Fire blight is a bacterial disease of apple and pear trees that can devastate whole orchard blocks during severe infections. The most critical time of the disease cycle is the blossom blight phase. Flowers have open nectar pores where the disease-causing bacterium Erwinia amylovora gains entry during favourable weather. Properly timed management with antibiotics at bloom can prevent infection to protect the health of your trees.
The user interface included in your subscription has been designed and tested by with biological input and review by Perennia’s Tree Fruit Specialist Michelle Cortens, MSc. P.Ag. It has also been beta-tested by real tree fruit farmers in Nova Scotia, to ensure ease of use and usefulness.
PomeBlight is a responsive web-based tool for tree fruit growers to help monitor for fire blight infection risk. This decision-support tool is intended to save you money and time by helping you identify optimum management opportunities. Good management decisions can reduce the risk of costly response measures to disease outbreaks.
Automated, web-based tool (so no need to download a new app!)
Updates are made in real-time using the local network of Davis Instruments weather stations
Automated alerts are available for infection risk, EIP value (representing bacterial growth), and wind gusts for monitoring trauma blight risk
Model calculations are based on Maryblyt™ but with significant upgrades to user experience
Both apple and pear models are available
Features and Benefits
- Stay informed of conditions in the forecast that have crossed the risk threshold, indicated by a red font
- Automatic updates to weather history and Environment Canada forecasts, which are used for disease predictions
- On-demand predictions of blossom blight risk based on your inputs of phenological stages and antibiotic spray dates
- Edit forecast temperature and precipitation to assess your level of comfort with the forecast risk
- Enter your farm-specific bloom and antibiotic spray dates to evaluate scenarios and support immediate decision-making
- Conserve antibiotic applications for key management periods
- Use on your smartphone or tablet for in-field decision making because the responsive layout adjusts to any device screen size
- Improve the accuracy of model predictions by connecting a weather station from your farm. Currently limited to the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 model weather station
PomeBlight is based on the successful Maryblyt™ model but customized by Perennia to automate Nova Scotia weather data collection and create an efficient warning system that is easy to use. The Maryblyt™ model, originally developed by Paul Steiner and Gary Lightner with many collaborations and independent validations from researchers, has been used successfully in Nova Scotia to forecast blossom blight and inform the timing of management measures.