Orchard management subject of NCW Apple Day

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File photo Granny Smith apples fill a bin at Salgado Orchards near Ephrata. Growers will have a chance to catch up on the latest techniques at Apple Day in Wenatchee on Thursday.

WENATCHEE — Old pests, evolving diseases and new safety regulations will be among the topics at NCW Apple Day, scheduled for Thursday at the Wenatchee Convention Center, 121 N. Wenatchee Ave. It’s part of the annual NCW Tree Fruit continuing education program sponsored by Washington State University Extension.

Admission is free. An option for lunch is provided at noon, with advance registration for lunch required. There’s a trade show along with the presentations.

Classes begin at 9 a.m.; each class is about 30 minutes. Classes are split into three topics: apple horticulture, food safety and pest and disease management.

The results of research into growing WA 38 (also known as Cosmic Crisp), especially figuring out irrigation and stem clipping, will be the subject of the 9 a.m. class. Ines Hanrahan from the Washington Tree Fruit Research facility is the speaker. That’s followed at 9:30 a.m. by an update on the research into growing characteristics of WA 38, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Gala and Fuji varieties. The speakers are Lee Kalcsits, Nadia Valverdi, Raquel Gomez and Michele Reid, all from WSU’s horticulture department. A more comprehensive review of research into WA 38 is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Stefano Musacchi of WSU’s horticulture department is the speaker.

The rules for produce safety will be changing in 2019, and will include on-farm inspections. The revised rules and what farmers need to know will be discussed at 11:30 a.m. The program will include details on the information farmers will need for compliance. Faith Critzer, a produce safety specialist at WSU, also will answer questions.

Codling moth, fire blight and emerging diseases will be the subject of the afternoon session. Scott Harper, professor at WSU, will talk about old diseases and new viruses in the 1 p.m. class. Harper said more analysis will be necessary to determine the importance of new diseases like apple rubbery wood and apple hammerhead.

Codling moth, that perpetual apple nemesis, will be the subject of the 1:30 presentation. Lee Gale of the NWW company and Mike Hodge of GS Long Company will talk about integrated pest management, the most effective spray mixes and other topics.

The last 90 minutes will be devoted to fire blight, which became a big problem in north central Washington orchards in 2018. Determining which trees are most susceptible to fire blight will be the subject of the 2 p.m. presentation. Sarah Kostick of WSU’s tree fruit research facility will be the speaker.

Techniques for fighting fire blight during bloom season will be the subject at 2:30 p.m. Kerik Cox of Cornell University will be the speaker. Tianna DuPont, WSU-Chelan County Extension, will lead a discussion about ways to combat fire blight at 3 p.m.

Growers and employees who attend Apple Day will be eligible for three pesticide recertification credits.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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