Apr 1, 2024
Virginia fire blight infections predicted

If forecast rains materialize, Virginia Tech’s tree fruit pathology laboratory is predicting southern and central Virginia production regions will incur fire blight.

“If today’s weather forecast predictions for 2 April become reality, NEWA’s fire blight model is predicting that fire blight infections are possible this coming week with rains 2 April in Bristol, Cana, Rustburg, Tyro, Fincastle, Roseland, Roanoke and other Central and Southern Virginia locations on any pome fruit with open flowers: pears are in bloom from 14 March in Roseland VA and Pink Lady apples started opening first flowers today on this same location,” Virginia Tech officials stated in a March 31 report.


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“No fire blight infections are predicted in Timberville, Winchester and Cross Junction. If wetting occurs on April 2, fire blight infections are possible in central and Southern VA as the Infection Potential EIP value will rise to 104 in Bristol, 109 in Tyro, 154 in Rustburg.”

Growers are advised to use their closest station in NEWA, the Network for Environment and Weather Applications, to determine the best course of action keeping in mind that EIP value must be 100 or above and the field with EIP number needs to turn dark red from orange to indicate ‘Infection’.”

For more information on spray options against fire blight, visit VA Tech’s webpage.

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