Program Leader: Mary Concklin, Extension Educator and IPM Coordinator
Drone Imagery for Early Detection of Fruit Crop Nutritional Deficiencies
This project is working with Belltown Hill Orchards, S. Glastonbury; Blue Hills Orchard, Wallingford; and Rogers Orcahrds, Southington to identify and quantify nutrient deficiencies in perennial fruit crops (grapes, blueberries, apples and peaches) using drone imagery with the goal of making necessary nutrient corrections in time to impact the present crop. Year one involved drone flights four times at each farm and at several blocks per farm. This data was used to establish base line data. Tissue and soil samples were analyzed to use in conjunction because they have established standards which aids in identifying deficiencies based on color. Year two will involve a greater number of flights, rapid results and recommendations to participating growers.
Funding: USDA SCBG through the CT. Department of Agriculture
Farmer Stress Management
A website has been developed in 2019 and updated in 2020 with information for the farming community (http://ctfarmrisk.extension.uconn.edu/farmer-stress-support-resources/). A face-to-face workshop was planned and cancelled due to COVID-19.
This was a collaborative effort of UConn Department of Extension and Department of Plant Science & LA, USDA-RMA, CT Department of Agriculture, CT Farm Bureau, Farm Credit East, CT Veterinary Medical Association and CT NOFA. UConn Team Members: Mary Concklin, Joseph Bonelli, MacKenzie White, Nancy Barrett.
Funding: UConn Dept of Extension, USDA-RMA, CT Farm Bureau, Farm Credit East, CT NOFA, CT Veterinary Medical Association, and Tufts Veterinary Field Service, USDA-NIFA-FRSAN
One-on-One IPM training
One-on-one fruit IPM training was limited in 2020 due to COVID-19. Site visits were limited to emergency grower requests. Regular trap monitoring was conducted for invasive insects, Brown Marmorated Stinkbug and Spotted Wing Drosophila at 8 fruit farms throughout the entire season, and the information was included in Fruit IPM e-newsletters along with other pertinent cultural and IPM recommendation. Funding: USDA-NIFA-CPPM
116 fruit messages were emailed to 474 fruit growers and industry members in 2019 covering pest information, management strategies, cultural practices, meetings and educational programs. Most of the messages are available at the IPM website.
Additional Fruit Programming
Concklin updated the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide (stone fruit sections) and the New England Small Fruit Management Guide (Bramble section); authored three articles for the Crop Talk Newsletter; authored Frost Protection for Fruit Crops in the Northeast publication.
She hosted a live grower webinar discussion of PYO and Farmstand/Marketing adjustments due to COVID-19. April 23, 2020. Additional speakers included Bryan Hurlburt, Commissioner, CT Dept. of Agriculture, and Joan Nichols, Director, CT Farm Bureau. 87 participants.
Concklin made presentations: Sustainable Edible Landscapes (CT Nursery & Landscape 2020 Annual Winter Conference), Pruning ornamental and fruit trees and bushes (Yale School of Forestry), Small Scale Fruit Production: Small Fruit (Beginning Farmer Solid Ground training); Impacts of Climate Change on the Farm (The Greater Hartford Garden Club)