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Keeping Quality Forecast
2014 PRELIMINARY KEEPING QUALITY FORECAST
As of April 1, there are only 2 points out of a possible 10 that favor keeping quality for the 2014 Massachusetts cranberry crop. These points were awarded for favorable (low) temperatures in March. Consequently, the forecast is for POOR keeping quality. The final keeping quality forecast (issued after June 1) could be upgraded if we have a cool and dry April and May. Based on the present forecast, fungicide applications and the rate of fungicides applied should NOT be reduced, and close attention should be paid where fruit rot has been a major or regular concern and for fresh fruit beds.
This should be a fairly good year for holding late water as we discussed in the last newsletter. The winter was severe but most growers protected with floods. Other indicators for late water are all favorable. This practice can significantly reduce fruit rot incidence and allow for fewer and lower-rate fungicide applications.
Ice sanding that was done this past winter may help to reduce fungal inoculum by burying it and thus improve the outlook on those bogs.
Please take note that the Keeping Quality Forecast is a prediction of disease pressure, that is the amount of fruit rot expected if no measures are taken to manage the disease. Fungicide use or holding late water are management strategies to reduce fruit rot incidence. If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn (extension 25) or Hilary (extension 21).
2014 FINAL KEEPING QUALITY FORECAST
The keeping quality forecast for June 2014 is for POOR keeping quality.
We calculated 4 of a possible 16 points to arrive at this forecast. We were awarded 2 points for cool March temperatures, 1 point for low rainfall in April, and 1 point for low rainfall in May.
This is the fourth consecutive year (2011-2014) for poor forecast keeping quality. What does this mean? It is likely that fruit rot fungal inoculum has built up over this period. If no steps are taken to manage fruit rot disease by using late water and/or fungicides, one can expect a high incidence of fruit rot at harvest and particularly in fruit that is stored post-harvest. We can also predict that inoculum will be high going into the 2015 season.
What to do? Careful management can overcome the predicted quality problems.
• If you held your bog under late water, one or two mid-rate applications of fungicide should suffice. In research studies, we were able to skip fungicides entirely in the late water year. However, since the forecast is not good, some use is probably warranted.
• If you did not hold late water, and particularly if you have a history of high fruit rot, use three fungicide applications beginning at 10-20% bloom.
• See the article about fungicide choices on page 1 of this newsletter.
If you have any questions, please contact Carolyn (extension 25) or Hilary (extension 21).
UMass Cranberry Station • 1 State Bog Road, PO Box 569, East Wareham, MA 02538 • firstname.lastname@example.org • Phone: 508-295-2212 • Fax: 508-295-6387
The UMass Cranberry Station is part of The College of Natural Sciences.