Missouri State University
What's happening in the field?
At the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station

Grape phenology and GDD accumulation

We usually begin grape phenology on April 1st, but since development is a bit early this year, we began earlier.

GDD base 50 accumulation count begins April 1 in this resource. We will calculate the March data by hand and add it to our April 1 count  http://agebb.missouri.edu/weather/reports/gddTable.asp

Phenology stages according to the Modified E-L system http://door.uwex.edu/files/2010/10/ModifiedEichhornLorennzsystem.pdf

Photos and stages to be uploaded shortly.

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Frost Damage on Fruit Trees

With the early warm temperatures we experienced this year the Fruit Trees were already beginning to bloom when the temperatures turned cold again.  On March 15th the temperature at the Fruit Station dropped to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.  Critical temperatures for frost damage of fruit trees varies by type of tree and stage of growth.  Utah State University Cooperative Extension has a Publication that lists the temperatures and growth stages. It can be found at https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/pub__5191779.pdf.

We received some damage to our peach, pear and plums.  Time will tell how much fruit was lost.

Below is a picture of a plum tree that was taken before and after the cold temperatures.

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Tree Fruit Pruning Workshop

A tree fruit pruning workshop was held at the Fruit Station on Saturday March 18th.  Those in attendance received instructions on proper pruning and tool safety as well as some hands on pruning in the demonstration garden in the field.   Dr. Martin Kaps, Susanne Howard, Jeremy Emery, Randy Stout and Sheila Long were on hand to demonstrate and assist.

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Grape phenology and GDD accumulation

We usually begin grape phenology on April 1st, but since development is a bit early this year, we will begin on this first day of Spring.

GDD base 50 accumulation count begins April 1 in this resource. We will calculate the March data by hand and add it to our April 1 count  http://agebb.missouri.edu/weather/reports/gddTable.asp

Phenology stages according to the Modified E-L system http://door.uwex.edu/files/2010/10/ModifiedEichhornLorennzsystem.pdf

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Will it be an early spring?

We noticed that the Magnolia stellata was blooming last week! It is usually in full bloom around April 1, so it looks like things are developing early at this point. That brings bad memories of the Easter Freeze of 2007 when March was warmer than April and things started to grow ahead of schedule. Early April 2007 saw record cold temps and all fruit crops were lost. This scenario, where March is warmer than April, occurred about 4 times in the early 1900s. We hope the early 2000s are not following suit!

I looked at the Cayuga White grape buds last Friday and they were not pushing. We had a cold weekend and hope that March remains a cool month so things don’t get too ahead of schedule. Just keep your fingers crossed and keep an eye on the following map:
https://www.usgs.gov/news/just-how-early-spring-arriving-your-neighborhood-find-out-0

This Magnolia stellata is ahead of schedule. It was bit by frost over the weekend.
This Magnolia stellata is ahead of schedule. It was bit by frost over the weekend.
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MSU Ag at Farm Bureau Thank a Farmer Brunch

We set up our College of Agriculture booth at the Farm Bureau thank a Farmer today with recruitment materials, a display of wines, jams and honey, and out fruit production information. The brunch was followed by an auction to benefit a farm family who lost a loved one.

Our booth featured fruit growing information, student recruitment materials and a display of our wines, jams and honey.
Our booth featured fruit growing information, student recruitment materials and a display of our wines, jams and honey.
The farm families enjoyed the brunch and benefit auction.
The farm families enjoyed the brunch and benefit auction.

 

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Plastic Replaced on High Tunnel

The plastic was replaced today on the high tunnel.  The entire crew took advantage of the nice warm day with calm winds to replace the plastic on the high tunnel.  It takes teamwork, patience and some muscle to pull the cover over.  The cover is Dura-Film Super 4, 6-mil polyethylene greenhouse film.  Let the planting begin.  Thanks to all our crew for working together to get this done.

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