Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, June 06, 1998, Image 35

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    Orchard Tour Highlights
Lancaster Farming Staff
Orchard growers who want to
replant certain areas of their fields
should first consider possible
nematode problems that can prove
devastating to new plant popula
tions, according to a Penn State
Dr. John Halbrcndt, Penn State
associate professor of nematology,
spoke to more than 75 fruit grow
ers and agri-industry representa
tives Thursday evening during a
Southeast Pennsylvania Fruit
Growers twilight meeting and
tour. The meeting, sponsored by
Penn State, was conducted at
Sloudt’s Orchard in Shartlesville.
Halbrcndt reviewed some evi
dence of nematode damage and
resultant tree loss to plum and
peach trees at the orchard, which
encompasses 45 acres. Nematodes
are parasitic worms that feed on
the roots of trees and allow dis
eases to take over.
Of all the pest problems
orchards can face, the nematode
problem is the “most neglected
because they're invisible
they’re microscopic,” said Hal
brendt And what is most discon
certing, according to the Penn
State nematode expert, is that “by
the time you have the problem, it’s
usually too late to do anything
about it,” he said.
4 %|
TheStoudts at the orchard tour Thursday evening. From
left, Dale, and Rachel and Bob Stoudt.
One system, which replaced a whole row of old Red Deli
cious apple trees, included new JonaMac seedlings planted
In April using pre-lnstalled 6-foot wooden posts. The posts
hold a retractable 12-gauge high-tenslfe wire system separ
ated at one- foot Intervals. The wires were Installed In the
spring. Dale Stoudt checks out the system.
In plum trees and other types of
stone fruit, the dagger nematode is
usually the culprit The nematode
is a vector of the tomato ring spot
virus, which is carried by broad
leaf weeds (including common
dandelion). The dandelions and
other weeds aren’t affected by the
virus, but stone fruit trees are.
The classic symptoms can be
deceiving, according to Halbrcndt.
The tree can look like it has girdled
roots. The leaves appear small and
pale. Usually, a tree that’s infected
can last a couple of summers and
then collapse and die, he said.
Many growers believe that
girdled roots were the problem and
simply plant another tree only
to see that tree infected.
Another syndrome that peach
trees can exhibit, infected with
another type of nematode, is peach
tree short life. This disease is attri
buted to the ring nematode, which
prefers sandier soil.
Peach tree short life can be
found on also on apricot and plum
Halbrendt cautioned growers
that if a few trees show symptoms,
it may not be worth worrying
about A few isolated, dead trees
won’t mean that the problem will
spread. But the real concern is if
whole orchards are in a replanting
cycle, it’s best early on to scout for
nematodes and plan a couple of
years ahead to fumigate, use green
Nematode Control,
manure crops, or simply rotate to a
non-orchard type crop to solve the
When growers start to plan the
replanting could be the “perfect
time to start thinking whether
there’s a nematode problem,’’ he
Like a typical soil test, Penn
State accepts soil samples obtained
from nearby, healthy trees to deter
mine if a nematode problem exists.
The Biglerville laboratory can
conduct an assay but the form
must be filled out completely.
Also, many different samples,
including about 20 subsamples,
are needed. Batches must be
extracted 8-10 inches from the soil
within the canopy area of a living
tree (using a soil probe) and mixed
together. From this, a 1-pinl (100
cc) extraction of soil will be
analyzed by the lab.
The material should be immedi
ately cooled down and kept cool
until it is delivered to the lab.
“The more information you give
me," said Halbrendt “the better
chance I can give you a better
The lab submission sheet must
include previous crops. Also, a soil
fertility test will be conducted to
see if a possible nutrient deficiency
could mimic a nematode problem.
And the “history of that site influ
ences the nematode problem that
could be there,” said Halbrendt
The suggestions provided by
Penn State are merely a guide for
the grower to determine his or her
own plan of action.
But it's important to plan early.
Submit the soil samples one or two
years ahead of planning to replant
“You have to think of nematode
control ahead of time,” Halbrendt
For nematode control, the best
time is the fall. The second best
time, he said, is the spring.
The suggested soil fumigants
include methyl bromide, which is
legal to use until the year 2001.
Also, another one to use is Tclone
or Telone-17 manufactured by
Dow AgroSciences.
A good green manure crop is the
Dwarf Essex variety of rape seed.
When the green manure decom
poses, chemicals are released into
the soil that kill the dagger nema
todes. Growers should plant the
rapeseed in the spring, allow it to
grow to a good vegetative stage
with a lot of biomass, and culti
pack it riao the soil in September.
The important thing, according to
Halbrendt, is not to simply cut it
and let it lay, but to turn it into the
soil immediately.
Growers should realize thal rap
eseed could become prevalent in
the orchard, but is sensitive to
2,4-D herbicide.
The orchard includes about 15
different varieties of plums on five
acres, according to Bob Stoudt.
Also, sweet cherries were planted,
with a few. different varieties.
“It’s great that he’s trying new
varieties of plums and cherries,”
said George Greene, associate pro
fessor of pomology at Penn Stale,
who spoke at the tour, “fvery
orchard needs to be a little bit of an
experiment station.”
In all, the orchard is comprised
of 45 acres, 30 of which are in
stone fruit and IS in apples. There
are about 25 different varieties of
apples, according to Dale Stoudt
According to Bob Stoudt, who
operates the orchard with brother
Dale, of the 30 acres in stone fruit,
20 are in peaches, five in nectar
ines, and five are in plums. The
Stoudt Orchard began about 40
years ago with Harvey and Ann
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, June 6, 1998-A35
Unique Trellis Systems
Elwood Moyer, Bernvllle, looks over a soil test form for
nematodes at the twilight meeting.
Stoudt parents of Bob and Dale.
The Stoudts operate a retail stand
at the intersection of Old Rt 22
and the entrance ramp to 1-78 in
Only five percent of the fruit is
sold wholesale, at Leesport,
Renningcrs, Roots, and Green
Dragon. The rest is sold retail.
Dr. Ken Hickey, plant patholo
gist spoke about the various dis
eases that can infect the stone
fruits, including brown rot bacter
ial spots, and blossom blight. He
also spoke about controlling fire
blight in apples.
Dr. Carl Fclland, extension
entomologist, said that there
weren’t many harmful insects to be
found at the orchard, which keeps
clean canopy areas and rows. The
region is about two weeks ahead of
schedule because of die unseaso
nably warm weather, and nine
days ahead of normal in insect
populations. There has been plenty
of insect pressure ton many •
orchards, he noted, but there are a
lot of natural insect enemies in the
There is no evidence of while
apple leafhopper. “There are teal
good examples of integrated pest
State Crop Survey
Co) - State Agriculture
Secretary Samuel E Hayes Jr
today announced that represen
tatives of the Pennsylvania
Agricultural Statistics Service
(PASS) are to be contacting
approximately 1,5000
Pennsylvania farmers early this
month as part of a nationwide
agriculture survey
"I encourage producers to
cooperate by providing survey
information," Hayes said
“Accurate answers about the
1998 crop season can reduce
uncertainty in the marketplace
and provide a benchmark for the
crop year"
management here,” he said.
One of those is the presence of
the big orange ladybird beetles,
which are natural aphid predators.
Dale Stoudt reviewed some of
the unique trellis systems designed
on the orchard. One system, which
replaced a whole row of old Red
Delicious apple trees, included
new JonaMac seedlings planted in
April using pre-mslallcd 6-fool
wooden posts. The posts hold a
retractable 12-gauge high-tensile
wire system separated at one-foot
intervals. The wires were installed
in the spring.
The wire trellis system works
best on about 14-foot row spac
ings. The trellis system allows the
limbs to be tied down horizontally
to allow more sunlight, more fruit,
and better fruit size, in addition to
-ease of harvest.
Dale Stoudt also showed a
"bed” system of staggered Mutso
tCrispen), similar to a Golden
■*’ Delicious but with a huge (1 pound
Of fruit or better) size. Also, Stoudt
information on an old
Treat (Red Delicious
type) rootstock, more than 13
.wears old, that two years ago was
with the Mutso variety.
This suivey provides the
'basis for estimates of this sea
son's crop production and is one
of the largest and most impor
tant conducted hnnualh bv the
-U.S Department of
Agriculture's National
Agricultural Statistics Service
Producers rely on the data to
reach valid production, market
ing and investment decisions
Industry analysts, extension
agents, farm organizations and
lenders use the information to
better serve the needs of farm
For more information, con
tact WC Evans at (800) 498-