Orchard Outlook

Tangible, practical advice and information. Orchard Outlook is a podcast by Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc. hosted by our Tree Fruit Specialist, Michelle Cortens. These insightful discussions can help any grower navigate commercial tree fruit production for sweet success.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

E1 S2: Rooting for Water Management

Dr. Denise Neilsen is a retired Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Summerland, British Columbia. She was the co-recipient of the IFTA Research Award in 2014 and the distinguished Carlson Lecturer.

Dr. Denise Neilsen understands root architecture and she uses that knowledge to help explain the precision management of water and nutrients. She explains the effect of drought stress and why the timing and frequency of irrigation matters.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

E13 S1. Stop the Hop

Dr. Arthur Agnello is the Tree Fruit Extension Entomologist at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York – and you might recognize him as the editor of the Scaffolds newsletter. His interest in insects led him to his longstanding role in research and extension.

Dr. Agnello joins us at a time when orchards full of tender young leaves are susceptible to damage by potato leafhopper. He brings an entomology lens to the issue and isn’t fooled by hopperburn.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

E12 S1. Dealing with Diseases

Dr. Kari Peter is an Associate Research Professor of Tree Fruit Pathology who loves to help with a burning question about tree fruit diseases! She is located at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Peter explores the fuzzy fungi that cause powdery mildew and a slew of summer rots including black rot and bitter rot. Then shifting our focus from fungal diseases to bacterial, she explains how to curb the spread of a tumour-like growth known as crown gall and infamous fire blight infections.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
E11 S1: Microscopic Meddlers Part 2

Tom shares insights from his research program that is focused on replant management for perennial fruit crops and the ecology and management of plant-parasitic nematodes. Tom explains exactly who is taking microscopic munches out of your root systems and feeding on productivity.

Dr. Tom Forge is a research soil ecologist and nematologist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at the Summerland Research and Development Centre. He’s captivated by the diversity of micro-animals in the soil – especially nematodes that are economically important plant parasites.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
E10 S1: Microscopic Meddlers Part 1

Keith describes why digging for facts is better than jumping to conclusions – because replant disease acts in concert with adverse soil properties. Learn how to modify the soil in a replant situation and have your questions answered about soil fumigation.
Keith Fuller is a soil research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada based out of Nova Scotia. He is a familiar face in our local apple industry, fascinated with soil, and currently involved in a project on replanting disease.

Wednesday March 25, 2020
E9 S1: Downloading Decisions

Jon gets techy – in an approachable way – by explaining what tools are available to tree fruit growers. Make your smartphones smart by downloading tools for pest modeling, predicting fruit set, and pocket pathology. 
Jon Clements is an Extension Educator for commercial tree fruit growers with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Apart from the usual farm calls and meetings, he has an interest in computers that has helped him embrace decision-support tools.

Wednesday February 26, 2020
E8 S1: Save a Watt

Efficiency Nova Scotia folks share some powerful messages about energy efficiency including how you can save money and lower your operating costs.

Kraig Porter has been the Onsite Energy Manager in Agriculture for Efficiency Nova Scotia since 2012. His passion for environmentalism led him to study in the NSCC Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program. Janet Tobin has a background in marketing and communications, and was drawn to Efficiency Nova Scotia because of its culture and broad-reaching impact to Nova Scotians.

Wednesday January 15, 2020
E7 S1: Getting to the Core of Breeding

At a time when there are many new apple varieties to choose from, Dr. Amritpal Singh joins us to explain the science that makes it all possible.

Dr. Singh is a research Scientist in tree fruit germplasm development, with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and leads the apple and sweet cherry breeding program at the Summerland Research and Development Centre. He has a PhD from the University of Guelph, and was an assistant professor in the department of agricultural biotechnology at Anand Agricultural University in India for six years.

Wednesday December 18, 2019
E6 S1: Digging into Drainage – Guest Scott Anderson

Scott graduated as an Agricultural Engineer from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, specializing in Soil and Water Management. In the past he’s worked with the PEI Department of Agriculture as a water management specialist and also with Agriculture and AgriFood Canada as the Regional Water Resources Engineer for the Atlantic Region. He now manages large collaborative research projects at AAFC.

Scott Anderson joins us after a particularly wet spring to help us visualize how water behaves below-ground, and he describes how water can be managed using surface and subsurface drainage.

Wednesday November 20, 2019
E5 S1: Winning at Weed Control – Guest Kristen Obeid

Kristen is OMAFRA’s Weed Management Specialist for Horticulture crops. She has a master’s degree in weed science from the University of Manitoba and an honors bachelor of science degree in agriculture from the University of Guelph.

Kristen is a recent recipient of the Excellence in Weed Science Extension Award from the Canadian Weed Science Society (CWSS). She joins us to explain the risks and rewards of weed control.

Wednesday October 16, 2019
E4 S1: Fine-tuning Fertility – Guest Bernardita Sallato

Bernardita joins us to talk about the tools and techniques used to monitor plant nutrition. Whether plants can absorb available nutrition is an interesting topic as we reflect on some unusual tree growth from early this season.

Wednesday September 18, 2019
E3 S1: Sensing Fruit Maturity – Guest Dr. John DeLong

Dr. John DeLong joins us to talk about how to measure fruit maturity at harvest using traditional and new methods. Thanks to postharvest physiologists like John, we can enjoy fresh apples long after harvest.

Wednesday August 21, 2019
E2 S1: Apple maggot birth control – Guest Dr. Blatt

Dr. Blatt joins us to talk about apple maggot flies that lay their eggs in apple fruit. The maggots tunnel through apple flesh and can make a real mess that nobody wants to bite into.

Wednesday August 7, 2019
E1 S1: Don’t play with fire blight – Guest Dr. Sundin

In today’s episode, we talk about the bacteria Erwinia amylovora that creates a scorched appearance on infected apple trees, accurately termed fire blight.