ORCHARD OUTLOOK

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

MOST RECENT EPISODE

January 4, 2023

E1 S4. From Windstorms to Windbreaks: Guest Jenny Liu

On this episode of the Orchard Outlook podcast we’re taking shelter from the wind. I’ve witnessed some impressive windstorms since I moved to Nova Scotia. Whether it’s a nor’easter, post-tropical storm, or just your typical gusts and gales. Our guest Jenny Liu explains the value of windbreaks, species composition, design tips, and maintenance. She’s going to blow you away with helpful information.

Guest: Jenny Liu is the Maple, Tree Nut, and Agroforestry Specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She completed her forestry undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia and then set her sights on agriculture, earning a Master’s in agricultural entomology at the University of Guelph.

Show notes:
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/neworchard/english/apples/16windbreak.html
http://omafra.gov.on.ca/english/environment/facts/windbreaks.htm

September 28, 2022

E6 S3. Chilling Out in Storage: Guest Dr. Robert Prange

Description:

For today’s Orchard Outlook episode you’re going to want to store this information. Literally, use it in the storage room. From the moment of picking fruit they’re destined to deteriorate… but not on the watch of storage room operators. Our guest Dr. Robert (Bob) Prange opens the door on storage conditions to explain the relationships between temperature, moisture, and gases and fruit quality.

Guest: Dr. Robert Prange is an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University and was formerly Senior Research Scientist of Postharvest Biology and Technology at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. During a career-long passion for post-harvest storage he was a co-author of the 3rd edition of the book ‘Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Fruit and Vegetables’ and recently authored “Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Apples and Pears”. He has received a number of awards including Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science and Canadian Partners in Technology Transfer Award.

Show notes: For the book “Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Apples and Pears” contact rkprange@gmail.com

September 7, 2022

E5 S3. Cover Cropping Curiosities: Guest Tianna DuPont

Description:
On today’s episode of the Orchard Outlook podcast you might wonder why we’re talking about millet, mustard, and canola on an orchard podcast. It’s not for a salad folks. No, we have far greater motives. Our guest Tianna DuPont explains how cover crops can address soil health constraints, what cover crops are promising, and how we get the most bang for our buck. This podcast was funded in part by the On-Farm Climate Action Fund.

Biography:
Tianna DuPont is a tree fruit extension specialist working with growers to scale up and apply research recommendations in the field. She was recently involved in a soil health investigation in Washington orchards that compared high and low yielding blocks to focus on soil health constraints. She previously worked with cover crops in vegetable and small grain systems in Pennsylvania and is now contributing the knowledge to the tree fruit industry.

Show notes:
http://treefruit.wsu.edu

Wednesday March 30, 2022

E4 S3. Part 2 Springing into Scab Season: Guest Dr. Srdjan Acimovic

Description

This episode is Part 2 of 2 on the apple scab disease. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 you should give it a go first. On Part 2 now, our guest will answer questions about management practices including fungicides, modeling, and orchard sanitation. So here he is again, and the passionate pathology continues, with our guest Dr. Srdjan Acimovic!

Biography

Dr. Srdjan Acimovic is an Assistant Professor of tree fruit and specialty crop pathology at Virginia Tech’s Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center. In a prior role he was an Extension Associate of plant pathology at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory. Dr. Acimovic was a recipient of an Early Career Achievement Award by the American Phytopathological Society in March 2021.

Show notes:

  • The Acimovic Lab website: https://blogs.cornell.edu/acimoviclab/
  • RIMPro decision support service for the management of pests in apple: https://rimpro.cloud
  • In this podcast, Perennia representatives and episode guests mention the RIMPro service but it is neither an endorsement of the service nor a suggestion that similar services are ineffective.
  • On Twitter @SAcimovic_VTech

Wednesday March 23, 2022

E3 S3. Part 1 Springing into Scab Season: Guest Dr. Srdjan Acimovic

Description:

On today’s episode of the Orchard Outlook podcast we are finally putting the spotlight on the most economically significant apple fungal disease! You guessed it, apple scab. We need to know where this fungus is lurking and its relationship with weather conditions. Our guest Dr. Srdjan Acimovic joins us on Part 1 to uncover the organism responsible for scab (recorded on March 9, 2022).

Biography:

Dr. Srdjan Acimovic is an Assistant Professor of tree fruit and specialty crop pathology at Virginia Tech’s Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center. In a prior role he was an Extension Associate of plant pathology at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory. Dr. Acimovic was a recipient of an Early Career Achievement Award by the American Phytopathological Society in March 2021.

Show notes:

  • The Acimovic Lab website: https://blogs.cornell.edu/acimoviclab/
  • RIMPro decision support service for the management of pests in apple: https://rimpro.cloud
  • In this podcast, Perennia representatives and episode guests mention the RIMPro service but it is neither an endorsement of the service nor a suggestion that similar services are ineffective.
  • On Twitter @SAcimovic_Vtech

Wednesday December 15, 2021

E2 S3. The Coolest Chat about Early Dormant Pruning: Guest Dr. Richard Marini

Description:

On today’s episode of the Orchard Outlook podcast, we’re chillin’. Temperatures are dropping… and it might not be the most wonderful time of the year if you’re a recently pruned tree. How cold, how quickly, and when are all questions that are up in the air. Today’s guest Dr. Richard Marini is a horticulturist extraordinaire bringing us his wisdom on cold tolerance.

Biography:

Dr. Richard Marini is a Professor of Horticulture at PennState University. His areas of expertise are tree and small fruit physiology, fruit production systems, and data analysis. He has also been closely involved in apple rootstock evaluations. In recognition of his work, Dr. Marini has received many honours and awards in horticultural science.

Wednesday November 3, 2021

E1 S3. Creepy weeds: Guest Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie

Description:

Welcome to the start of season 3 of the Orchard Outlook podcast! On today’s episode we’re germinating a wealth of information about troublesome weeds. Perennial weeds in particular are like the unwanted gift that keeps on giving, as their underground root systems proliferate. Today’s guest, Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, helps us creep into weed biology to understand how to manage these prolific plants.

Biographies:

Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie is an assistant professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture at Cornell AgriTech. Her extension and research focus is on weed biology and management in speciality crops. She takes on understanding the life cycles of really pesky weeds!

Show notes:

Wednesday August 11, 2021

E10 S2. Ghosts and Skeletons of Powdery Mildew

Description:

Today’s episode of the Orchard Outlook podcast is all about the annoying and persistent disease powdery mildew, folks. It’s there flagging shoots and curling leaves leading to some ghostly looking Honeycrisp and Cortland trees. Today’s guests Dr. Kerik Cox and graduate student David Strickland are like ghost busters researching management strategies for tree fruit diseases like powdery mildew to bust away those white and fuzzy symptoms.

Biographies:

Dr. Kerik Cox is an associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section at Cornell AgriTech. To address pain points for growers, he wields his pathology expertise to focus on antimicrobial resistance and very applied disease management. In his extension appointment he also focuses on pesticide education and disease forecasting.

David Strickland is a PhD candidate in Kerik’s program and his focus is apple powdery mildew. He’s investigating applied solutions for the management of this disease including field trials to explore efficacy and optimize fungicide applications, and work on disease resistance.

Wednesday June 30, 2021

E9 S2. Loving Local Food

Description:

In today’s episode, we find out juicy information about local food. We check in with our guest Patrick Kelly about the buy local program, how local food is defined, in-store signage, and some pandemic response. Nova Scotians want to buy local and our guest explains how buy local promotion is helping customers identify and purchase local food products in retail stores.

Biography: Patrick Kelly is the Buy Local Development Officer for Perennia and the NS Department of Agriculture. His work on the Buy Local marketing team has contributed to the development of effective marketing initiatives, aimed at creating a recognizable brand for Nova Scotians to feel confident in their decisions when purchasing high quality, locally grown and produced, Nova Scotia food and beverages.

Show notes:

A directory of food and beverage businesses in Nova Scotia: https://buylocal.novascotia.ca

Wednesday May 26, 2021

E8 S2. Don’t play with fire blight (ENCORE)

Biography:

Dr. Sundin is a Professor of Plant Pathology and runs the Tree Fruit Pathology Lab at Michigan State University.  He performs extension and research in tree fruit disease control including management of fire blight, fungicide resistance, and the evaluation of new bactericides and fungicides.

Description:

As I was driving to a farm this month, I listened to our very first episode from 2019 about fire blight. Not only is it our most popular episode but it’s also timely. So I’ve decided to release this episode to revisit my conversation with Dr. George Sundin. This episode is oozing with information about bacterial growth on flowers and in trees, misconceptions, trauma blight, and why antibiotics need to be timely.

Wednesday April 28, 2021

E7 S2. Welcoming Weather Stations

Biography:
Jonathan Buffett is founder and manager of the Cape Breton Mesonet, a network of community owned and operated weather stations in Cape Breton and the eastern mainland. Jonathan also works as a Meteorological Inspector for Environment and Climate Change Canada by day. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, he is extremely passionate about our local climate, focusing mainly on data collection at the mesoscale/micro-climate level.

Description:
On this episode, I forecast that you’ll learn a lot about weather stations. Their components. How to site them for reliable results. Installing and maintaining them. I sense a clear conversation about collecting weather information with our guest, Jonathan Buffet.

Show notes:

  • Cape Breton Mesonet: www.capebretonweather.ca
  • In this podcast, Perennia representatives mention the Davis Vantage Pro 2 weather station but it is neither an endorsement of the technology nor a suggestion that similar technologies are ineffective.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

E6 S2. Part 2 Still Speaking of Sprayers

Biography: Dr. Jason Deveau is the application technology specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, or he is more commonly known as spray guy. Jason has literally written the book on airblast spraying and he joins us after recently publishing the second edition with colleagues.

Description:
This episode is Part 2 of 2 on effective and efficient spraying. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 you should give it a go first. On Part 2 now, the stories about spraying continue, with our guest Dr. Jason Deveau. He will answer confusing questions about spray concentration and then explain crop adapted spraying.

Show notes:

Airblast 101 book: https://sprayers101.com/airblast101/
Sprayers 101 website: https://sprayers101.com
Micron woman comic book: https://sprayers101.com/micronwoman/
Exploding sprayer myths videos: https://sprayers101.com/articles/multimedia/myths/
Snapcard app: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/grains/snapcard-spray-app

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

E5 S2. Part 1 Speaking of Sprayers

Biography: Dr. Jason Deveau is the application technology specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, or he is more commonly known as spray guy. Jason has literally written the book on airblast spraying and he joins us after recently publishing the second edition with colleagues.

Description: In episode Part 1 of 2, our guest Dr. Jason Deveau blasts through common questions about spraying. Don’t let your thoughts drift through the air as we cover goodies like pesticide labels, leaf area coverage, product concentration, and the practicality of making adjustments. We certainly won’t drench you with information. We’ve got our eye on the target, and that’s effective and efficient spraying.

Show notes:
Airblast 101 book: https://sprayers101.com/airblast101/
Sprayers 101 website: https://sprayers101.com
Micron woman comic book: https://sprayers101.com/micronwoman/
Exploding sprayer myths videos: https://sprayers101.com/articles/multimedia/myths/
Snapcard app: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/grains/snapcard-spray-app

Wednesday, January 28, 2021

E4 S2. Don’t sneeze at blossom thinning

Michael Basedow is the Tree Fruit Specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension and part of a regional program called the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program. Michael was recently featured in an article for his work on trialing a decision-support tool for blossom thinning.

There is a real science to disrupting fertilization to keep early flowers and remove late flowers. Yes, the timing is uncomfortable, and the results can be inconsistent, so we’ll explore one way to improve our confidence with this process – the pollen tube growth model (PTGM).

Show notes:

Article by The Good Fruit Grower “Thinning decisions by the numbers”
Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA)

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

E3 S2. Bitter and Sweet Sides of Cider

Dr. Gregory Peck is an assistant professor of horticulture at Cornell University in the School of Integrative Plant Science. A common thread across his research is to facilitate economic sustainability in the tree fruit industry. He was awarded Grower Advocate of the year in 2018 by the American Cider Association.

Today’s guest is going to filter through the horticultural information to give us a taste of growing fruit for hard cider. In this episode we’ll focus on the production challenges and economics of growing specialized cider varieties. The information might be refreshing or sobering!

Show notes:
Fruit Quarterly article on cider prices
Hard cider resources at Cornell University

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Title: E2 S2. Confronting Climate

Bernard Soubry is a writer, a researcher, and a hiatused farming apprentice torn between Oxford, UK, and Eastern Canada. His current research focuses on how food systems can adapt to climate change.

Bernard came recommended for his research on climate resilience in food systems. He has heard from our local growers in Eastern Canada and is interested in grower-led solutions. Prepare to value your local knowledge and learn what you have to offer in climate discussions.

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.