NHAES Scientists Tackle Climate-Related Challenges of Northeast Apple Growers

In anticipation of National Apple Month in October, the University of New Hampshire has revealed their latest foray into preserving one of the most valuable fruit crops in the country. Scientists with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture are working to circumvent diseases that can damage apples using sophisticated weather models. The erratic weather patterns throughout the country are making crops susceptible to a changing epidemiology of present diseases, as well as the arrival of new diseases. In order to combat this, Kirk Borders (assistant professor of plant pathology) and his team have been working with RIMpro Cloud Service, allowing them to use real-time weather data to predict an incoming disease outbreak. Tests have been promising so far, with reductions in both the number of organic fungicide sprays as well as the number of outbreaks. If everything goes according to plan, the preventative measures implemented will result in more successful management of these diseases, and will significantly cut down on orchard costs.

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