AppleTalk is a 17-session weekly call that supports sustainable and organic apple producers throughout the growing season with regionally unique information needed to tackle tough pest management and production issues one week at a time. The sessions run from green tip to the last sprays applied before harvest.

The calls are facilitated by John Aue from Threshold IPM Services and Peter Werts from IPM Institute. Both John and Peter offer a wealth of regional knowledge and experience from their work as IPM consultants for the tree fruit industry in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. John has been consulting for over 25 years and Peter began scouting and consulting in 2008. Guest experts from universities around the region participate and discuss a wide range of IPM and fruit production issues including insect, weed and disease management, thinning and tree nutrition. The weekly call allows you to: find answers to pressing questions, stay informed about pest conditions and learn about other growers’ approaches to IPM.

The call discussions emphasize the role of using orchard ecology and pest biology to inform insect and disease management. The program also addresses fruit thinning, tree nutrition, pesticide selection and application timing of low-risk conventional and organic-approved pesticides. For example, if codling moth is a pest of concern in your orchard, AppleTalk guide’s participants through uses and timing of mating disruption, degree day models and timing of pesticide applications.

If you miss a call, a link to the call recording and a call summary are emailed out within 24-48 hours of each AppleTalk.

New AppleTalk SubscriberI have never been a paid AppleTalk subscriber and want to join. Access to live call, newsletter and recording link.$190
AppleTalk RenewalAccess to live call, newsletter and recording link.$210
AppleTalk Referral IncentiveI referred a new grower and included their name and orchard in my registration. Access to live call, newsletter and recording link.$190
AppleTalk NewsletterDoes not include access to live calls. Access to newsletter and recording link.$175

What have other growers been saying about AppleTalk?

“As an apple grower I highly recommend this call, and I also know that several other organic apple orchardists in [Organic Fruit Growers Association] OFGA participate in it.  Although some of the information is not applicable to organics, the hosts do make an effort to incorporate organic perspectives.  It’s very valuable to hear from consultants who regularly visit orchards all over the region.  The discussions on the calls are usually timely and relevant, focusing on specific weather and pest development that’s happening at the time of the call.  If you cannot attend the calls, there is an option to subscribe to weekly blog posts summarizing each call.” – Chris McGuire, Blue Roof Orchard

“I have been participating in AppleTalk since the beginning, and it continues to improve over the years.  It’s a valuable tool that closely follows our seasonal crop phenology and constantly adjusts to discuss what is happening in the orchard and what to prepare for.  Call topics often focus on new pests and what to expect if they become a nuisance.  The ability to listen to guest speakers from regional universities, such as Cornell, is another appreciated aspect of the call.”- Bill Stone, Brightonwoods Orchard

“The increased attention to organic management has been very helpful.  Both in terms of strategies for pest control and use of organic materials.  I like that there is a lot of discussion about preserving beneficials and making the best use of a control measure.” – Rami Aburomia, Atoms to Apples

“Just starting out, I didn’t have much experience growing apples.  The ability to participate in AppleTalk over the last couple of seasons has been instrumental in laying the foundation of my education.  I would not be nearly as far as I am today if I was doing this completely on my own.  It has helped me develop a solid base to manage and grow my orchard.” – Wayne Geist, Bushel and a Peck Market

“As a new apple grower, this forum provides expertise and direct guidance as well as real world actionable and timely solutions.  This has directly contributed to a targeted approach to pest control and given me the confidence to apply pesticides only when needed rather than on a broad-spectrum program.” – Chris Hoerichs, Mulberry Grove Family Farm

To Learn More, Please Contact

Peter Werts

Senior Project Manager: Sustainable Food Group

Marnie McMullin

Project Manager I: Specialty Crops

Josie Dillon

Specialist I: Specialty Crops