Nov 20, 2019
Focusing on tart cherries and peaches at EXPO

Tart cherry and peach growers each have a dedicated session on Wednesday morning of the Great Lakes Fruit,Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO to be held Dec. 10-12 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Researchers will present information about maximizing efficiency in chemistry applications for peaches and susceptibility of tart cherries to spotted wing drosophila, among other details.

Norm Lalancette is an Extension specialist in tree fruit pathology located at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Bridgeton, New Jersey, with ongoing peach studies in Georgia. The goals of his studies are to figure out what the most efficient and effective use of pesticides and fungicides are with peaches. He works to prevent fungicide resistance and to eliminate peach scab and brown rot.

In order to discover the best chemical rotation to prevent common peach diseases and pests, Lalancette repeats the studies for several years to ensure weather patterns such as heavy rains won’t impact the findings.

“What rate is the lowest rate we can use for effectiveness? What is the timing for the biggest benefit at harvest? We’re trying to narrow it down little by little to be more efficient,” Lalancette said.

His session will focus on timing and materials for best coverage on peaches before, during and after harvest, regardless of rain volume that season. Lalancette suggests that all peach growers should attend and that regardless of the region, growers will be able to take away valuable information about pesticide and fungicide use, plus learn to have more consistent brown rot control each year.

Besides resistance management and timing sprays for the best results at harvest, Lalancette will discuss the correct materials at the right rate to teach growers what years of testing have shown are the most efficient for peaches in Georgia. He will present several years’ worth of data to attendees so they can feel confident in making the changes he suggests.

In addition to key information about disease management in peaches that growers need to hear, tart cherries will take the focus of a session led by Guedot.

Guedot, fruit crop entomologist and assistant professor and Extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Department of Entomology, studies several varieties of tart cherries and how and when spotted wing drosophila lay eggs and hatch into larvae at each growth stage.

Her presentation will include research in tart cherries such as Montmorency, Tibetan and carmine jewel, plus others. Each cherry was collected at specific growth stages, from green, pink and red. The flies were allowed to interact with the cherries, and she noted when they laid eggs, when they were hatching and overall growth stages. “The timing when they are ripening is the most important,” Guedot said.

Tart cherry growers will learn about when each cultivar is susceptible to spotted wing fly infestations. This information is especially important since spotted wing flies were at record highs during the 2019 season in Michigan.

“Since we have all the samples, we came up with models to show why flies might be most active and what is the coordinating trap catch,” Guedot said.

Lalancette encourages growers to attend EXPO. “There will be lots of interaction between growers that aren’t growing the same things. You might learn things you don’t normally learn on your own,” Lalancette said. Plus, EXPO is where growers can stay abreast of the latest research

Guedot is looking forward to having one on one conversations with growers between sessions or at meals. “It’s one of the best venues in the Midwest. The research is focused on what the Midwest is facing,” Guedot said.

Registration is open; growers should sign up to attend the 2019 Great Lakes EXPO at

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