when we interact and explore fruit-growing nuance. You can do this in a few ways. Do email me with observations on varietal vigor, insect happenings, weather patterns, soil test results, spray needs, specific queries, and what have you. That way — if you’re hesitant about too many folks speaking at once — I can still weave in your contributions. My email is . Second, if you do have a take on the subject at hand, regardless if your action was successful or an outright blunder, speak boldly. This is where we fine tune nuance, and with subtler methods particularly, we very much need to understand the background underlying every righteous-sounding idea. Lastly, encourage others in the fruit tree network to get involved. A number of experienced growers who filled in orchard profiles have yet to join us. The option of hearing the call later at your convenience is great but let’s not let that hinder live-and-inspired exploration. Yes, this talking hour sacrifices a valuable working hour. Yes, we’re all too busy to justify even a single moment inside on a fine day. But remember this: Curculio plot all the time . . . and I won’t even tell you what borers do . . . so now’s the time to put our human brains together and outsmart the whole lot. Viva la Compagnie!
If you would like to hear the call recording, dial (712) 432-1284, then enter this access code: 868736. Each week’s recording will be available until it is erased by the following week’s call.

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