Congratulations on a new arrival !!
We are happy to announce that on June 27 at 3:38 P.M., a baby girl, Ella Linnea, was born to Gwen Neff and Gary Causer. Both mother and child are doing well. Gwen will be on a leave of absence until early November.
Good News from the State Legislature
As you might recall, on December 10, 1998, a Vermont Apple Industry Summit was organized by Steve Justis from the Vermont Department of Agriculture and the UVM Apple Team. This summit was attended by a total of 57 growers, marketing agents, state and federal agency representatives including representation from our congressional delegation. At this summit, "An Economic Recovery Plan for Vermont's Apple Industry" was developed by the apple growers. This plan identified major areas to which resources should be allocated in order to enhance the long-term sustainability and profitability of apple farming in the state. These areas are: (1) marketing, (2) record keeping/cost accounting, and (3) site-specific education and information on factors important in better fruit quality.
With these identified areas in mind, members of the Vermont Agriculture Department and some apple growers approached the 1999 Legislative Session for funds to help on this recovery plan. I am happy to say that $150,000 was appropriated to help the state's apple industry. The money was given to the Apple Marketing Board for them to allocate the funds as they deemed appropriate. The UVM Apple Team has received some of this grant money to work on the area of fruit quality. With this money, we plan to conduct a variety of educational programs to help improve fruit quality (see the June 99 issue of this newsletter for the proposed agenda submitted to the Apple Marketing Board). To help us help you, we have hired a person who will be working for us on a part-time basis during this fiscal year. He is a graduate from UVM, a former member of the Apple Team, and well known by many of the growers. His name is Terry Bradshaw. Terry will be making orchard visits and working with any of you who request help.
To begin this education program, we are planning to have one twilight meeting at two locations during the second week in August to address some issues concerning fruit quality. More information will be forthcoming about the twilight meeting on separate cover.
If you know of any person who was involved in assisting the apple industry in obtaining funds from the legislature, please give them a call to thank them for their efforts.
VTFGA Summer tour
This year the VTGA summer tour joined the New York Northeast region apple growers on their tour in the Peru, New York area. The tour was very informative and covered a lot of ground. The tour began with a visit to one of the Vertical Axis Planting systems at Forrence Orchard. Terrence Robinson (Cornell, Geneva NY) and Mason Forrence spoke about their observations of how the vertical axis training system performed on their planting site, and the various factors that can affect the success of the system. It was agreed that the trees must experience good initial growth in order for a vertical axis system to work well.
We then traveled to another one of the Forrence orchard sites to visit a block which was experimental treated with various blossom thinners. ATS, Endothol, Wil-thin and NAA were used. Jim Schupp (Cornell, Hudson River Valley) and Cortland Forrence explained that the results of this experiment had been inconclusive.
Northern Orchard's new high density orchard planting was next on our tour. We visited an impressively vast new planting of mostly Honeycrisp which was planted at a high density. The spacing used was 6 x15 for the M 26 rootstocks and 5 x 14 for the Bud 9 and M 9 rootstocks.
Our last stop before lunch was a T. pyri predatory mite release site at another one of the Forrence orchards. This site is a part of an ongoing project run by Cornell University to determine the efficacy of T. pyri release as a means of European Red Mite control. Kevin Iungerman and McIntosh Forrence discussed the mobility of T. Pyri within an orchard. Forrence hopes to be able to omit the use of miticide on the entire 88 acre block next year, if the T. pyri population in the orchard seems able to control the European Red Mite populations.
After a satisfying lunch at the Royal Savage Restaurant the tour moved on to an orchard replant site for a discussion on "Comparative Chemical, Nutritive and Cover Crop Soil Treatments to Counter Apple Replant Disease". Various Apple replant Disease control strategies were tested at this site. Treatments tested included use of Vapam, a Brassica/Sudan Grass combination, lime and fertilizer, a lime, fertilizer and Brassica/Sudan Grass combination and a lime, fertilizer and Vapam combination.
Our last stop of the day was a tour of Chazy Orchards, at over 1,000 acres the 'Largest McIntosh Orchard in the World". Traveling through the orchard by bus, we toured replant sites, vertical axis plantings, a block of trees planted on Seedling, and various other sites.
All in all, this was a very successful and informative tour. Our thanks to our hosts for inviting us to take part!
There will be Storage workshop in Ithaca, New York on Aug 17 and 18. This workshop is designed for growers, storage operators and packers who aim to maximize the market quality of their production. The cost of the workshop is $85/per person if registered by Aug. 16, and $95 for registration on the day of the meeting. For more information, contact Chris Watkins, Department of Fruits and Vegetable Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, phone 607-255-1784 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SARE FARMER GRANT APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE
Commercial producers in the northeast region can now request Farmer/Grower Grant applications from Northeast SARE. The application deadline for 2000 is December 6, 1999.
Farmer/Grower Grants support producers exploring sustainability issues with an interest in reducing environmental and health risks in agriculture, preventing agricultural pollution, increasing profitability, and improving the quality of life for farmers and society. Grants in 1999 averaged $3,300, and included projects in aquaculture, pest management, marketing, grazing management, and cropping techniques.
The Northeast SARE Farmer Grant program awarded $206,685 in 1999 to 62 farmers in the region. This region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Applications for 2000 can be obtained by calling Northeast SARE at 802/656-0471, or by e-mailing email@example.com. The mailing address is Northeast SARE, 10 Hills Building, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0082. Also available is a listing of past grants and sample project narratives that can guide applicants in developing their proposals.