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Apple-Crop Digest #162 - 05/23/00

Apple-Crop Digest #162 - Tuesday, May 23, 2000

  Re:organic vs conventional?
          by "Daryl Hunter" <dhunter@nbnet.nb.ca>
  Nova - Pears
  what about Phyton 27 against Fire blight ?
          by "Marco Borgatti" <marcoborg@libero.it>
  Re: Phyton 27 against Fire blight ?
          by "Ian Merwin" <im13@cornell.edu>
  Copper = Phyton 27 against Fire blight during Bloom? Phytotoxicity???
          by "Vincent Philion" <vincent.philion@irda.qc.ca>
--- Begin Message ---
There have been a lot of emails about "organic" and "conventional"
horticuture but nobody has taken the time to determine if either side of
the discussions have the same understanding of these terms they are

The term "organic" has many definitions and standards depending on where
you live in this world. By some definitions, organic, in its purest sense,
would be almost impossible to achieve.

As for definitions of "conventional" and "IPM" horticultural practices, I'm
not sure if there are any officially recognized ones.

I believe that none of these practices will ever achieve great success in
our present "global economy" because of the following four reasons.  (Most
of my thoughts expand somewhat on what Mark Rogers has already written.)

1. We are trying to grow fruit trees and other crops in extreme monoculture
situations in order to have a few farmers trying to feed the masses.  It is
unnatural for apple trees to be growing by the tens of thousands, in high
density plantings, and in an environment devoid of any other vegetation.
In the northerly forests of Kazakhstan on the border of China, where apple
trees are believed to have originated, scientists have found wild trees
over 300 years old and still bearing.
See a picture of the old tree at this site:

High density plantings of crops, or farming of cattle, hogs, chickens or
even fish is an unnatural environment just waiting for disease to get a
foothold on this huge one course feast.  This is highly unnatural,
especially in such barren environments with none of natures own defence
barriers present.

2.  We assume that the critters that eat the apples are nature's bad guys
and the ones that eat the bad guys are the good guys. To us maybe they are,
but to nature it is all part of balance in the chain of life. It is
unnatural to expect to eliminate one half of natures balance (all the bad
guys - insects, bacteria and fungi) whether you are using organic controls
or conventional controls. Be happy to have enough population of the bad
guys around to feed the good guys. If we've imported some bad guys and
there are yet no natural enemies then we need to find some to import. I
guess you could call this globalization to some extent. In small orchards
eliminating these imports by pheromone traps and picking up infested drops
is much more conceivable than in thousands of trees.

3.Too often we are setting world standards for varieties which can only be
grown in certain localities and if we try to grow them outside of these we
will be forced to coddle them with very expensive care and attention. Eg.
Jerseymacs are an absolutely mouth watering, crisp and juicy apple in my
Zone 4 region but they are extremely prone to scab and other canker
diseases plus they are attractive to red mites. All of these are rampant in
this area. Commercial growers must drown the trees with fungicides,
pesticides and miticides to have the fruit salable.  A Northwestern
Greening on the other hand, which is similar to a Granny Smith in
appearance but with better flavor (my opinion), can be grown here in our
short season, doesn't require scab sprays and is less prone to insects,
mites and cankers. As the esteemed New Brunswick horticulturist Francis
Peabody Sharp advised back in the 1850's, each region should develop its
own variety adaptable to that climate. Kentville Nova Scotia has developed
some excellent disease free varieties for our region. We need our

4. Blemish free fruit are not that common in a natural world, yet consumers
are conditioned to expect this.  They must be willing to pay a higher price
for the blemish free produce and a lesser price for the seconds. We need
good marketing to educate the public.

Closing point - diversity is very important. Liberty Hyde Bailey was a
strong proponent of diversity and variety.  As for me, I believe that
constant advancements in technology and science to fight nature are not the
final answer, but rather a return to some form of general practitioners -
ie. mixed farming where diseases and pests are separated by long distances
among many small, diverse farms and where it requires more labour and
employment to produce food.  The biblical account that man was created a
gardener to till this earth by the sweat of his brow holds true, and
therefore food should require much effort to produce and the costs should
reflect this burden.  Cheap food prices that accompany globalization are to
my mind unnatural, and will not likely endure for very many generations
without tramatic consequences.

Daryl Hunter
Keswick Ridge
Zone 4b

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---

I believe that Nova (myclobutanyl) fungicide is not registered for pears.
Does anyone know why?  Phytotoxicity?  Or, has the manufacturer decided not
to pursue pears for the label?

Same question for Bravo fungicide which is limited to certain time periods
on stone fruit.  I had heard that there were phytotoxicity issues with pome

Thanks, John Mosko - Engelhard

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Hi all,
in these days in Italy many salespeople suggest Phyton 27, copper sulphate
pentahydrated (named K tee in Italy) against or to control Fire blight
infections on Pears.
Have  researchers or pear growers on the list any experiences or opinions
about and on it ?
Thank you in advance.

Marco Borgatti
IPM Advisor
Ferrara Frutta Co-operative
Ferrara (Po valley)

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
Herb Aldwinckle, Timor Momol and Jay Norelli at Cornell University have
reported that Phyton 27 was somewhat better than other copper formulations
for fireblight control during and shortly after bloom on apple.  This was
part of an ongoing research program on integrated fireblight control.  I'm
not sure how much of their work on phyton is published yet, but you could
do a literature search under those names.  If I remember correctly, Phyton
27 was better than other copper formulations but not as good as the
standard streptomycin sprays that we use in the US for controlling this
disease.  I realize that streptomycin is not an option in some European
countries, so perhaps Phyton would be worthy of some further
Hi all,
>in these days in Italy many salespeople suggest Phyton 27, copper sulphate
>pentahydrated (named K tee in Italy) against or to control Fire blight
>infections on Pears.
>Have  researchers or pear growers on the list any experiences or opinions
>about and on it ?
>Thank you in advance.
>Marco Borgatti
>IPM Advisor
>Ferrara Frutta Co-operative
>Ferrara (Po valley)

Ian Merwin (im13@cornell.edu)
Associate Professor of Pomology
118 Plant Science Bldg.
Dept. of Fruit and Vegetable Science
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Tel. 607-255-1777
URL. http://www.fvs.cornell.edu/Faculty/php/IanMerwin/iam.html

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
>From a previous posting:

...(Phyton 27) for fireblight control during and shortly after bloom on

What about phytotoxicity on fruit? Dr. Rosenberger wrote earlier in
applecrop that "any" copper is likely to cause phytotoxicity if applied
later then half-inch green or so. Am I missing something? Does this apply to
Phyton or not?

from the April 5th posting from Dr. Rosenberger:

***I don't think there are any "soft" coppers.  Apples in the prebloom
and early postbloom stages are very susceptible to copper russetting.  If
you have enough free copper ions to be biocidal, I am betting that you also
have enough to cause russetting under the right environmental conditions.***

a confused pathologist,


NOTE: Nouvelle adresse de courrier électronique/Please note the change
in the e-mail address.

Vincent Philion, M.Sc. agr.
Institut de Recherche et de Développement en Agroenvironnement (IRDA)
3300 Sicotte, St-Hyacinthe
J2S 7B8

téléphone: 450-778-6522 poste 233
courriel: vincent.philion@irda.qc.ca

--- End Message ---
End of Apple-Crop Digest


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