Organic apple production in the eastern US is small and is mostly based on existing varieties, which are susceptible to scab, and rootstocks, which are susceptible to fire blight. This requires numerous sprays per year of various pesticides to produce acceptable fruit. From 2014 to 2016, we tested different arthropod, disease and weed management programs in an advanced tall spindle high-density production system that included disease-resistant cultivars and rootstocks, in an organic research planting of apples in Geneva, New York. Arthropod and disease management regimens were characterized as Advanced Organic, Minimal Organic, or Untreated Control. Results varied by year and variety, but, in general, the Advanced program was more effective than the Minimal program in preventing damage from internal-feeding Lepidoptera, plum curculio, and obliquebanded leafroller, and less effective than the Minimal program against damage by foliar insects. Both organic programs provided comparable control of sooty blotch, cedar apple rust, and fire blight, with some variability across cultivars and years. The advanced selection CC1009 and Modi seemed to possess complete resistance to cedar apple rust, while Pristine had partial resistance. For weed control, bark chip mulch, organic soap sprays, and limonene sprays tended to be most effective, while mechanical tillage and flame weeding had lower success.
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