Buffalo Ridge Orchard

Growing Quality Local Produce Responsibly

BRO Weather Station

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Last week our friend Jessica Rilling stopped by and took some really happy bright pictures around the farm on what was otherwise a grey and dreary day.

It has been a busy couple of weeks out at the farm.  The orchard is nearing the end of bloom and we started selling our spring greens and herb plants at farmers markets on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

After several late nights and early mornings waiting for calmer, rain free weather in order to spray blossom protectant on the apple and pear orchard, we are pretty exhausted.  However, we are thankful that we decided this year to invest in a new weather station which allows us to keep track of weather forecast and run models for orchard diseases and pest pressure online.  Basically, we are able to make more accurate decisions on when the orchard needs to be sprayed and justify having a smart phone.

Customers often ask if we use organic practices in our orchard.  It is hard to answer this question with a yes or no answer.  We do use several organic practices such as keeping the understory clean to reduce scab innoculum from overwintering.  We use traps to monitor pest pressure and spray only when it is necessary.   We consistently prune the orchard in order to improve airflow and reduce diseases.  And we plant habitat that encourages beneficial insects.  Still even with all of these methods we still find that we need to use conventional sprays to manage our biggest problem, Apple Scab, which thrives in our wet, humid weather in Iowa.  Our primary goal in the orchard is to reduce our use of any spray (conventional or organic) by using an arsenal of tools; one of which is accurate weather information!  If we have to spray, we are spraying more accurately during the most critical times, which in most cases means we are having to spray less often.  If you are curious what the weather is doing out at the orchard, check out the link below:

Buffalo Ridge Orchard Weather Station Page

About buffaloridgeorchard

Buffalo Ridge Orchard grows vegetables, apples, and pears for local coops and farmer's markets. We have over 25 different types of new and classic apple varieties. In 2011 we installed our first moveable hoop house which allows us to grow greens and root vegetables in the winter and get an early start on tomatoes and extend the season for other vegetable crops.

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This entry was posted on May 10, 2015 by in Apples, Uncategorized.
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