New England Cider Apple Program: Optimizing Production for High-Value Markets

Progress report for LNE19-373

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2019: $229,314.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2022
Grant Recipient: University of Vermont
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Dr. Terence Bradshaw
University of Vermont
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Project Information

Performance Target:

Fifty growers will plant or manage cider apple cultivars, adopt sustainable horticultural practices, and reduce pesticide use on 400 acres of apples produced for making fermented cider in New England, and will increase gross revenue by $5000 per acre ($2 million annually) and reduce risk through market diversification.

Introduction:

In a recent survey of apple growers, one prominent Vermont apple grower stated, “The cider apple market represents the first real increase in demand for New England Apples in a generation. While sales of our dessert fruit have been flat or declining, we see this market as essential to maintaining the competitiveness of our industry.”

New England apple growers have increased production of hard cider apples to increase returns while reducing pesticide use.  Currently, the demand for cider apples exceeds supply, and apple varieties specifically selected for cider (e.g. ‘Dabinett’) offer high returns for growers.  However, production of cider apples is limited by unknown performance metrics for specialty cider apple cultivars when grown in New England, unique pest management considerations including greater susceptibility to fire blight, and alternate bearing cycles that reduce yield.

New and existing production practices, specifically bloom thinning, mechanical pruning and reevaluation of pest management models for cider apple cultivars can alleviate these problems, but information on how to implement these techniques without reducing yield or increasing production costs is insufficient. The knowledge needed to best grow cider varieties would enable growers to diversify markets, increase profitability and reduce pesticide use, and enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of their farms.  We will conduct an educational program combined with research to compare methods that alleviate biennial bearing, to document the need for crop protection chemicals and establish tolerance levels for primary pests, and to identify cultivars less susceptible to by fire blight.

 

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Dr. Daniel Cooley (Researcher)
  • Dr. Jaime Pinero, Dani (Researcher)
  • Jon Clements (Educator)
  • Elizabeth Garofalo (Educator and Researcher)
  • Dr. Renae Moran (Educator and Researcher)
  • Jessica Foster (Researcher)

Research

Hypothesis:
  1. Cider cultivar observations (Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont)
    We hypothesize that commercially-important cider apple cultivars will differ in important horticultural, pest damage incidence, and juice quality characteristics when grown in New England orchards.
  1. Mechanical thinning research (Maine)
    By removing flowers at bloom prior to fruit set, we hypothesize that trees will conserve resources spent on developing fruit and thus may exhibit consistent and annual flowering habit compared to trees that are not mechanically thinned.
  1. Return bloom research (Vermont)
    By removing developing shoot tips, and thus removing auxin source that is competitive with fruit bud formation, we hypothesize that hedge-pruned trees will exhibit more consistent and more annual flower and fruit production than non-hedged trees.

Based on prior research, we hypothesize that cider apple cultivars will react differently to post-bloom plant growth regulators. We expect that application of carbaryl at petal fall may promote annual flower and fruit production on some cultivars, but not others. We also hypothesize that application of auxin- or ethylene-based hormones may improve flower bud formation compared to non-treated trees, and will improve annual fruit production.

Materials and methods:
  1. Cider cultivar observations (Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont)
    a. Treatments:
    At least fifteen cider apple cultivars (e.g., ‘Dabinett’, ‘Yarlinton Mill’, ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’) will be systematically monitored annually from bloom until harvest to document bloom date, horticultural characteristics, and damage from diseases and insects, particularly fire blight and apple scab.
    b. Methods:
    In year one, an e-mail survey of apple growers was conducted to identify cider plantings and cultivars and to document current yield and cultural practices. Seven farms with cider cultivars were recruited to collaborate in scouting to quantify impacts of disease and insect pests. Flowering, fruit set and yield were observed among the different cultivars. Applicability of IPM pest risk forecasts, particularly fire blight, scab, and summer rot diseases, to cider cultivars will be evaluated.
  2. Data Collection and Analysis:
    Bloom dates for each cultivar, number of blossom and shoot fire blight infections, and observations of cultivar characteristics have been recorded annually. A summary of observations has been generated for each cultivar and will be published in a cider apple management guide in early 2022.
  3. Farmer Input:
    In a 2018 survey, apple growers indicated that fire blight and cultivar evaluation were two of their most pressing problems in increasing cider apple production. This research will be conducted in existing commercial cider orchards that possess the needed varieties and growers have offered them for systematic evaluation. Because no statistically-replicated cider orchards exist for cultivar evaluation in New England, this farm-based observational study has collected regional data to generate qualitative evaluations of commonly-grown cultivars. Grower input and researcher observations will determine which IPM tactics may be adjusted to improve cider apple production and reduce inputs.
  4. Mechanical thinning research (Maine)
    a. Treatments
    Experiment 1. Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious
    Three methods of flower bud removal will be compared for their effectiveness in preventing biennial bearing, impact on production costs and impact on fruit quality.
    1) Traditional dormant pruning (with hand tools) that incorporates spur removal (January to March).
    2) Following dormant pruning, a mechanized string thinner will be used to remove fruiting spurs during the delayed dormant phase of tree growth (April).
    3) Traditional pruning with no spur removal (control).

Experiment 2. Cider Apple Varieties
Two string thinning levels will be compared for effectiveness in early flower thinning, yield, and biennial bearing. Level of string thinning will be accomplished by tractor speed, variable length or number of strings in consultation with the grower (Kon, Schupp, Winzeler, & Marini, 2013).
1) No string thinning
2) String thinning light
3) String thinning heavy
4) Spur removal with hand tools

  1. Methods
    Experiment 1. Methods will be applied to mature ‘Golden Delicious’ and/or ‘Honeycrisp’ semidwarf and dwarf apple trees as a controlled experiment with each treatment replicated a minimum of four times. All trees will receive standard post-bloom chemical thinning. Treatment 1 will be accomplished by using hand tools to selectively remove spurs bearing flower buds. The amount of spur removal will be documented and will be adjusted according to the number of flower buds in each season. Treatment 2 will be accomplished using a string thinner powered by a tractor. The speed and adjustments of the strings will be based on grower experience. The string thinner is owned by the cooperating grower.
    Experiment 2 will be conducted in a commercial orchard with uniform plantings of cider varieties. Trees will be string thinned and compared with trees not string thinned.
  2. Data collection and analysis
    The number of spurs removed per tree and the time needed to perform the spur pruning will be measured on three trees within each replication and treatment. To measure biennial bearing, the amount of bloom and yield will be measured each year and using the standard equation to calculate the biennial bearing index (Barritt, Konishi, & Dilley, 1996). Bloom will be visually evaluated and rated using a scale of 0 = no bloom to 5 = an excessive number of flowers (Bukovac, Sabbatini, & Schwallier, 2006). Yield will be measured on one tree per replication and treatment. Fruit quality as fruit size, soluble solids (Brix), and titratable acidity (if possible) be measured on a 10-fruit sample from each harvested tree. Standard statistical analysis will be used to determine treatment differences in flower bud thinning, yield and fruit quality.
  3. Farmer input
    Based on a grower survey in Sept. 2018, biennial bearing was identified as one of the biggest limitations for cider apple producers. It has been a problem for dessert apple growers, as well. We designed the research experiment in consultation with Harry Ricker, Ricker Hill Orchards, who currently addresses this problem with mechanical pruning and thinning but has not measured their efficacy.
  4. Return bloom research (Vermont)
    a. Treatments
    Experiment 1: Hedging.
    Four hedging timings, based on research at and recommendations from Washington State University trials in dessert fruit (Lewis, 2018) are being compared for effects on fruit bud development and return bloom in cider cultivars.
    1) Normal dormant pruning with hand tools.
    2) Mechanical dormant pruning with hedger.
    3) Mechanical pruning at pink (prebloom) bud stage with hedger.
    4) Mechanical pruning at 12-14 leaf stage (mid-June) with hedger.

Experiment 2: Plant growth regulators (PGRs)
Six PGR treatments were applied based on prior research by the investigator (T. L. Bradshaw, Foster, & Kingsley-Richards, 2019) to evaluate effects on return bloom in biennial cider apple cultivars.
1) Non-treated control
2) Carbaryl at 16 fl oz/acre at petal fall bloom stage.
3) Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA, Fruitone N at 3 oz/acre) at 6,8, and 10 weeks after petal fall.
4) Ethephon (Ethrel at 8 oz per acre) at 6,8, and 10 weeks after petal fall.
5) Carbaryl + NAA treatment.
6) Carbaryl + Ethephon treatment.

  1. Methods
    Treatments were applied in two orchards on two cider apple cultivars at each in 2019 and 2020. Experimental units will be a randomized complete block design with blocking by position in the orchard and each four-tree block containing one each of the treatments. Trials will be replicated six times, on the same trees each year. Treatments will be applied by project staff; hand pruning will use standard tools (loppers, etc.) mechanical pruning will use a gas-powered hedger, and spray treatments will be applied with a hydraulic handgun sprayer. Treatments will be repeated annually.
    c. Data collection and analysis
    For each experiment, the following data sets will be collected following standard protocols used by the investigator:
    Tree growth- shoot length, canopy size, and trunk cross-sectional area (T Bradshaw et al., 2016); Crop yield kg fruit per tree and yield efficiency (T Bradshaw et al., 2016); and Juice quality- pH, titratable acidity, soluble solids, and total polyphenols (T. L. Bradshaw, Kingsley-Richards, & Foster, 2018). For each experiment, standard ANOVA by treatment plus interactions within each cultivar and orchard will be performed (SAS Institute Inc., 2002-2010).
    d. Farmer input
    Farmers have informed this research at multiple points, including through systematic surveys, one-on-one interactions, orchard site visits, and presentations at regional, national, and even international conferences (T. Bradshaw, 2018; T Bradshaw & Hazelrigg, 2018; Miles & Peck, 2014; Peck, Versen, Kelley, Cook, & Stimart, 2012). Specifically, two Vermont growers approached the project investigator with the original ideas that have formed the core of this research objective, and the research, including need for multi-year funding, has been discussed with the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association board of directors and other stakeholders.

 

Barritt, B. H., Konishi, B. S., & Dilley, M. A. (1996). Tree size, yield and biennial bearing relationships with 40 apple rootstocks and three scion cultivars. Acta Hort, 451, 105-112.
Bradshaw, T. (2018). New England Cider Apple Grower Research Priorities Survey.
Bradshaw, T., Berkett, L., Parsons, R., Darby, H., Moran, R., Garcia, E., . . . Gorres, J. (2016). Tree growth and crop yield of five cultivars in two organic apple orchard systems in Vermont, USA, 2006-2013. Acta Hort, 1137, 299-306. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1137.42
Bradshaw, T., & Hazelrigg, A. (2018). Status of IPM practice adoption in Vermont apple orchards in 2017. Retrieved from http://www.uvm.edu/~fruit/pubs/2017AppleIPMstatus.pdf
Bradshaw, T. L., Foster, J. A., & Kingsley-Richards, S. L. (2019). Evaluation of plant growth regulators to reduce biennial bearing of two cider apple cultivars in Vermont, U.S.A. Acta Hort, Accepted, in-press.
Bradshaw, T. L., Kingsley-Richards, S. L., & Foster, J. A. (2018). Apple Cultivar Evaluations for Cider Making in Vermont, U.S.A. Acta Hort, 1205, 453-460.
Bukovac, M. J., Sabbatini, P., & Schwallier, P. G. (2006). Modifying Alternate Bearing of Spur-TypeDelicious' Apple with Ethephon. HortScience, 41(7), 1606-1611.
Kon, T. M., Schupp, J. R., Winzeler, H. E., & Marini, R. P. (2013). Influence of Mechanical String Thinning Treatments on Vegetative and Reproductive Tissues, Fruit Set, Yield, and Fruit Quality of ‘Gala’ Apple. HortScience, 48(1), 40-46. Retrieved from http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/48/1/40.abstract
Lewis, K. (2018). Mechanical Hedging in Apples. Retrieved from http://treefruit.wsu.edu/article/mechanical-hedging-in-apples/
Merwin, I. (2008). Some antique apples for modern orchards. New York Fruit Quart, 16, 11-17.
Miles, C. A., & Peck, G. (2014). 2013 and 2014 CiderCON Survey Results of Cider Producers and Cider Apple Growers. Paper presented at the CiderCON, Chicago, IL. http://extension.wsu.edu/maritimefruit/Documents/CiderCon-survey-report.pdf
Peck, G., Versen, S., Kelley, M., Cook, C., & Stimart, S. (2012). Survey of apple growers' interest in growing apples for hard cider production. Retrieved from Winchester, VA:
SAS Institute Inc. (2002-2010). SAS 9.3. Cary, NC.

 

Research results and discussion:

Project activity was affected in 2020 by the COVID-19 situation, which delayed some work and prevented other efforts. Early-season (March-June) travel and orchard access was limited for most cooperators; a COVID outbreak on one participating farm in Vermont prevented access at harvest to assess fruit and juice characteristics. Activity in 2021 resumed as planned, although some activities were restricted  due to lack of in-person meetings and growers dropping out of cider production.

  1. Cider cultivar observations (Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont).
    Cider apple cultivar data collection instruments were trialed in 2019 by Bradshaw and Garofalo. Conclusions from that season are limited, and during winter 2019-2020 and in successive growing seasons, data will be compared with those from grower cooperators to validate individual observations.

    1. In 2020 and 2021, twenty-five cider apple cultivars were evaluated across ten farms. Observations were limited to sometimes one-off farm visits due to COVID-related travel restrictions, so not all cultivars were observed for multiple years or across the full season.
    2. Project personnel are summarizing observations in winter 2021-20122 for publication in spring. Some general trends observed include:
      1. Most European cider apple cultivars show substantial biennial bearing habit, as expected and reported in literature and grower observations.
      2. Many of the European cider apple cultivars, e.g., Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Michelin, and others, have a pronounced susceptibility to fire blight infection.
      3. North American heirloom cultivars are variable in their annual bearing habit, but as a group have substantially less issue with biennialism than European cider varieties.
      4. One class of cultivars that may be useful to growers includes Scab-resistant cultivars that may be easier to grow and show, in the lab, intermediate juice chemistry characteristics between traditional dessert cultivars and high-phenolic European and similar cider cultivars.
    3. In 2021, a side project conducted by a UVM student affiliated with this project was conducted to evaluate nearly 70 wild and feral apples with the goal to identify potential candidates for selection and propagation that would be suited to local climate. Those data are presently being summarized for presentation in spring.

 

 

 

 

  1. Mechanical thinning research (Maine)
    1. Spur pruning trials at Highmoor farm in Monouth, ME.

The string thinning experiment was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Instead, observations on string thinning effectiveness were done at a commercial orchard in Greene, ME with Gala, a variety that may have larger fruit size from prebloom thinning.  The grower’s method was modified based on results from the previous year’s experiment.  In 2019, we learned that the string thinner overthinned outer branches and did not thin the inner canopy branches.  To counteract this imbalance, I suggested to the grower that he focus on thinning the outer branches only and adjust the speed of the string revolutions so that overthinning no longer occurred.  Follow-up observations indicated that trees were not overthinned, but also that they may not have been thinned enough.  Due to physical distancing requirements, I was not able to properly mark the rows that were thinned, so detailed measurements were not made.

 

The spur pruning (artificial spur extinction) experiments in the Honeycrisp rootstock trial continued in 2021 as planned.  In April, two rows of trees (35 trees per row) were spur pruned and one row was not.  We spur pruned the same trees that were spur pruned in 2019 and 2020. Control trees remained without spur pruning, as a way to document repeated spur pruning on bloom and yield, but also on the amount of time required to continue the practice. Limb renewal plus simplifying (removing side branches but keeping spurs) took 1 to 2 minutes for a dwarf-sized trees. Return bloom counts were complicated by the need to do spur pruning three weeks before bloom, so bloom count data may not fully represent return bloom. Bloom and fruit counts were done on all 12 rootstocks (Table 2). 

 

Most of the trees were in an ‘off’ year of the biennial cycle, so spur pruning was not as severe as in previous years. In this the third year of consecutive pruning, bloom and crop load were greater with spur pruning, an important attribute in an off year (Table 2). The lighter crop load resulted in larger fruit size in the control trees, so the impact on yield per tree was minimized. Biennial bearing index (change in yield from 2020 to 2021) was not significantly greater with the control treatment. Yield per acre and cumulative yield did not statistically differ between the two pruning methods in 2021, but spur pruning moderated the up and down cycling in yield (Figure 1).  From a practical standpoint, spur pruned trees produced over 100 more bushels than trees not spur pruned.

 

Interactions occurred between spur pruning and rootstock, so data from four selected rootstocks is shown in Table 3 and Figure 1. Spur pruning moderated year-to-year fluctuations in crop load in one rootstock, G.214, but not the other three. Spur pruning moderated fluctuations in yield in three of the rootstocks, but not in the most vigorous and least biennial one, V.1.

 

 

Table 2. Amount of bloom, biennial bearing index and yield per acre after spur pruning Honeycrisp for 2021 (mean of 12 rootstocks).    

 

Treatment

Flower clusters

(# / tree)

Biennial bearing index

Crop load

(fruit / tree)

Fruit size (g)

Yield

(bu. / acre)

Cumulative 4-year yield

(bu. / acre)

Control

Spur pruned

112

0.40

51

223

515

2128

154

0.30

72

202

668

2473

*

 

*

*

 

 

 * Indicates a significant effect of spur pruning compared to no spur pruning.

Yield per acre based on 900 trees per acre.

 

Table 3. Amount of bloom after spur pruning and yield per tree in Honeycrisp on four rootstocks. 

 

Rootstock

 

Treatment

Flower clusters (# / tree)

Yield (no. fruit/tree)

Cumulative yield

 (kg / tree)

2020

2021

 

2019

2020

2021

B.10

Control

   265*

105

 

70

112

41

  45*

Spur pruned

156

103

 

49

  88

51

37

G.214

Control

   229*

141

 

103*

  74

65

41

Spur pruned

136

183

 

73

  85

91

42

G.41

Control

   158*

90

 

65

103

42

34

Spur pruned

130

114

 

46

  77

48

32

V.1

Control

139

240

 

52

  76

83

42

Spur pruned

   174*

191

 

43

  90

94

47

 * Indicates a significant effect of spur pruning compared to no spur pruning.

 

 

 

Figure 1.  Honeycrisp yield in spur pruned and without spur pruning in 2019 and 2020. * Indicates a significant effect of spur pruning compared to no spur pruning.

 

Figure 1. Honeycrisp crop load (number of fruit per tree) and yield per tree in spur pruned and without spur pruning (control) in four rootstocks. Spur pruning began in 2019. 

 

 

 

We began additional spur and limb pruning experiments in three Honeycrisp orchards in 2021. In the Turner orchard, five trees were spur pruned and another five were not. Trees were spur pruned to singulate spur clusters and to remove flower buds where there were several occurring in close proximity to each other.  All trees were previously pruned by the grower. Observations in two entire rows of trees indicated that 22% (12 out of 54 trees) of the trees had no bloom in 2021. These trees were tagged for future bloom counts. In Orchards 94 and 7-202, located at the experiment station, we added a limb removal treatment to compare with spur pruning. These trees were previously lightly pruned by the farm manager.

 

Spur pruning reduced the number of flower clusters in two of the orchards (Table 4). The effect was minimal in the Turner orchard which had fewer flowers than the other orchards. Limb removal was not as time consuming as spur pruning and reduced the number of flower clusters, but not enough to substantially reduce crop load.  Pruning treatments did not influence fruit quality.  

 

Table 4. Number of flower clusters, fruit per tree and fruit quality after three pruning treatments in Honeycrisp orchards in 2021.     

 

Orchard

 

Treatment

Flower clusters

(# / tree)

Crop load

(# of fruit per tree)

Fruit size (g)

Fruit firmness (lbs.)

Soluble solids (%)

Turner

Control

318

--

--

--

--

Spur pruned

226

--

--

--

--

94

Control

776

400

181

15.3

11.0

Spur pruned

  409*

322

205

15.6

11.2

Limb removal

  358*

302

188

16.2

11.2

7-202

Control

432

209

219

15.4

12.2

Spur pruned

  238*

179

231

15.1

11.9

Limb removal

  238*

138

236

14.9

11.4

  * Indicates a significant effect compared to no spur pruning (Control).  Bloom and crop load analysis was adjusted for trunk size.

 

  1. Return bloom research (Vermont)

Return bloom research in Vermont was completed in 2019-2020 growing seasons.

    1. Hedge pruning trials at University of Vermont Horticulture Research and Education Center (South Burlington, VT) and Sunrise Orchards (Cornwall, VT).

Three mechanical hedging timings were compared for their effects on return bloom in cider cultivars trained to tall spindle. Treatments consisted of 1) Normal winter dormant pruning with hand tools as a control. 2) Mechanical winter dormant pruning with hedger. 3) Mechanical pruning at pink (prebloom) bud stage with hedger. 4) Mechanical pruning at 12-14 leaf stage (mid-June) with hedger. Treatments were applied in a randomized complete block design, with six single-tree replications per treatment.

Replicated field trials were done at two orchards in Chittenden and Addison County, Vermont. The first site located at the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center in South Burlington, VT.  Productive, 8 year old, ‘Empire’ and ‘McIntosh’ trees grafted onto 'Budagovsky 9’ (BUD 9) rootstock spaced at 0.9m · 4.5m apart in a Windsor Adams loamy sand with supplemental irrigation were selected for the trial. The second location, a commercial orchard in Cornwall, VT with hard cider cultivars ‘Somerset Redstreak’ and ‘Harry Masters Jersey’ grafted on NIC29 ® rootstock established in 2016 planted at 0.9m · 4 m spacing in Vergennes clay soil with supplemental irrigation. At both sites, orchard floor management consisted of semi frequent mowing of the interrows with a 1-m herbicide strip maintained in the intrarow. Trees were irrigated at the grower’s discretion. Each planting followed standard commercial practices for pest and fertilization management. 

Hedging was performed using a mechanical hedge trimmer (STHL model KM 56 RC-E with HL-KM attachment, STIHL Inc. Virginia Beach, VA). Trees were trimmed to a fruiting wall measuring two feet across the row using a measured guide attached to the trimmer. Hedging performed during the growing season was completed when no rain was forecast for two days following the procedure to limit potential for firelight infection. 

‘Somerset Redstreak’ was recorded at full bloom on May 21 in 2019 and 2020.  Fruit was harvested according to growers schedule and recommendation on 16 Sept 2019 and 8 Sept 2020. ‘Harry Masters Jersey’ full bloom was recorded on 27 May 2019 and 29 May 2020. Harvested 25 Sept 2020, 2019 harvest date unrecorded. ‘McIntosh’ came into full bloom 23 May 2019 and 21 May 2020, harvested on 19 Sept 2019, and 24 Sept 2020. ‘Empire’ full bloom 24 May 2019, 21 May 2020 with harvest on 26 Sept 2019, and 28 Sept 2020.  

Data Collection

At full bloom, for each treatment-replicate, the total number of flower clusters on each tree was counted and recorded. Each fall vegetative growth parameters: tree height and spread (m), trunk circumference (cm), and the length of five terminal branches per tree were measured. At harvest total crop yield was measured (kg tree-1) and number of fruit per tree recorded. The number of recently dropped fruits were recorded separately and assumed to be of average fruit weight. A randomly selected sample of fruit (5) per treatment-replicate (tree) was collected from harvested fruit and assessed for fruit size, scored for percent green background color to red foreground color, general defects, and USDA grade distribution (Bradshaw et al., 2018). After external evaluation, internal fruit qualities such as fruit firmness and ripeness were assessed. Fruit firmness was measured using a 11-mm probe penetrometer (Wagner, Greenwich,CT) and ripeness assigned using the starch iodine index (Blanpied; Silsby 1992-07 #125). Fruit samples were then analyzed for juice quality parameters including pH, titratable acidity, total phenolics, and soluble solids using standard protocols. 

Data analysis

Data were subject to analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures by hedging treatment separately for each orchard location and year (SAS Institute Inc., 2002-2010). If overall variances were found at α=0.05, post-hoc multiple comparisons were made using Tukey’s adjustment.

 

Hedging treatments applied in 2019 were expected to affect the following season’s flowering.  In 2020, the dormant hand pruned treatment on ‘McIntosh’ had an average return bloom of 238 flower clusters per tree, 83% of the prior year’s total. Hedging treatments on ‘McIntosh’ in 2019 had a 47-54% reduction in the number of returning flower clusters from the prior year. This could be because there was less canopy volume and foliage to support flower development. There were no differences in bloom attributable to hedging treatment in 2021. In 2019 a trend toward reduced yield per tree and yield efficiency (yield per TCA) from hedging was observed for almost all cultivars, the exception being ‘McIntosh’. Dormant hand pruned ‘McIntosh’ had an average 6 kg yield increase over any hedging treatment in 2020.  ‘Empire’ hedged at pink bud stage had higher crop yield than dormant hand pruned trees in 2020. After the second year of hedging ‘Somerset Redstreak’ showed an increase in cumulative yield for all hedging times. The cropping of ‘Somerset Redstreak’ in 2020 shows the potential for annual bearing tendencies for that cultivar. Previous studies on hedging ‘Empire’ suggests that hedging increases cumulative yield over a ten-year period (Ferree and Rhodus, 1993). Two years of data presented here are currently unable to fully support that statement, but hedging appears to be a promising management tool for both ‘Empire’ and ‘Somerset Redstreak’. ‘Harry Master Jersey’ exhibited biennial tendencies with very few trees flowering in 2020.  This confirms the tendency for ‘Harry Master Jersey’ to be biennial and that following one-year of hedging, return bloom was not stimulated. More data are necessary to confirm this trend.

Table 1: Effects of three hedging times on bloom and crop yield of 'McIntosh', 'Empire', 'Somerset Redstreak' and 'Harry Masters Jersey' in Vermont. Sampled from 2019 & 2020.

Cultivar/ Location

Treatment a

No. of flower
clusters per tree

Yield per tree (kg)

Yield efficiency

(kg fruit/ TCSA)

 Pre-harvest Drop (%)

2019

2020

2021

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

‘McIntosh’

SBVT

D-HP

288.8

238.2 A

217.2

13.99

18.58

0.99

1.25 a

2.6

4.1 ab

D-HG

283.8

135.2 B

272.3

17.29

13.48

1.20

0.86 ab

1.5

8.9 a

P-HG

262.2

132.7 B

280.5

12.45

12.53

0.84

0.86 ab

1.4

4.7 ab

J-HG

338.5

183.2 AB

250.8

10.24

12.58

0.67

0.77 b

1.2

3.6 b

p-valueb

 

0.219

0.003

0.592

0.058

0.045

0.009

0.030

0.476

0.030

‘Empire’

SBVT

D-HP

159.8

131.3

211.2

8.09

6.51

0.74 a

0.53

0.6

4.1

D-HG

158.7

121.7

217.3

6.57

6.11

0.56 ab

0.47

1.0

4.5

P-HG

164.0

137.3

197.7

6.91

7.96

0.58 ab

0.60

1.3

1.4

J-HG

140.5

97.5

178.8

5.74

6.01

0.53 b

0.51

0.4

2.3

p-value

 

0.770

0.238

0.678

0.286

0.670

0.034

0.721

0.660

0.561

‘Somerset Redstreak’

CWVT

D-HP

111.8

33.2

194.8

4.72

2.75

0.43

0.23

37.8

24.4

D-HG

75.3

70.3

116.2

3.94

4.38

0.34

0.39

24.0

9.4

P-HG

49.8

27.5

214.2

3.12

3.97

0.28

0.32

23.5

12.7

J-HG

59.2

55.3

158.5

2.74

3.09

0.24

0.28

36.2

14.1

p-value

 

0.534

0.670

0.711

0.718

0.934

0.687

0.932

0.702

0.574

‘Harry Masters Jersey’

CWVT

D-HP

99.7

0.0

199.5

-

-

-

-

-

-

D-HG

93.8

0.0

199.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

P-HG

80.2

5.2

161.8

-

-

-

-

-

-

J-HG

98.2

11.5

188.5

-

-

-

-

-

-

p-value

 

0.770

0.534

0.810

-

-

-

-

-

 

a  D-HP =dormant hand pruning,  D-HG = dormant hedging, P-HG= pink hedging, J-HG= June hedging

bP-value for overall ANOVA for treatment effects within each orchard/year. Mean values followed by the same letter are not different at α=0.05 using Tukey’s adjustment.

                       

 

Hedging in 2019 narrowed the spread of the trees, reducing the canopy volume for each cultivar (Table 2). Hand-pruned trees were nearly twice the size of trees pruned mid-June. Hand pruned trees remained larger in 2020, but ‘McIntosh’ and ‘Somerset Redstreak’ did not show a difference among treatments. Summer hedging at pink stimulated shoot growth for ‘Somerset Redstreak’ and ‘McIntosh’ leading to a wider and denser canopy. No TCSA differences were observed in 2019 or in 2020 between trees hand pruned or hedged, across all four-cultivars surveyed.

There were no differences in juice quality for soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, or total phenolic among treatments.  Juice chemistry (Table 3) was within a normal range for all cultivars (Alexander et al., 2016; Bradshaw et al., 2018). This shows that canopy management done

Table 2: Effects of three hedging timings on tree growth parameters of 'McIntosh', 'Empire', 'Somerset Redstreak' and 'Harry Masters Jersey' in Vermont. Autumn 2019 & 2020

Cultivar/ Location

Treatment a

TCSA (cm2)

Canopy area (m2)

 Terminal branch length (cm)

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

‘McIntosh’

SBVT

D-HP

15.8

17.7

9.1 AB

12.7

29.1

22.8 B

D-HG

16.5

19.8

11.0 A

10.3

23.6

20.0 B

P-HG

17.4

19.8

5.1 B

8.5

23.8

38.5 A

J-HG

18.5

22.1

5.7 B

8.2

25.8

20.9 B

p-value

 

0.714

0.683

0.003

0.230

0.708

0.005

‘Empire’

SBVT

D-HP

9.4

11.7

4.2

4.9 a

15.8

16.8

D-HG

10.5

13.2

4.2

3.6 ab

18.4

26.0

P-HG

11.0

13.8

2.6

3.6 ab

18.1

22.5

J-HG

9.0

11.1

1.8

2.7 b

20.2

24.4

p-value

 

0.627

0.520

0.031

0.038

0.797

0.212

‘Somerset Redstreak’

CWVT

D-HP

9.8

11.8

9.1

10.7

17.4 b

36.7

D-HG

10.1

12.1

8.7

9.1

18.7 b

27.5

P-HG

10.5

13.6

5.9

8.9

29.5 a

35.8

J-HG

9.3

11.9

4.4

7.3

22.7 ab

32.5

p-value

 

0.772

0.613

0.038

0.393

0.016

0.848

‘Harry Masters Jersey’

CWVT

D-HP

12.8

16.5

6.2 a

7.7 A

15.5

27.5

D-HG

13.3

17.5

4.6 ab

4.9 B

17.8

21.5

P-HG

12.5

15.3

3.2 b

5.0 B

18.8

29.2

J-HG

14.9

19.0

3.3 b

4.5 B

16.3

27.6

p-value

 

0.280

0.145

0.0007

0.001

0.282

0.177

a  D-HP =dormant hand pruning,  D-HG = dormant hedging, P-HG= pink hedging,

J-HG= June hedging

bP-value for overall ANOVA for treatment effects within each orchard/year. Mean values followed by the same letter are not different at α=0.05 using Tukey’s adjustment.

 

throughout the year and altering tree structure via hedging does not negatively affect juice quality. These results provide apple growers and hard cider producers with a better understanding of how different crop load and canopy management strategies influence juice quality at harvest. Fruit quality parameters (Table 4) for red color, firmness, and starch index rating remained unaffected by treatment. Although summer hedging opened up the canopy to allow potentially more light penetration into the tree, there were no increases in fruit color observed on hedged trees.  There were no differences in fruit firmness and starch indexes at α error of 0.05. This did not agree with previous work which showed increases in fruit color, softer fruit, and higher starch indices on summer pruned ‘McIntosh’ trees (Schupp, 1992).

Hedging during the summer caused tissue damage to tree limbs and shoots, leaving a splintered ‘broomstick’ effect on the end of trimmed branches. Pruning trees mid-season can carry an increased risk of fire blight infection. Fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora is a destructive disease that causes dieback of blossoms, shoots, limbs and under ideal conditions can kill the tree. Hedging at pink and mid-June causes wounds that fire blight bacterium can enter. Infected trees can develop lesions that ooze orange bacterium filled liquid that is easily spread in moist, warm weather, by splashing rain, dew, wind and insects. The use of hedging equipment can also spread disease if not properly sanitized. Damaged branches that have dead tissue also have the potential to host a range of fungal diseases, such as black rot (Botryosphaeria obtusa) that can infect fruit and form cankers. Disease management for ‘McIntosh’ and ‘Empire’ is well understood, but the fire blight and disease susceptibility of ‘Harry Master Jersey’ and “Somerset Redstreak’ grown in the northeastern U.S.A. is less well-established. No fire blight damage was seen in this study, likely in part due to proper sanitation and timing hedging treatments around weather conditions. Growers would benefit from a robust disease assessment on damage caused by hedging and the incidence of disease.

Results of this study suggest that summer canopy management does not alter apple juice quality. ‘Harry Masters Jersey’ showed a tendency for biennial bearing, and summer hedging was unable to stimulate return bloom. ‘Empire’ and ‘Somerset Redstreak’ may both benefit from hedging showing signs of increased yields and annual bearing. Future studies should continue to record flowering and yield of ‘Somerset Redstreak’ and ‘Harry Masters Jersey’ to establish a biennial bearing index. Based on the two years of data presented, ‘McIntosh’ trained to tall spindle may not be suitable for hedging due to decreased yields and flower return. Both cider cultivars would benefit from a specific crop load management study that hand thins trees to specific fruiting densities based on TCSA. More research-based information is needed to understand the flowering and cropping of specialty cultivars to inform growers on how to maintain consistent annual production. 

Table 4: Fruit quality at harvest for 'McIntosh', 'Empire', 'Somerset Redstreak' and 'Harry Masters Jersey' in Vermont. Sampled autumn 2019 & 2020

Cultivar /Location

Treatmenta

Red Color (%)

Flesh firmness (kg cm-2)

Starch pattern index

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

‘McIntosh'

SBVT

D-HP

85

82

7.9

7.5

5.4

5.5

D-HG

85

78

7.7

7.3

6.0

4.8

P-HG

92

70

7.8

7.3

5.7

5.2

J-HG

95

80

8.0

7.2

5.1

5.2

p-value

 

0.1660

0.1014

0.7565

0.6717

0.0965

0.2624

‘Empire'

SBVT

D-HP

92

93

9.0

8.6

3.4

4.2

D-HG

96

93

9.2

8.4

2.9

4.6

P-HG

94

91

9.1

8.3

3.3

4.8

J-HG

91

89

9.2

8.4

2.9

4.9

p-value

 

0.0921

0.2744

0.9515

0.7204

0.3115

0.0661

‘Somerset Redstreak'

CWVT

D-HP

73

58

7.6

8.8

4.1

3.7

D-HG

64

57

7.8

8.2

4.2

4.4

P-HG

75

50

7.7

8.7

3.5

5.1

J-HG

75

58

7.5

8.5

4.3

5.1

p-value

 

0.6401

0.9427

0.5281

0.9714

0.7357

0.6351

a D-HP =dormant hand pruning,  D-HG = dormant hedging, P-HG= pink hedging, J-HG= June hedging

bP-value for overall ANOVA for treatment effects within each orchard/year. Mean values followed by the same letter are not different at α=0.05 using Tukey’s adjustment.

 

This material was presented at in June 2021 at XII International Symposium on Integrating Canopy, Rootstock and Environmental Physiology in Orchard Systems and is under review in the journal Acta Horticulturae.

    1. Plant growth regulator trials at University of Vermont Horticulture Research and Education Center (South Burlington, VT) and Sunrise Orchards (Cornwall, VT).

For commonly grown dessert apple cultivars chemical thinning or the removal of some fruit each season helps maintain fruit size, quality, and annual bearing characteristics. Chemical thinning is often achieved with applications of carbaryl at petal fall alone or in combination with other plant growth regulators (PGRs). This traditional thinning program used for dessert fruit does not adequately thin European-origin cider apples resulting in insufficient return bloom or inconsistent cropping from year to year. On dessert apple cultivars with biennial bearing tendencies, midsummer applications of PGRs are used to enhance fruit bud development for the following year. In  2019, experiments were conducted in two apple orchards in Vermont, U.S.A with the primary objective to evaluate  the effects of naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and ethephon alone and in combination with carbaryl on return bloom, crop yield, and fruit and juice quality. During the two years of the study, cultivars ‘Harry Masters Jersey’ and ‘Kingston Black’ both demonstrated strong biennial production habits producing few flowers and fruit in 2020. Ethephon applications alone and in combination with carbaryl showed advanced ripening and fruit softening in ‘Somerset Redstreak’ during the year of treatment. ‘Kingston Black’ had increased fruit softening with ethephon only applications. Growth regulator treatments did not have a consistent effect on juice quality between cultivars. During the treatment year, 2019, all Ethephon treated ‘Somerset Redstreak’ had a higher pH and juice from trees treated with Ethephon and carbaryl had a lower titratable acidity.  ‘Kingston Black’ juice was unaffected by PGR applications.

 

Cultivar & Locationa

Treatment

No. of flower clusters per tree

SSR : CWVT

KB : SBVT

HMJ: CWVT

2019

2020

2021

2019

2020

2021

2019

2020

2021

NTC

81.2

112.0

180.7

153.4

7.4

61.8

84.3

19.2

191.0

Carb

97.5

69.0

228.5

190.0

4.2

37.6

94.5

0.0

210.7

NAA

68.8

84.3

130.2

144.2

28.0

45.0

83.5

0.0

186.8

ETH

75.8

109.3

210.0

152.0

19.8

54.2

75.5

24.5

198.0

NAA+Carb

121.8

42.8

288.3

157.4

21.8

55.8

86.0

0.0

203.2

ETH+Carb

163.0

0.0

380.2

181.8

10.6

50.8

96.7

0.0

273.5

P-value c

0.287

0.454

0.261

0.897

0.727

0.971

0.838

0.554

0.392

a NTC=Non treated control, Carb= carbaryl, ETH= ethphon, NAA= naphthaleneacetic acid,  SSR= ‘Somerset Redstreak’, CWVT=Cornwall, Vermont, KB= ‘Kingston Black’, SBVT= South Burlington, VT a , b from table one. c P-value for overall ANOVA for treatment effects within each orchard/year. Mean values followed by the same letter are not different at α=0.05 using Tukey’s adjustment.

 

This material was presented at in June 2021 at XII International Symposium on Integrating Canopy, Rootstock and Environmental Physiology in Orchard Systems and is under review in the journal Acta Horticulturae.

 

Participation Summary
5 Farmers participating in research

Education

Educational approach:

We are implementing a multi-dimensional outreach and extension program to disseminate NECAP findings and encourage adoption of sustainable production practices for cider apple cultivars. Short- and mid-term outcomes are directly related to Northeast SARE’s broad-based outcomes on strengthening sustainability of agricultural production systems and are both attainable and measurable.

Recruitment. Announcements were sent by email newsletters in November, 2019 in each Project state (MA, ME and VT) and to colleagues in other New England states to over 300 apple growers who were recruited to attend educational events and to participate in a survey. NECAP announcements posted at University websites, newsletter articles and a survey have served as recruitment materials, and materials were included in presently-used program instruments (e.g., U-Maine tree fruit newsletter, UMASS ‘Healthy Fruit’, UVM Fruit Blog).

Curriculum Topics. Cider apple production problems and solutions are the focus of our educational program.  We have hosted events with sessions devoted to cider apple issues such as cultivar selection; biennial bearing causes and cures; primary disease and insect pests; and cost-effective crop load management.  Increased labor or equipment costs are a challenge to farmer adoption, and this will be addressed by demonstrating the potential improvement in yield and profit.  Perceptions of increased risk for crop loss will be addressed by demonstrated crop protection effectiveness and reduction in production costs. The curriculum includes the ongoing research on improving consistency in yield and the development of IPM and horticultural management protocols specific to cider apples.

Instructional Methods. Farmer education is accomplished through educational presentations at grower meetings, newsletter articles, creation of a cider apple section in the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide, grower consultations, and on-farm research projects.  Educational presentations on cider apple production and the research projects have occurred at existing annual summer and winter fruit grower meetings in each state.  Project personnel hosted a cider apple-specific session at 2019 New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference attended by 82 total participants. An online webinar was hosted the following season in March 2021 and was attended by 147 stakeholders with nearly 300 views of the archived recording.

 

NECAP results and progress are posted on a dedicated project web space at https://apples.extension.org/category/cider-apples/, on social media, and extended via project newsletters and publications (e.g., UMass Healthy Fruit; Fruit Notes; U-Maine tree fruit newsletter; regional colleagues’ websites and newsletters).  Consultations with individual growers, an effective method for assisting with farm-specific problems, will be conducted at the request of interested growers.

Beneficiary Support.  Project participants will support growers who are implementing a low-spray program developed for cider apples and growers who are implementing horticultural methods that manage cropload and increase repeat bloom.  Pruning demonstrations and technical assistance will be given to growers as they adopt these strategies. The project team has a long history of providing excellent technical outreach to New England producers, and this project will be integrated into existing networks.

Project outputs to-date (1/31/2022):

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

1. New England Cider Apple Program (NECAP) announcement is emailed in newsletters to 300 fruit growers in New England. Growers are invited to attend an educational session at the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference (NEVFC). One hundred growers complete the survey of practices used on their farms to produce cider apples.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
100
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
5
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
85
Proposed Completion Date:
March 30, 2020
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 11, 2019
Accomplishments:

Survey was distributed and results collected and summarized.

 

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

2. One hundred fifty growers attend a regional cider apple production meeting to learn cider apple practices, and on-farm research / demonstration results.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
150
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
85
Proposed Completion Date:
December 11, 2019
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 11, 2019
Accomplishments:

A Hard Cider session was presented at New England Vegetable and Fruit Meetings in Manchester, NH on December 11, 2019, and was attended by 85 stakeholders. The program included:

  1. Craft Cider Making: Trials in Sourcing Local Juice
    Mike Fairbrother, Moonlight Meadery
  2. Geographical Indicators and Strategic Partnerships in Hard Cider
    David Conner, UVM
  3. Management Considerations for Growing Cider Apples in New England
    Terence Bradshaw, UVM
  4. Experiences in Growing Apples for Cider Making
    Giff Burnap, Butternut Farm Cidery
    Dan Wilson, Hicks Orchard
    Ali Stevenson, Scott Farm Orchard

In March, 2020, project personnel will also present at the Northeastern Cider Conference in Albany, NY. This conference was canceled due to the COVID-10 situation.

 

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

3. Ten cider apple orchards complete quantitative on-farm assessments of specific cider apple cultivar susceptibility to disease and insect pests.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
6
Proposed Completion Date:
October 1, 2019
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
November 1, 2019
Accomplishments:

Cultivar assessments in 2019 were scaled-back in order to evaluate the survey instrument and methodology used to collect field data. The NECAP advisory committee met on December 11, 2019 at NEVFC to discuss and hone data collection methods to be used in 2020.

 

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

4. Ten cider apple orchards complete quantitative on-farm assessments of specific cider apple cultivar susceptibility to disease and insect pests.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
6
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
5
Proposed Completion Date:
October 1, 2020
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
October 1, 2020
Accomplishments:

Complete cultivar evaluation was slowed by travel and farm access restrictions resulting from COVID-19. Data were collected at all ten farms, project staff collaborated over winter/spring 2021-2022 to identify gaps in data and elucidate cultivar trends.

 

 

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

5. Ten cider apple orchards complete quantitative on-farm assessments of specific cider apple cultivar susceptibility to disease and insect pests

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
10
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
6
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
4
Proposed Completion Date:
October 1, 2021
Status:
Incomplete
Accomplishments:

Initial cultivar data were collected for later summary.

 

Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

6. Twenty cider apple producers provide farm and cultivar performance data to participatory cultivar evaluation project

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
5
Proposed Completion Date:
November 15, 2020
Status:
Incomplete
Accomplishments:

Participatory data collection was one component of the project that was limited in 2020. We are developed protocols to collect that data in 2021.

 

 

Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

7. Twenty cider apple producers provide farm and cultivar performance data to participatory cultivar evaluation project.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
10
Proposed Completion Date:
November 15, 2021
Status:
Incomplete
Accomplishments:

Data were collected from ten farms by multiple project personnel. Collation and summary are in-process in winter 2022.

 

Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

8. Four cider apple orchards host on-farm research and demonstration trials to evaluate fruit thinning and pruning methods for reducing biennial bearing and pest management practices.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
3
Proposed Completion Date:
December 15, 2020
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

One grower in Greene, ME was spur pruning Honeycrisp trees to better manage crop load.  The method involved counting fruit and pruning off a certain number of spurs so that only 100 remained, and this added to the labor requirement.  A quicker method of assessing the number of spurs on each tree is needed, but should be compared to the more actual counting.  The same grower also thins at full bloom by applying lime sulfur. In 2020, we used the pollen tube grower model to fine tune application timing for greater effectiveness.

 

Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

9. Four cider apple orchards host on-farm research and demonstration trials to evaluate fruit thinning and pruning methods for reducing biennial bearing and pest management practices.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Proposed Completion Date:
December 15, 2021
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

Two years of research in VT and one in Maine have been completed. Results have been submitted to Acta Horticulturae for publication and will be presented in a March 2022 webinar and subsequent grower guide to be published in Spring.

 

 

Milestone #10 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

10. Fifty growers attend local and regional apple production meetings to learn about on farm research and demonstration results.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
50
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
88
Proposed Completion Date:
March 15, 2020
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
December 11, 2019
Accomplishments:

87 growers attended project meeting in Manchester, NH.

 

Milestone #11 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

11. One hundred-fifty growers attend local and regional apple production meetings to learn about on farm research and demonstration results.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
150
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
147
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
5
Proposed Completion Date:
March 15, 2021
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
February 9, 2021
Accomplishments:

147 stakeholders attended webinar hosted by Bradshaw, Garofalo, and Moran.

 

Milestone #12 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

12. Fifty growers attend local and regional apple production meetings to learn about on farm research and demonstration results.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
50
Proposed Completion Date:
March 15, 2022
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #13 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

13. Fifty growers adopt sustainable cider apple practices including new plantings of high-value cider apple cultivars, more effective horticultural practices (pruning, thinning, training), and reduced pesticide application.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
50
Proposed Completion Date:
June 30, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

End of project survey will be conducted late winter 2022.

 

Milestone #14 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

14. Fifty growers adopting cider apple production practices will complete a comprehensive end-of-project survey to document: changes in management, economic benefits from growing cider apples, and barriers or incentives they experienced toward increased adoption of cider apple production methods.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
50
Proposed Completion Date:
June 30, 2022
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

End of project survey will be conducted late winter 2022.

 

Participants

No participants
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.