Feb 24, 2020
New Penn State 2020-2021 Tree Fruit Production Guide available now

The new 2020–2021 Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide is now available for purchase. Rob Crassweller was in charge of coordinating the updates for this latest edition of the 400+ page guide. This is no easy undertaking, as the goal is to have the updated guide ready for the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA at the end of January. Thanks to many hard-working folks, we made the deadline! There were quite a few updates to the guide this year, as the below list demonstrates.

Entomology highlights

  • Updates in IPM-based recommendations
  • Addition of newly registered synthetic and biorational insecticides, including organic options for commercial fruit growers
  • Updated pollinator section to include the newest information on honey bees and native pollinators
  • Incorporation of IRAC group information in IPM programs and to improve insecticide resistance management
  • Updates on the current developments related to new invasive insect pests such as spotted lanternfly, brown marmorated stink bug, and spotted wing drosophila

Plant pathology highlights

  • More descriptions for problematic diseases and other issues
  • New conventional and alternative fungicides, bactericides, and nematicides (in the last two years)
  • Information added about water quality and its impact on pesticide efficacy
  • Fungicide resistance management section has been updated for apple scab and to include bitter rot
  • Updated list of available coppers

Horticultural highlights

  • New methodology to determine average fruit diameter for timing application of thinners based on fruit weight sample
  • New graph to help predict potential for bitter pit in Honeycrisp
  • Updated growth regulator tables for use in pome and stone fruit
  • Table comparing compounds registered as stop drops
  • New table listing apple cultivars and their tendency for biennial bearing
  • Updated apple cultivar fruit characteristics table
  • Updated listing of peach and nectarine cultivar recommendations courtesy of J. Frecon
  • Discussion of rain cracking of sweet cherries and table on the susceptibility of cultivars

New precision agriculture chapter

  • Information on maximizing use of drip irrigation, including application rate calculations, impact of soil texture, and soil water status
  • How to monitor soil moisture and irrigation strategies
  • Automated irrigation system operation

Chemical management

  • New discussion on impact of water quality and pH on pesticide performance and efficacy
  • Explanation on how to assess pesticide compatibility with the jar test
  • New tables showing target pH ranges and half-lives for certain pesticides
  • Updated pesticide recommendations for use in tree fruit

Farm management

  • Updated tree fruit production budgets
  • Update on state and federal laws that apply to farm labor

The Tree Fruit Team educators and specialists appreciate everyone who made this edition possible, including the creative team helping us in the Ag Communications and Marketing department at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. During the 2020 Commercial Tree Fruit Schools, there will be a presentation highlighting the improvements and additions to the updated guide.

Guide synopsis

More than a “spray guide,” this comprehensive publication covers nearly all aspects of commercial tree fruit production: fruit culture; plant nutrition; pruning and training; pollination; chemical management; IPM spray programs; postharvest handling and storage; budgeting and marketing; emerging technologies for mechanization and automation; and control of diseases, disorders, and insect and mite pests. Included is a color section featuring images of select diseases, disorders, and insect pests.

Available now in print; digital download; bundle: print and digital.

Robert Crasweller, Penn State University

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