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Managing Fire Blight & Scab with the BC Decision Aid System, Molly Thurston, Claremont Ranch Organics

This presentation will include an overview of the BC Decision Aid System and how it is being used by Okanagan and Similkameen Valley tree fruit growers and industry consultants to manage two of the most important diseases that affect pome fruit.

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Managing Fire Blight & Scab with the BC Decision Aid System, Molly Thurston, Claremont Ranch Organics

  1. 1. Managing Fire blight and Scab with the BC Decision Aid System Molly Thurston, P.Ag Claremont Ranch Organics Presentation to BC ACARN Workshop December 2, 2019
  2. 2. How did BC DAS come about? • DAS is an online decision support system for Tree Fruit Growers and Integrated Pest Management Consultants. • DAS originated at WSU as a result of reduced extension capacity and increasingly more complex IPM programs. • BCDAS is collaboration between the SIR, WSU and BCTF.
  3. 3. What is the BC Decision Aid System? • DAS is an online decision support system for Tree Fruit Growers and Integrated Pest Management Consultants. • BCDAS collects daily weather data to run pest, disease and horticultural models. • Provides time-sensitive pest and horticultural information with management recommendations
  4. 4. How does BCDAS work? • DAS collects weather data from Growers Supply and Environmental Canada stations to run 18 models. • Model forecasts are based on DarkSky weather forecast data and on 10-year temperature averages. • Conventional and organic management recommendations are included.
  5. 5. What does BCDAS recommend? • DAS can recommend product options and timing for when to spray. • DAS cannot recommend IF a spray is needed in a specific orchard. • Management decisions are made by the grower and the pest manager, based on observed field conditions.
  6. 6. Application of BCDAS in the Field Case Study 1: Apple Scab
  7. 7. Apple Scab Venturia inequalis • Fungal disease • 1º infection at Pink to Petal fall during ascospore release
  8. 8. Life Cycle of Apple Scab Source: https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/fungalasco/pdlessons/Pages/AppleScab.aspx
  9. 9. Setting up the Scab Model in BCDAS Growers using the DAS system should go into the Apple Scab model and set the date of green tip when it occured in your orchard. Use Gala or McIntosh to set the date if you have them; they are usually the first varieties to show green tip. As soon as apple buds reach green tip growers have to start monitoring the weather for apple scab. Growers with a scab problem last year should keep trees PROTECTED by applying scab protection products starting at green tip.
  10. 10. By orchard BCDAS recommendation
  11. 11. Apple Scab Management • Protectants recommended from Green Tip through Petal Fall in areas with known inoculum. • Eradicants are used in the case of an infection period where coverage needs to be enhanced. • Scab coverage period in North extends until end of ascospore release (~mid-June).
  12. 12. How does BCDAS show a scab infection?
  13. 13. How does BCDAS show a scab infection?
  14. 14. Application of BCDAS in the Field Case Study 2: Fire Blight in Pears
  15. 15. Fire blight Erwinia amylovora • Bacterial disease of Pome Fruit • 1º infection at Bloom Blossom blast on Pear
  16. 16. Fire Blight Life Cycle Source: https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/prokaryote/pdlessons/Pages/FireBlight.aspx
  17. 17. Fire blight Erwinia amylovora • 2º infection Shoot Blight, in season Shoot blight on Apple
  18. 18. Case Study: Claremont Ranch Located: Winfield South 2.5 acres Pears, 1.5 acres Apples No observed fire blight in 2017 or 2017. Adjacent to Gala Apples, two new plantings of Ambrosia and Honeycrisp apples. GALA AMB HC/AMB Pear Pear
  19. 19. CRO 2019 Pear Bloom stages April 25, 2019: Popcorn stage Full Bloom: April 28 – 30, 2019 FROST! April 29, -2ºC Petal Fall: May 7, 2019 -1.7ºC
  20. 20. JUNE 1, 2019 Fire blight strikes… What happened?
  21. 21. What happened? • Frost damage • Pears with late bloom: May 7-14, 2019 • Apples beginning to bloom: May 10-20, 2019 • Heavy Dew throughout the spring
  22. 22. Time Machine to May 8, 2019 …
  23. 23. Time Machine to May 8, 2019 …
  24. 24. 2020 CRO Fire Blight Plan: • Active Fire blight confirmed in Winfield area. • Monitor BCDAS in 2020 during Pear and Apple bloom. • Follow BCDAS treatment recommendations for Biologicals during Bloom. • Monitor for shoot blight using BCDAS data and field observations. • Plan for shoot blight treatments, if necessary.

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