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Overview: Factors Contributing To The 2015 Hudson Valley Insect Pest Management Anomalies.

Weather: The start of the 2015 season began very dry in March increasing above the average through April and May with rainfall accumulations of 2.20” in March (3.6” Ave.), 4.40” in April (3.8” Ave.), and 2.55’ in May (4.4” Ave.). The month of June saw a significant increase in rain events totaling 7.31” (4.4” Ave.), with enough rain to produce moderate levels of apple scab infection, especially in newly planted blocks. Each week in July had less then 0.5” of rain requiring near daily irrigation as only 1.23” fell (4.7” Ave.). August also experienced below average rainfall with accumulations of only 3.34” (4.2” Ave.). Total rainfall for the March 1st through September 1st growing season totaled 21.03” of rain, slightly below the seasonal average of 25.1”.

For the third straight year, Hudson Valley tree phenology was considerably later during the early stages of development of the season. However, by petal-fall the season was only one-day later then the 25-year mean. By harvest of McIntosh, Retain applications for fruit drop management were applied 4-5 days earlier then the calendar dates. McIntosh green tip (13 April) occurred 8 days later than the 25-year historical mean (see McIntosh phenology), two days shy of the latest recorded day. King bloom on McIntosh began on the 6th of May with the bloom period lasting 6-7 days. 80% PF in McIntosh occurred on 12th May. Bloom lasted 2.5 days fewer then the mean, with ample sunlight yielding strong pollination and conditions for fruit set yet under conditions of severe water stress that concerned tree fruit growers. Degree-day accumulations were about 45.5 DD43 / 39.2 DD43 higher than the average by petal fall (12th May of 527.8 DD43 / 304.5 DD50). By the 26th of May, McIntosh king fruit had sized to 18mm. From the onset of bloom to PF temperature ranged between 49oF and 87oF followed by 10 days of mean high temps of 59 to 83oF after petal fall, generally cooler then normal.

Tarnished Plant Bug (TPB) presence required timely applications for management in orchards with historical fruit damage. Dry conditions during the pre-bloom period favor TPB activity requiring applications at both TC and P applications showed significant reduction in fruit injury. Lower levels of injury in higher valued fruit such as Sweetango, Honeycrisp, Gala will require TPB management if culls from this insect exceed economic threshold.

Plum Curculio (PC) required three applications beginning at 80% PF, followed by 1st and 2nd cover (for most varieties). PC damage began well after fruit set given the cool temperature we experienced. PC movement into orchards and oviposition was predicted to end on 3rd of June using predictive modeling of 308 DD50 from petal fall of McIntosh. Rains during the 1C period exceeded 3.0” up to the morning of June 2nd, with 305 DD50 accumulated toward the PC migration completion model.

European apple sawfly (EAS) activity occurred in very low numbers this season with early varieties showing 1.8% injury in Ginger Gold and McIntosh cluster fruit evaluations. PC injury was also moderate with 44.0.% and 22.8% injury with TPB injury at 4.8% and 3.8% injury observed in Ginger Gold and McIntosh respectively on 6 June in untreated plots with increasing damage noted in these plots at harvest.

Codling moth (CM) 1st generation sustained adult flight occurred on 11th May with larval emergence predicted for 27th May using 220 DD50 from CM biofix. The internal lepidopteran complex, lesser apple worm (LAW), oriental fruit moth (OFM) and CM showed moderate levels of damage to apple, with frass produced by the internal lep.complex appearing during mid-late June through early July. Moderate levels of damage from the internal lepidopteran complex was observed with 7.5% and 7.0% damage from 1st and 2nd generation evaluated on 28th June on Red Delicious respectively. The 2nd generation adult sustained catch for the CM biofix occurred on 13th July with management for larval emergence prediction using 250 DD50 to occur on 20 July.

San Jose scale (SJS) crawler emergence was predicted to occur on 10 June using 1st adult capture on the 11th May 400 DD51 model. Nymphs were observed on fruit on the 18th of June, 8 days after the predicted emergence date. In general SJS scale levels were high in infested trees. The infestation means ranged from 27.3% to 86% injury observed in HVRL research plots on 26th August. In conventionally treated orchards, the SJS has become a major insect pest to manage in apple, requiring targeted applications for multiple generations.

Overwintering larvae of the spotted green fruit worm (SGFW), red banded leafroller (RBLR) and OBLR larva during the pre-bloom period through fruit set remain a concern of most Hudson Valley and Lake Champlain pome fruit growers. The tools for use against the Lepidoptera complex are diverse in mode of action, are very effective and have excellent residual activity.

Obliquebanded leafroller (OBLR) monitoring and management by tree fruit growers continues to be a high priority. Targeting up to three seasonal application windows while employing a single mode of action for each period, growers can achieve successful management of the OBLR larva. These include the pre-bloom through Petal Fall period for the overwintering generation, often using IGR’s such as Proclaim and Intrepid, the Summer generation using either Altacor / Belt or Delegate, and later in August applying either Altacor / Belt or Delegate. Recommendations for applications were made using insect phenology predictions for early emergence, using 340 DD50 from 29th of May biofix to manage emergence of larvae, predicted to occur on 14th of June. In general, low-levels of leafroller feeding was observed on developing foliage and fruitlets this spring. Trap captures were moderate for 1st generation OBLR averaging 6.3 / day during the peak periods (15 June). The 2nd generation flight of OBLR biofix was low during August, averaging 0.6 / day during the peak periods (10 August). We are seeing a trend of increasingly high levels of RBLR with mixed populations of tufted apple bud moth (TABM) and sparganothis fruitworm (SFW) during the season, contributed to the overall leafroller damage each year.

Apple maggot (AM)
emergence was late this season with first emergence on 13th July. Threshold of 5 flies per trap per block was observed on the 10th of August. AM density was low to moderate throughout the region with reduced emergence due to the lack of late season rainfall in July and early August. Low populations of adults were noted in the mid-Hudson Valley with seasonal accumulation totals near 40 flies per trap (mean n=4) by 31st August. Highest populations occurred late in the season as rainfall in August providing more ideal emergence conditions for the adult fly.

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys, has been observed throughout the southern Hudson Valley for the past 6 years with the first BMSB confirmation in December 2008. Since that time increasing populations have been documented in urban environments and present on many farms throughout the season in the lower to mid-Hudson Valley region. We have observed a second generation over the past two years, developing in mid-late August in HVRL voltinism studies. However, in 2015 we did not find adult egg laying after the development of 1st generation in our rearing chamber.

Although there appears to be stink bug feeding in apple this season, both BMSB and the green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare BMSB was found from mid-season through harvest on pome fruit in lower to mid-Hudson Valley with increasing northern observations and fruit injury occurring in Columbia County in 2013. It has been found reproducing in deciduous trees such as Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum, White Ash, Fraxinus americana, Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, and eastern black walnut Juglans nigra in high numbers with lower numbers observed in Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina, and wild grape, V. vinifera. Late season nymphs and adult trap captures of BMSB using Tedders traps employing traditional black light traps, the USDA #10 lure and the Plaudi stali aggregation pheromone lure, methyl (E,E,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate, was observed along the orchard edges in Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Columbia Counties throughout the season. In 2015 we monitored the population throughout NYS in 44 tree fruit orchard sites, employing a trap threshold of 10 total BMSB adults per trap to recommend management timing for tree fruit production. We are presently recommending that growers access https://www.eddmaps.org/bmsbny/ for weekly updates on BMSB monitoring of adults and fruit injury requiring management.

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) were first observed in NY by late August, 2011. We monitored SWD in four counties throughout the lower to mid-Hudson Valley this season using baited traps across small fruit, grape and tree fruit. The first SWD trap captures were found in Ulster County on the week of the 11th of June. A single female SWD was discovered in Warwick, Orange County using a baited Trécé trap, set during the week of June 15th -22nd . By 16th July, evaluations of unsprayed ‘Summit’ sweet cherry showed infestations of fruit above 10%. However, in managed ‘Emperor Francis’ sweet cherry, a blush, yellow / red mid-late season variety, SWD injury was not observed. By the 30th of July SWD was found infesting berry in a homeowner blueberry patch. During the week leading up to the 25th of August managed conventional patches of blackberry, red raspberry and blueberry in were found to have 10% to 100% infestation levels. Growers who harvested frequently and kept to a 3-7 day spray program were able to maintain low infestations levels (<15%) this season. We are presently recommending that growers access http://www.eddmaps.org/project/project.cfm?proj=9 for weekly updates on BMSB monitoring of adults and fruit injury for early season management.