I have been using Ortho Flower Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer Concentrate (32 oz of .5 percent Acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid) – to control the three orchard pests PC, CM and AMF. This is the same active ingredient as Assail. I just found out in response to an e-mail inquiry to Scotts-Ortho that they discontinued this product as part of their program to remove the “neonics” from their products. I guess they have to respond to their public, even if EPA isn’t making them do this?
After several seasons of use on a mix of plum and apple on my 1/3 acre orchard in Door County, WI, I used to spot PC weevils and adult apple maggot flies in the orchard, but not any last season. I am spraying twice a year now, once at petal drop fruit set, a second time during maggot fly season.
I am still seeing pokes on Mount Royal plums that exude a clear white crystalline sap, but I am not getting heavy fruit drop as before my spray program. Are these pokes the result of oviposition strikes?
2018 and 2016 were wet years with heavy crops that saw a lot of loss to brown rot, which I am trying to control by removing affected plums from the tree, getting on my hands and knees, wearing heavy nitrile gloves to not get poked by wasps and picking up what falls, and by alternating Captan and myclobutanil – lost about a third of the crop but what remained on 3 trees was enough to fill the freezers of 4 families. I am wondering if the PC strikes are providing an entry for the fungus infection?
The advantage of the neonic Acetamiprid (Assail) is that 1) studies claim that it is much less persistent than other neonics and that it is not bee toxic, 2) it is curative – kills the PC larvae even after the fruit is poked 3) Imidan is supposed to be curative in this way, but it is much more human-toxic? I wear a jump suit, gloves, a respirator with an organic vapor cartridge, and I strip in the garage and take a shower after application, but still, I prefer an alternative to a strong organophosphate.
Pyrethroids of different formulations is what you see these days on the shelves of the home-product and gardening stores, and posts above about their lack of effectiveness is worrisome. The only other Acetamiprid formulation labeled for fruit trees and for my state is Assail, which costs about $600 and contains 120 times the active ingredient as the $15 bottle of the discontinued Ortho product, which lasts me a season.
I can buy the neonic Actara in a 30 oz of 70% concentration for $150 dollars. The cheapest product from the Door County Coop is $66 for 5 1-pound packets of Imidan. Tristar is a liquid formulation of Acetamiprid, but my Coop guy tells me it is not labeled for fruit trees.
I know of home/hobbyist growers who break open and share those packets of Imidan 70 WP, but the whole point of the packaging is that a commercial grower is supposed to toss that water-soluble “brick” into their tank and not have to come in contact with that organophosphate in its concentrated form. My Coop guy will sell me that, but do I want to start measuring and mixing it in 70 % wettable powder form?
My Coop guy will sell me Avaunt, but he says that the commercial orchards in my area don’t use it.
To sum up, help!