Apple Crop Management

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Apple Crop Management: From Orchard to Market

Apples, those crisp and versatile fruits, are a favorite amongst many. But growing delicious, high-quality apples requires careful management throughout the entire process, from planting the trees to bringing the harvest to market. This blog post delves into the key aspects of apple crop management, providing valuable insights for both seasoned and aspiring growers.

Pest and disease management in apple crops focuses on minimizing chemical use while maintaining orchard health. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) emphasizes early detection through regular monitoring, supported by cultural practices like pruning and sanitation. Biological control methods and selective pesticide applications are employed when necessary, with a focus on minimizing environmental impact and preventing resistance. By integrating these strategies, growers ensure sustainable apple production with minimal intervention.

 Spray Schedule for Better Pest and Disease Management In Apple Crop

Sr. No. Tree Stage Name of Chemical Quantity of Chemical for 200 L of Water Control of Diseases Remarks
1 Green tip Captan* or Dodine or Ziram* 600gm 200gm 600 (ml/gm) Scab
Fluxapyroxad 75g/l + Difenoconazole 50 g/l SC 60 ml Scab/powdery mildew
2 Pink bud Mancozeb* or Propineb or Difenoconazole or Hexaconazole 4% + Zineb68% WP 600 gm 600 gm 30 ml 500 gm Scab Scab/Powdery Mildew/ Core Rot
3 Petal fall/ Pea Stage Carbendazim* or ThiophanateMethyl* or Hexaconazole or Myclobutanil or Flusilazole 40% EC or Mancozeb 60% +Pyraclostrobin 5% w/w WG 100 gm 100 gm 100 ml 80 gm 50ml 700 gm Scab Scab
Tebuconazole 50% + Trifloxystrobin 25%WG or Tebuconazole 8% + Captan 32% SC or Boscalid 25.2% + Pyraclostrobin 12.8%w/w WG or Metrafenone 500g/l SC 80 gm 500 ml 50 gm 20 ml Powdery mildew
Carbendazim 12% + Mancozeb 63% WP 500 gm Scab/powdery mildew
Carbendazim 25% + Flusilazole 12.5% SC 160 ml Scab/Powdery Mildew
Metiram70%WG 600 gm Alternaria leaf spot/Scab
4 FruitDevelopm ent(Walnut size) Mancozeb * or Propineb or Dodine 600gm 600gm 150 gm Scab Do not spray Dodine if temperature is above 30°C and slow drying condition prevails.
Metiram 55% +Pyraclostrobin 5%WG 200gm Alternaria leaf spot/ Blight/Pre mature leaf fall
Tebuconazole 8% + Captan 32% SC or Fluxapyroxad 250 g/l + Pyraclostrobin 250 g/l 500 SC or Fluopyram 17.7% w/w + Tebuconazole 17.7% w/w SC or Dodine 40% SC or Hexaconazole 4% + Zineb 68% WP 500 ml 50 ml 126 ml 150 ml 500 gm Alternaria leaf spot/ Premature leaf fall Alternaria leaf spot/ Premature leaf fall Alternaria leaf spot/ Premature leaf fall
5 Fruit Development(2 0 days after 4th spray) After 4th spray) Tebuconazole 50% + Trifloxystrobin 25%WG Propineb* or Zineb* 80 gm 600 gm 600 gm Pre mature leaves fall Scab Scab, Black rot
Carbendazim 25% + Flusilazole 12.5% SC 160 ml Alternaria leaf spot/ Premature leaf fall
Metiram 55% +Pyraclostrobin 5% w/w WG 700 gm Marssonina Leaf Blotch/Scab
Metiram 70% WG 600 gm Marssonina Leaf Blotch/Aternaria Leaf Spot/Scab
6 Pre harvest (20-25 days before harvest) Captan* or Ziram* 600 gm 600 (ml/gm) Scab/Fly speck/Bitter rot Scab
Metiram 55% +Pyraclostrobin 5% w/w WG 200gm Alternaria leaf spot/ blight
Fluopyram 17.7% w/w +Tebuconazole 17.7% w/w SC 126 ml Alternaria leaf spot/Premature leaf fall/Fruit Rot
Hexaconazole 4% + Zineb68% WP 500 gm Alternaria leaf spot/ Premature leaf fall/ Scab


Post-harvest management plays a vital role in maintaining apple quality and extending their shelf life. Practices like pre-cooling, proper storage in controlled temperature and humidity environments, and grading and packing are essential steps before the apples reach consumers.

Important suggestion for Apple growers :

  • This spray schedule is for normal weather conditions.
  • In case of heavy rainfall within 12 hours of spray, the spray should be repeated after seven days.
  • Never repeat the same chemical for spray.
  • If there is a possibility of disease, insecticides should be sprayed.
  • Do not mix Dodine with other pesticides/chemicals.
  • Do not mix any other pesticide chemical micronutrient growth regulator hormone with the above-recommended pesticides to avoid russeting and other disorders. These can be sprayed separately if required.
  • Fallen leaves of apples should be collected and decomposed in the pit or spray 5% urea on the garden soil so that the infected leaves can decompose rapidly.
  • To control white root rot, soak the basin area with Carbendazim(0.1%) or Aureofungin (0.05%) + Copper Sulphate (0.05%) 3-4 times at the beginning of the rainy season to a depth of 15 cm. Keep 20 cm of the root system of infected trees in sunlight during winter. Remove the infected area and apply Bordeaux paint.
  • For control of collar rot, clean the lesions near the collar area and apply Bordeaux paint or any other copper fungicide-based paint during the winter season. During rainy season soak the entire tree basin with Mancozeb (0.3%) at a distance of 30 cm from the tree trunk.
  • In scab-prone areas 12-14 days should be maintained between spraying till the primary scab stage.
  • Use of Captan should be avoided for at least 15 days before and after oil spray.
  • Dodine should not be mixed with hard water.
  • Application of bio-control agents/bio-pesticides can be used against collar rot, root rot, and root borer.

Recommendations for better recovery of Crops from damage by hail:-

  1. Immediately after a hailstorm, spray 100 grams of Carbendazim or 600 grams of Mancozeb mixed in 200 Liters of water.
  2. Within 3-4 days of a hailstorm, dissolve 200 grams of boric acid + 500 grams of zinc sulphate + 250 grams of quick lime in 200 Liters of water and spray it.
  3. After 10 to 12 days it is also recommended to spray micronutrients like Multiplex Prokissan at 400 to 600 grams per 200 liters of water. Mix 1 kg urea in 200 Liters of water and spray it in hail-affected apple orchards.

Conclusion:  Successful crop load management in apples is vital to maximizing yield, improving fruit quality, and maintaining tree health. apple contributes significantly to the horticulture economy of India. Apple production dominates the scene and systematic cultivation and marketing of apples can change the rural economy in the hills of North-Western India. New vision and concerted efforts are required for change in variety mix, and supply of quality planting material from elite clones on indexed clonal rootstocks. High-density planting, water management including micro-irrigation, integrated plant nutrient management, and IPM strategy for plant protection are some of the areas that need greater R&D focus.

Apple Crop Management FAQ

Planting and Establishing the Orchard:

    • Q: What is the best time to plant apple trees?

        • A: The ideal planting time varies depending on your climate. Generally, late winter or early spring, when the danger of frost has passed, is a suitable time.
    • Q: How far apart should I plant apple trees?

        • A: The spacing between trees depends on the variety, rootstock, and desired orchard layout. Consult with experts or local extension services for specific recommendations.
    • Q: How can I improve soil fertility for my apple trees?

        • A: Conduct soil testing to identify any deficiencies and amend the soil accordingly with organic matter, compost, or recommended fertilizers.

Tree Care and Maintenance:

    • Q: How often should I prune my apple trees?

        • A: Pruning frequency depends on the age and purpose of the pruning. Young trees typically require annual pruning, while mature trees may need it every few years.
    • Q: What are some common apple tree pests and diseases?

        • A: Common pests include codling moth, apple scab, and aphids. Diseases like fire blight and powdery mildew can also be problematic. Consult with local experts or extension services for specific recommendations on pest and disease management in your area.
    • Q: How much water do apple trees need?

        • A: Water needs vary depending on factors like climate, soil type, and tree age. Regular monitoring and providing adequate water, especially during hot and dry periods, is crucial.

Harvest and Post-Harvest Handling:

    • Q: How do I know when my apples are ready to harvest?

        • A: Look for characteristic color change, firmness, and ease of detachment from the stem. Consult variety-specific ripening information for guidance.
    • Q: How can I store apples for longer periods?

        • A: Store apples in a cool, controlled-humidity environment (ideally 30-35°F and 90-95% humidity) to maintain quality and extend shelf life.
    • Q: What are some tips for handling apples to minimize bruising?

        • A: Carefully hand-pick apples, avoiding dropping or rough handling. Use padded containers during harvest and transportation.

Additional Resources:

    • Local extension services and universities often offer valuable resources and assistance for apple growers.
  • Online resources and publications from reputable organizations can provide further information on specific aspects of apple crop management.


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