April 20 winter moth update

Hi Fruit Growers,

Remember, we have a RIFGA twilight meeting on April 23 at 5:30 at Goodwin Bros. Farmstand, 458 Greenville Rd., North Smithfield. We’ll meet at the stand and participate in a air blast sprayer calibration workshop run by George Hamilton from University of New Hampshire Extension. Jon Clements from UMass will also be present to discuss current orchard conditions. It should be a great meeting and I hope to see you there!

Winter moth eggs started hatching over the weekend, though there are still many unhatched eggs. If you haven’t sprayed for winter moth caterpillars, I suggest you apply an insecticide after today’s rain. Insecticides applied this past weekend should kill caterpillars that hatch this week, but I admit I’m concerned this rain is washing off too much insecticide. Since winter moth caterpillars don’t feed before entering buds, we rely on contact with insecticide to kill the caterpillars. If your apples or blueberries were heavily infested with winter moth caterpillars in 2014 and you sprayed before Monday’s rain, you may want to make another insecticide application on Tuesday or Wednesday. I wish I knew for sure!

It is probably too late now to apply copper fungicides for fire blight control in most RI orchards. Copper is to be applied no later than green tip.

See you Thursday,