Ifta summer Study Tour



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IFTA Summer Study Tour

Western NY Fruit Industry

July 28-30, 2010

Wednesday July 28, 2010 Tour of Orleans and Niagara County Fruit Farms

McIntosh Group

7:45am Load Buses at Quality Inn at Rochester Airport with Luggage

8:00am Depart Quality Inn at Rochester Airport

8:30am Jim Burch Orchards - CG Rootstocks with Honeycrisp apples

9:15am Mike Zingler Orchards - Apple Varieties, Tree Quality, Rootstocks, Equipment

10:15am Eric Brown- Orchard Dale - 1992 Apple Planting System Trial, High Tunnel Raspberries, Spray Building

11:25am Bob Brown - Browns Berry Patch - Farm Market, Entertainment Farming

11:55pm Lunch at “Browns Berry Patch”

1:00pm Depart Browns Berry Patch

1:15pm Rod Farrow - Lamont Farms - Super Spindle Apple Plantings, Home Grown Trees, Equipment

2:30pm Darrel Oakes - LynOaken Farms - Older High Density Orchard, Pruning for fruit quality

3:20pm Jim Bittner - Singer Farms - High Density Cherries, Rootstocks, Peaches, Plums, Equipment

4:00pm Depart Singer Farms for Geneva

6:15pm Arrive Geneva Hotels – Overnight with dinner on your own



Empire Group

7:45am Load Buses at Quality Inn at Rochester Airport with Luggage

8:00am Depart Quality Inn at Rochester Airport

9:20am Jim Bittner - Singer Farms - High Density Cherries, Rootstocks, Peaches, Plums, Equipment

10:20am Darrel Oakes - LynOaken Farms - Older High Density Orchard, Pruning for fruit quality

11:05am Rod Farrow - Lamont Farms - Super Spindle Apple Plantings, Home Grown Trees, Equipment

12:15pm Lunch at “Browns Berry Patch”

1:15pm Bob Brown - Browns Berry Patch - Farm Market, Entertainment Farming

1:50pm Eric Brown - Orchard Dale - 1992 Apple Planting System Trial, High Tunnel Raspberries, Spray Building

2:55pm Depart Browns Berry Patch

3:25pm Mike Zingler Orchards - Apple Varieties, Tree Quality, Rootstocks, Equipment

4:10pm Jim Burch Orchards - CG Rootstocks with Honeycrisp apples

4:45pm Depart Burch Orchards for Geneva

6:15pm Arrive Geneva Hotels – Overnight with dinner on your own



Thursday July 29, 2010 Tour of Geneva Experiment Station

McIntosh Group

7:40am Load Buses at Geneva Hotels

7:50am Depart Hotel for Experiment Station

8:00am Field Day Registration

8:15am- 5:30pm Geneva Fruit Field Day

5:30pm Depart Experiment Station for Geneva Hotels

5:45pm Arrive Geneva Hotels

7:00pm Depart Hotels for Dinner at Ventosa

7:10pm Dinner at Ventosa Winery on Seneca Lake

9:00pm Return to Geneva Hotels



Empire Group

7:40am Load Buses at Geneva Hotels

7:50am Depart Hotel for Experiment Station

8:00am Field Day Registration

8:15am- 5:30pm Geneva Fruit Field Day

5:30pm Depart Experiment Station for Geneva Hotels

5:45pm Arrive Geneva Hotels

7:00pm Depart Hotels for Dinner at Ventosa

7:10pm Dinner at Ventosa Winery on Seneca Lake

9:00pm Return to Geneva Hotels



Friday July 30, 2010 Tour of Wayne County Fruit Farms

McIntosh Group

7:45am Load Buses at Geneva Hotels with Luggage

8:00am Depart Geneva Hotels

8:15am Red Jacket Orchards - High Tunnel Production of Cherries, Plum and Apricots

9:30am Wanderwalle Orchards –Tall Spindle, CG Rootstocks Trial, Bench Grafts

10:45am Wafler Orchards and Nursery - Tall Spindle, Mechanization, Tree Quality and Feathers

12:05pm Fowler Orchards – Super Spindle, Mechanization

12:40pm Lunch at “Waypoint Restaurant” on Sodus Bay

1:40pm Depart Restaurant

1:55pm Furber Fruit Farms – High Density Peaches, Peach Mechanical Thinning, Spray Building, Tall Spindle, Mechanization

3:15pm De Marree Fruit Farm – Mechanization and Tall Spindle, Varieties

4:30pm KC Farms - Spray Building, Solar and Wind Power Generating for the Farm Knip Trees, Tall Spindle, Irrigation and Fertigation

6:00pm Clam Bake Dinner

8:00pm Depart Forman Park

8:45pm Arrive Airport Hotels – Overnight

Empire Group

7:45am Load Buses at Geneva Hotels with Luggage

8:00am Depart Geneva Hotels

8:15am Red Jacket Orchards - High Tunnel Production of Cherries, Plum and Apricots

9:30am Wanderwalle Orchards – CG Rootstocks Trial, Bench Grafts, Tall Spindle

10:45pm Fowler Orchards – Super Spindle, Mechanization

11:20am Wafler Nursery and Orchards - Tree Quality and Feathers Tall Spindle, Mechanization

12:40pm Lunch at “Waypoint Restaurant” on Sodus Bay

1:40pm Depart Restaurant

1:55pm Furber Fruit Farms –Tall Spindle, Mechanization High Density Peaches, Peach Mechanical Thinning, Spray Building

3:15pm De Marree Fruit Farm – Varieties, Mechanization and Tall Spindle

4:30pm KC Farms - Knip Trees, Tall Spindle, Irrigation and Fertigation Spray Building, Solar and Wind Power Generating for the Farm

6:00pm Clam Bake Dinner

8:00pm Depart Forman Park

8:45pm Arrive Airport Hotels – Overnight

Orleans County and Niagara County Farm Descriptions

Wednesday July 28, 2010

Burch Farms, Inc.

Operators: John & Jim Burch

Total Farm Size: 260 acres

# of farm Units: 3

Full-time Employees: 5

Crops: Apples, Peaches, Cherries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Currants, and Gooseberries

Marketing Strategies: Apples 50% processing, 50% fresh (3/4 through two packing houses ¼ retail at our own farm.) All other fruit sold retail at our farm either on a roadside stand or pick your own

Infrastructure: Owned and operated by family with seasonal help as needed

Planting Systems: Central leader (7,26,9/111,106,111) Vertical Axis(rootstock trial) 3-wire vertical Trellis (9)

Varieties (Apples): 20+ varieties. Empire, Golden & Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Idared, Crispin Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Cortland, Austin and others

Advantages: Weather, Good sites, abundant markets

Challenges: Costs of operating in NY

Future Trends: Plant high value varieties on higher density planting systems

Research Cooperation: Rootstock trial, fire blight trial with biological control



R.M. Zingler Jr. Farms

Operators: Mike Zingler

Total Farm Size: 590 acres (570 owned, 50 rented)

# of farm Units: 8, but mainly contiguous in Kendall area

Full-time Employees: 11-12

Crops: Apple, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, sweet cherries, plums, strawberries, raspberries

Marketing Strategies: Wholesale (apples, pears), Farm markets, some direct-marketing to stores (most other crops)

Infrastructure: Partner in Lake Ontario Fruit, Inc. (Packing and Storage)

Planting Systems: Standard (free-standing/central leader) on older plantings to variation on tall-spindle (5X12) on new plantings (M9 mainly)

Varieties (Apples): 20+ apples cultivars grown- newer club/managed varieties such as Honeycrisp, MN-1914, and Piñata; along with significant acreage of Empire, Gala, Cameo, Fuji, and McIntosh

Advantages: Diversified tree fruit and berry crops, different marketing strategies, using Smart Sprayers exclusively for over 10 years

Challenges: Labor, cost of replanting, and what to plant

Future Trends: Phasing out processing acreage that was purchased and pointing towards nearly all fresh. Predicting and planting high-value varieties using the most profitable planting systems

Research Cooperation: Growth Regulator Trials with Mario Miranda



Orchard Dale Fruit Farm & Brown’s Berry Patch

Operators: Robert, Deborah, Eric and Bobby Brown

Total Farm Size: 200 acres

# of farm Units: 1

Full-time Employees: 8

Crops: Apple, sweet cherry, peach, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, quince

Marketing Strategies: Wholesale (packed, processed, store-to-door), Retail (PYO, farm market, agri-entertainment)

Infrastructure: Vertically integrated with nursery, orchards, storage, packing and retail

Planting Systems: Standard to super spindle (M9 for past twenty years)

Varieties (Apples): 15+ including Empire, McIntosh largest percentage

Advantages: Next generation involved, diverse marketing, good employees

Challenges: Labor costs, meeting market demands

Future Trends: Planting profitable varieties (including managed varieties)

Research Cooperation: Planting systems trials, various crop protectant trials



Lamont Fruit Farm Inc.

Operators: Rod Farrow

Total Farm Size: 490 acres apples

# of farm Units: 5

Full-time Employees: 15

Crops: Apples (400,000bu)

Marketing Strategies: 75% Fresh wholesale, mostly through Lake Ontario Fruit in which we are partners with 6 other entities. 25% Processing. Partner in NBT cooperative for Managed Varieties

Infrastructure: Vertically integrated, nursery, fruit production, storage and packing

Planting Systems: New plantings Super spindle (11’x 2’ - 2000trees/acre B9), Vertical Axis (14’x5’ - 520 trees/acre EMLA 9) Central Leader (16-18’x10-12’ 200-272 trees/acre M26, MM106)

Major Varieties (Apples): Honeycrisp, Empire, Acey Mac, and Gala

Others: Red Del, Mac, Gingergold, Macoun, Jonagold, Red Cort, and Crispin

Advantages: Good sites with irrigation water, strong variety mix, great group of employees and pickers (H2A). Strong demand for east coast apples (food miles). Uniform quality, Low cost per bushel, high $ returned/ $ invested)

Challenges: Immigration, global warming? (hail), new site availability

Future Trends: Improve fruit quality with better practices, varieties and storage. Excellent opportunity to grow

Research Cooperation: Variety trials, Mating disruption

LynOaken Farms 

Operators: Darryl Oakes, Linda Oakes, Jeff Oakes, and Wendy Wilson

Total Farm Size: 350 acres

# of farm Units: 6

Full-time Employees: 12

Crops: Apples, Sweet Cherries, Tart Cherries, Peaches, Wine Grapes

Marketing Strategies: 2 wholesale distributors, own store and delivery program, own farm market, winery, and cider mill

Infrastructure: Cold storage, CA, and small packing line.

Planting Systems: Mainly vertical axis (500-600 trees/acre), new planting tall spindle (1,200 trees/acre) mainly on M9.

Varieties (Apples): A new variety collection of over 400 cultivars, markets about 20 varieties, major ones: Ginger Gold, Gala, McIntosh, Empire, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Crispin, Red Delicious, Idared, and Fuji.

Advantages: Great soil, a good climate, diverse crops and diverse marketing strategies

Challenges: Labor

Future Trends: An increase in direct marketing, and fresh-market peach acreage, investing in managed apple varieties

Research Cooperation: Multiple trials with the departments of Entomology and Horticulture with Cornell University. 25 plus years of cooperative research



Singer Farms 

Operators: Owned by Jackie Singer and Jim Bittner

Total Farm Size: About 500 acres of tree fruit

# of farm Units: 1

Full-time Employees: 7

Crops: Fresh sweet cherries, processing sweet cherries, tart cherries, apricots, plums, fresh peaches, processing peaches, apples and 10 ac of certified organic apples. Planted blueberries in 2008

Marketing Strategies: Produce what the costumer wants.

Infrastructure: On farm cold and CA storage.

Varieties (Apples): Red Del, Empire, Spartan, Gala. No apples planted in 10 years

Advantages: Biggest assets are well drained soils along the lake

Challenges: Controlling labor costs.

Future Trends: Packing stone fruit for supermarkets

Research Cooperation: Sweet cherry variety and rootstock trials

Wayne County Farm Descriptions

Friday July 30, 2010

VanDeWalle Fruit Farm

Van De Walle Fruit Farm started with fruit production in 1983, being a first generation involved in fruit business. Van De Walle Fruit Farm and Wayne County Fruit Sales is owned and operated by Scott (Orchard), Marshall (Packinghouse) and their parents Ken and Donna Van De Walle. The fruit farm operation consists on approximately 320 acres of apples for fresh market. Recent plantings are being planted to 2.5 x 12 feet spacing supported by black locust poles and wires. Varieties recently planted include: Honeycrisp , Gala, MN 1914 and McIntosh. Fruit grown on the farm is either packed in their own facilities or at Hess Brothers in Pennsylvania.



Wafler Farms & Nursery

Wafler Nurseries has been operating for 46 years in Wayne County. Its owner, Fritz Wafler, came to the United States in 1952 from Switzerland and after working across the country as a migrant worker bought this farm in 1958. Nowadays his son Paul Wafler has become the operator and manager of the farm.

The farm currently consists of 350 acres planted with apples for fresh market. Wafler family members are very innovative farmers, always adopting new technologies such as the trend for newer blocks being planted at 3.5 feet between the trees and 13 feet between the rows in Tall Spindle system.

Approximately 400,000 trees (mostly apple and a few tart cherries) are produced annually in Wafler Nursery. Trees are commonly shipped to Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and the northeastern United States. About 60% of the trees are produced for Wayne County apple growers. Common rootstocks are: B.9, M.9 and Cornell Geneva rootstocks. The most popular varieties include: Honeycrisp, Gala, Linda and Ruby Mac and Royal Empire.

As many of the soils along the Lake Ontario are heavy with good water holding capacity and a summer characterized by frequent rains, the nursery plots are irrigated only during drought years. Trees produced here do not have the caliper of trees produced in warmer areas but usually have a better root system.

Bill Pitts is in charge of sales and nursery management, Susan Wafler (Paul’s wife) is the office manager and Joyce LeRoy is the office assistant. Contacts: Phone: 315-594-2399, fax: 315-594-8829, e-mail: info@waflernursery.com



Fowler Farms

John and Bob Fowler are the 5th generation of Fowlers as farmers. John’s son, J.D., is in charge of the orchard operation and Bob’s son, Austin, of the storage and packinghouse facilities, making them the 6th generation involved in the operation of Fowler Farms. Over 2,500 acres of fruit, mostly apples (over 21 varieties) with some sweet cherries are under production.

All the new orchards planted by Fowler Farms have been planted to 1 ½ - 2 ft x 10 ft spacing to be trained as Super Spindle. The support system consists on black locust posts that are locally grown. The leader of each tree is supported by a vertical wire fastened to a high tensile steel wire at 18 inches off the ground and to another wire at approximately 7 1/2 - 8 feet height. Drip irrigation tubing is fastened to the low wire to keep it off the ground and prevent the tubing from being kicked into the path of an orchard mower.

Check their website: www.fowlerfarms.com



Cherry Lawn Farms

Todd, Ted and Ron Furber (father) are the owners and operators of Cherry Lawn Farms. They operate over 300 acres of fresh market and process apples, process peaches and tart cherries. Fresh apples are the main crop.

About 50 acres of peaches are grown, mainly trained as a Three Leader (8 ft x 18 ft) and Perpendicular Vee (6 ft x 18 ft). Peach varieties include Babygold 5, Virgil, Venture and Catherina. Peaches are first thinned mechanically, then by hand (plastic bat) with workers standing on a worker platform pulled by a tractor.

De Marree Fruit Farm, Inc.

Tom DeMarree is a second generation fruit grower. Tom’s father, Don, started the farm in the early 1960’s and he and Tom increased their acreage in 1985. Tom took over management of the farm in 1989 and added acreage in the spring of 2005. Fresh market and process apples (over 24 varieties) and process peaches are the main fruit crops produced by the farm on approximately 160 acres with over half of that acreage under trickle irrigation.

Fresh market apple plantings are currently planted at 1,200 trees per acre (3ft x12ft). Row width in past years ranged from 13–14 ft with 3.5 – 6 ft between the trees. Recent plantings are on a 3–4 wire trellis using 12 feet lodgepole or red pine poles every 35 – 40 feet. DeMaree Fruit Farm has been characterized for being very innovative incorporating newer varieties, and plantings in recent years include; Honeycrisp, NY 674, Pinova, Brookfield Gala, Topaz, Cameo, Eve Braeburn, Ambrosia, Macoun, Fuji, Snapp Stayman and MN1914 planted on Bud.9, EMLA.9, M.9 and CG.16.

15 acres of process peaches have been planted at 16-18 feet between the rows and 5 – 6 feet between the trees to be trained as Perpendicular V system. Varieties include: Venture, Catherina, Virgil and Vinegold.



KC Fruit Farm

Chip and Karla Bailey are first generation fruit grower. Chip studied Horticulture at Cornell and used his senior project on starting a fruit farm to launch a farming career upon graduation. Fresh market and process apples are the main fruit crops produced by the farm on approximately 160 acres.

Fresh market apple plantings are currently planted at 1,200 trees per acre (3ft x12ft). Chip has pioneered Knip baum trees in Western NY and his planting of Gala and McIntosh holds the NY State record for yield in the 2-4 leaf. Chip is also innovative in using green technologies on the farm and environmental stewardship. His new solar panel and windmill provide power for the farm.

Fruit Production in New York

Stephen A. Hoying, Mike Fargione and Terence Robinson

Cornell University

New York’s tree fruit crops include apples, pears, sweet and tart cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums. Apples predominate with 89% of the acreage and peaches and sour cherries each comprise 3.5% of the acreage.

New York ranks second in the United States in the production of apples behind Washington State recently averaging 30 million bushels (525,000 tons). About 35 million bushels can be produced in good seasons and average production has been increasing in recent years with renovation of orchards and the establishment of more efficient planting systems (Table 1).

According to 2007 USDA-NASS release New York currently has 81,662 acres (33,048 ha) of tree fruit and grapes. Apples account for 42,360 acres (17,142 ha), grapes 33,692 acres (13,373ha), and stone fruit 4,392 acres (1,777ha). Fruit crops are produced on approximately 700 family farms. Forty-three percent of these farms are less than 10 acres and many are leased to larger operators. At the other end of the scale, 8 percent of fruit farms are over 200 acres (81 hectares). Table 2 shows the distribution of these farms by apple acres per farm.



NY Fruit Production Regions

Most of NY’s commercial fruit is grown in 3 production regions (Figure 1), Western New York on the south shore of Lake Ontario, the Hudson Valley in Southeastern NY bordering the Hudson River within 100 miles of New York City, and the Champlain Valley bordering Lake Champlain and Vermont in Northeastern NY. Each region has its own strengths and caters to different but overlapping markets.

The Western New York or Lake Ontario region is the largest with 28,800 acres or 71% of the acreage. This region produces about a 50:50 mix of fresh and processing apples, processing tart cherries, and a smattering of sweet cherries, pears and peaches.

The Hudson Valley with 8350 acres or 22 % of the acreage is more diversified with a wide variety of stone fruit and berries and is focused on fresh market production for NYC and local markets. In this region, pears and stone fruit are a larger part of the mix since a greater proportion of growers have direct relationships with customers by servicing green markets and operating farm stands.

A shorter growing season and the harsher winters in the Champlain Valley limit the varieties of apples that can be grown. This region has 3151acres or 7% of the state’s total. This region has built their reputation on the finest quality McIntosh grown in the US and lately have been very successful with the cold-adapted Honeycrisp variety developed at the University of Minnesota. Most of this regions production is marketed nationally and internationally.

Climate

The climate of New York State is broadly representative of the humid continental type, which prevails in the northeastern United States, but its diversity is not usually encountered within an area of comparable size. Differences in latitude, character of the topography, and proximity to large bodies of water have pronounced effects on the climate. Masses of cold, dry air frequently arrive from the northern interior of the continent. Prevailing winds from the south and southwest transport warm, humid air, which has been conditioned by the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent subtropical waters. These two air masses provide he dominant continental characteristics of the climate. The third great air mass flows inland from the North Atlantic Ocean and produces cool, cloudy, and damp weather conditions. This maritime influence is important to New York’s climatic regime, especially in the southeastern portion of the state, but it is secondary to that of the more prevalent air mass flow from the continent.

Nearly all storm and frontal systems moving eastward across the continent pass through or in close proximity to New York State. Storm systems often move northward along the Atlantic coast and have an important influence on the weather and climate of Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. Frequently, areas deep in the interior of the state feel the effects of such coastal storms. Cold winter temperatures prevail over New York whenever Arctic air masses flow southward from central Canada or from Hudson Bay. High-pressure systems often move just off the Atlantic coast, become more or less stagnant for several days, and then a persistent airflow from the southwest or south affects the state. This circulation brings the very warm, often humid weather of the summer season and the mild, more pleasant temperatures during the fall, winter, and spring seasons.

Temperature

The average annual mean temperature is near 55F° in the New York City area. In January, is about 26° along Lake Erie and in the lower Hudson Valley and to 31° on Long Island. The highest temperature on record in New York State is 108F° near Troy, NY on July 22, 1926. Temperatures of 107F° have been observed at Lewiston, Elmira, Poughkeepsie, and New York City. The record coldest temperature in NY is -52° on February 18, 1979.

The winters are long and cold and in the majority of winter seasons, temperatures from -15 to -25F° can be expected inland. The Adirondack region records from 35 to 45 days with below zero temperatures in normal to severe winters, with a somewhat fewer number of such days occurring near Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River. In the upper Hudson Valley, below zero minimums are observed on about 15 days in most winters and on more than 25 days in notably cold seasons.

Winter temperatures are moderated considerably in the Great Lakes Plain of western New York. The moderating influence of Lakes Erie and Ontario is comparable to that produced by the Atlantic Ocean in the southern portion of the Hudson Valley. In both regions, the coldest temperature in most winters will range between 0° and -10F°. Long Island and New York City experience below zero minimums in 2 or 3 winters out of 10, with the low temperature generally near -5F°.

The moderating effect of lakes Erie and Ontario on temperatures assumes practical importance during the spring and fall seasons. The lake waters warm slowly in the spring, the effect of which is to reduce the warming of the atmosphere over adjacent land areas. Plant growth is thereby retarded, allowing a great variety of freeze-sensitive crops, especially tree and vine fruits, to reach critical early stages of development when the risk of freeze injury is minimized or greatly reduced. In the fall season, the lake waters cool more slowly than the land areas and thus serve as a heat source. The cooling of the atmosphere at night is moderated or reduced, the occurrence of freezing temperatures is delayed, and the growing season is lengthened for freeze-sensitive crops and vegetables.

The summer climate in the lower Hudson Valley is warm with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The remainder of New York State enjoys pleasantly warm summers, marred by only occasional, brief intervals of sultry conditions. Summer daytime temperatures usually range from the upper 70s to mid 80s over much of the State, producing an environment favorable to the production of pome and stone fruit as well as many other outdoor activities.

Temperatures of 90°or higher occur from late May to mid-September in most of the Hudson Valley which records an average of 18 to 25 days with such temperatures during the warm season. In western NY this normal quota usually does not exceed 2 or 3 days. Temperatures of 100F° are rare. Minimum nighttime, temperatures regularly drop to the 40’s and 50’s

The average length of the freeze-free season in New York State varies from 100-120 days in the Adirondacks to 180-200 days on Long Island. The important fruit areas in Western NY and the Hudson Valley enjoy a frost-free growing season of from 150 - 180 days in duration. The Lake Champlain regions have an average duration of 120 - 150 days between the last spring and first fall freezes.





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