Sustainable Apple Production System

1999 Annual Report for FNC99-266

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1999: $4,109.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Eric Carlson
Blue Vista Farm

Sustainable Apple Production System


Apple producers are looking to integrated pest management to control pests, in order to stay within regulations of the Food Quality Protection Act.

Objective: To demonstrate a low-chemical apple production system, while maintaining a high level of fancy and extra fancy fruit packout.

1) To demonstrate a system implementing pheromone disruption on codling moth.

Instead of using insecticide cover sprays during the growing season, the producer controlled and trapped apple maggot flies by using sticky red spheres combined with volatile apple esters. Codling moths were controlled using a rotation of organophosphate insecticide spray and pheromone disruption through degree day calculation.

The producer selected a disease resistant cultivar, in an attempt to control apple scab. Eradicant fungicide sprays were only used after the tree developed an infection. Antibiotic cover sprays, inoculum removal during the orchard's dormancy and copper-based spray applied at the silver tip stage were used to manage fireblight.

Herbicides and a mechanical tiller served as weed control, and the producer used nine-strand, high-tensile steel wire high-voltage fences to deter deer grazing.

Results: The producer was able to highly control apple maggot fly, although early season cultivars had more difficulty than other varieties. Codling moth control was met with limited success due to the area's high population of wild apple trees, which served as a reservoir for these insects.

Apple scab was fully controlled with disease resistant cultivars. Control measures for fireblight were also equally effective.

Weed control was excellent. The deer fencing provided exceptional control, even during the high pressure season of late winter and early spring. The producer warns that the bottom strand of the fence needs to be close to the ground to deter deer from going underneath the fence.