April 1st message to fruit growers

Hi Fruit Growers,
We had a successful RIFGA annual meeting last Thursday, though I wish more people joined us! Our officers are:
President – Jim Steere
Vice President – Spencer Morris
Secretary – Kristen Castrataro
Treasurer – Sandie Barden
     Thank you, Al Fuoroli, for your service to RIFGA as VP these last few years!
     A recording of the annual meeting can be seen at this link.
     We will continue to hold twilight meetings with Massachusetts growers and UMass. The first twilight meeting will be on Zoom on April 13 at 5:30. I’ll send a link for the meeting closer to the meeting.
     From January through March, New England Cooperative Extension held terrific webinars on growing fruit. These can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/playlist These videos include information on “Early-Season Apple Insect Pests” presented by UMass’ Dr. Jaime Piñero, “Tree Row Volume: What it is, Why it Matters and How to  Use it” presented by UVM’s Dr. Terence Bradshaw and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Dr. Jason Deveau, “Blueberry Twig Blight” presented by Dr. Mark Longstroth and many more!
     We didn’t collect RIFGA dues last year, but we will this year. Please mail your $40 due payment to RIFGA, 3 East Alumni Ave., Kingston, RI 02881. Thanks!!
     Green tip has arrived and so starts the official apple growing season. If you plan to apply a copper fungicide to manage fire blight it should have already been applied or be applied very soon. Most formulations of copper need to be applied by 1/4 inch green or you risk causing damage to fruit finish. Copper will also help manage apple scab, but apple scab usually doesn’t need managing so early in the season, unless there was a lot of scab in your orchard last year.
     Winter moth eggs are starting to hatch now, but no one needs to worry about winter moth caterpillars at this time. The time to scout and treat for winter moths (if needed) is between tight cluster and early pink.
     We will be getting Orchard Radar back this year. More about this later.
     Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are interested in talking to New England growers about farm viability. If you complete their 10 minute survey and get selected to be interviewed, you will receive a $50 gift card. What follows is their description:
     Farmers sought for interviews ($50 incentive) for UNH study on farm viability

The Food Systems Lab at the University of New Hampshire is conducting a research study about increasing farm income and local and regional food production in New England. Participation involves a conversational interview (on the farm or virtual) that lasts about an hour. Participants will be offered one $50 prepaid debit card per farm. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented farmers are especially encouraged to participate. All types of farms and all ways of farming will be considered. To be considered for an interview, please fill out this 10-minute online survey: tinyurl.com/unhfarmersurvey. For questions, contact Dr. Ike Leslie at isaac.leslie@unh.edu or 603-862-2384.

I know Spring is happening too quickly, but at least it’s Spring. Sorry for the long email!