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Protect fruit from sunburn

Purfresh of Fremont, California, reports that the company’s solar protectant, Purshade, has reduced physical sun-related damage on several apple varieties in grower trials. The product is applied with standard spray equipment.

Purshade, whose main ingredient is calcium carbonate, is designed to protect crops from solar and water stress by reflecting harmful ultraviolet and infrared light, while allowing transmission of sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. Purshade has been shown to keep plant surfaces 5 to 9°F cooler than untreated plant surfaces, according to the company.

A patent is pending for Purshade, which is manufactured in several locations in the United States. For more information, check the Web site at www.purfresh.com.

Farming InSight

SureHarvest has introduced Farming InSight, a Geographic Information System-based decision support and reporting tool that provides growers with a visual display of what is happening in the field at any given moment.

Farming InSight integrates farming data with a GIS map. For example, by opening a Web browser, a farm manager can see the history of water applied by block, which blocks are stressed, and decide how to allocate water resources.

Farming InSight is a companion product to SureHarvest’s Farming MIS, which is a database management software tool for scheduling, tracking, analyzing, and reporting activities such as scouting, chemical and fertilizer applications, irrigation, yield forecasting, and harvest and labor management.

For more information, check the Web site at www.sureharvest.com.

Training videos

Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension in Adams County has produced new training videos on harvesting, pruning, and training apple trees. Available in English or Spanish on DVD or VHS tape, the harvest training videos cover appropriate clothing and preparation for the day, ladder safety, handling skills, spot picking, and hauling. The pruning tape covers the basic principles of pruning and new strategies to improve fruit quality in modern plantings. The cost is $35 for one video or $55 for two, plus $1.59 for shipping.

For information, call (717) 334-6271 or e-mail adams ext@psu.edu.

Orchard tractor

John Deere has introduced the 5105ML 105-horsepower tractor configured for fruit and nut orchards. At 7,700 pounds, it is heavy enough to pull large implements. Standard components include a wet PTO and wet-traction clutch. With minimal electronics, the tractor is easy to operate and maintain.

It is available in a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive configurations and comes with adjustable full-coverage rear fenders to protect low-hanging tree limbs and fruit from damage. It also has dual rear work lights, breakaway indicator lights, a low-profile tilt/telescoping steering wheel, three hydraulic remotes, and a reinforced fuel tank with protective guarding.

For more information, check the Web site at www.John Deere.com.

All-purpose sanitizer

BioSafe Systems LLC has introduced an all-purpose liquid sanitizer called SaniDate Ready To Use. Available in 32-ounce spray bottles, it is designed for daily cleanup of work areas and equipment to avoid the spread of bacteria and fungi.

For information, check the Web site at www.biosafesystems.com.

Fungicide for stone fruits

Quintec fungicide has received a national supplemental label for control of powdery mildew in stone fruits and certain vegetable crops. It was already labeled for use against powdery mildew in grapes.

After application, Quintec (quinoxyfen) moves around the crop by volatilizing off the plant tissue, according to the manufacturer, Dow AgroSciences. This volatilized material is then reabsorbed on adjacent untreated plant tissue. This allows the product to protect areas of the crop not initially covered with the spray application.

Quintec, a Group 13 fungicide, should be alternated with fungicides of different modes of action to avoid resistance.

Water law

The nonprofit Washington Rivers Conservancy has published a handbook explaining Washington water law and water rights. The "Landowner’s Guide to Washington Water Rights" will be helpful for irrigators, realtors, watershed planners, conservation districts, and policymakers, as well as landowners, the group says.

For information or to request a book contact the WRC at (509) 888-0970 or e-mail info@warivers.org.