Amaya Atucha, Extension Fruit Crop Specialist
Department of Horticulture
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
3:09 – Total time
0:11 – How to prepare for growing season
1:05 – What does the season hold
1:30 – New weather station network
2:13 – Weather station locations
2:38 – Where to get weather station
2:52 – NEWA information
2:58 – Lead out
Lorre Kolb: We’re visiting today with Amaya Atucha, Extension Fruit Crop Specialist, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Lorre Kolb. Amaya what is the best way to get prepared for this growing season?
Amaya Atucha: It’s a good time to remember some of the things that we’ve noticed during the growing season last year and to think about what could be some of those things that we can start planning to do to have a better fruit crop this year. One of the things obviously during this early spring would be to address pruning. So we usually try to prune as late as possible. So just waiting right before we can see the buds start swelling. The reason why we do this is to avoid any cold damage. The other thing to think about is just remember maybe some issues that you had during the growing season. If you saw any nutrient deficiencies start planning on applying some of those nutrients. If you had any weed problems or you’re trying to control for your soil PH, anything that you can do and that you can start thinking and preparing for what you’re going to do once your plants start growing.
Lorre Kolb: Looking into your crystal ball, what do you think the season holds in store for people?
Amaya Atucha: We’ve seen these very crazy weather patterns, which they don’t seem crazy anymore because every year we have these warm days during the middle of the winter. It looks like from the weather right now that we are getting into warmer weather…over the freezing point during the days so it seems like we are progressing now we might have maybe an earlier spring.
Lorre Kolb: And when we’re talking about weather, there’s a new weather system that growers can use to help with their growing season.
Amaya Atucha: Yes, we have a new network of weather stations. We’ve worked together into becoming part of the network for environment and weather application. What it does it creates a network of weather stations and it allows growers to be able to access the weather information from the weather stations on a friendly website. The website also comes with a number of models that can be used for different crops. And what they look for are models related with insect pests, disease, but also management things. It’s a great resource for the fruit growers in the state.
Lorre Kolb: Where are the weather stations?
Amaya Atucha: We have around 20 weather stations that they will be distributed all around the state, in the fruit growing parts of the state. This has been possible through a special crop grant through DATCP. This is a great opportunity and I think it will encourage more growers to invest in more weather stations so we have a better representation of all the growing regions in the state.
Lorre Kolb: And if a grower is interested in having a weather station?
Amaya Atucha: The grower can purchase their own weather station and then they can contact me as the state coordinator and then we will be able to connect them to the network.
Lorre Kolb: And how can they find out more information?
Amaya Atucha: Go to the NEWA website, search for NEWA Cornell.
Lorre Kolb: We’ve been visiting today with Amaya Atucha, Extension Fruit Crop Specialist, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Lorre Kolb.