scrubbing apples

thomis(7)September 29, 2013

Scrubbing apples sucks.
I just scrubbed 40 pounds of Goldrush apples. They were nearly black with sooty blotch and/or flyspeck or a combination of both. I've picked 200 pounds of various other apples so far this season. The early apples didn't suffer from the sooty blotch/flyspeck affliction so there was no issue there. Other varieties like Blacktwig and Liberty seem to be near immune to it so no issue there. Other varieties had it but not that bad so we just ate them as they were, I know sooty blotch and flyspeck is pretty harmless to ingest. But the Goldrush was just plagued with it. What do the commercial orchards do to deal with this? The local Raleigh Farmer's Market has dozens of vendors selling Goldrush (among many other varieties) all NC grown, and they don't have the faintest sign of sooty blotch and flyspeck. How do you prevent it? I've asked this question here before and no one had anything to say. There has to be someone that knows!

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Well, they put them through an apple scrubber. If the surface dirt is mild it just consists of brushes such as in the attached photo, but if the condition is really bad it consists of a water bath, typically with a detergent/disinfectant such as Tsunami 100. This process removes the natural wax on the apple skin, so they dip them in carnauba wax to allow them to be polished again.

I've seen home-made contraptions consisting of a expanded metal drum that rotates on an angle as the apples are poured down it and sprayed with water prior to cider pressing, but I don't think that would serve your purpose.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Wow, thanks applenut. I really had no idea.
So there isn't a preventative anti-fungal spray? I wonder if Rally WSP would work, since it is a fungicide (I use it successfully for CAR prevention)?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Captan works against sooty blotch and flyspeck. I found that using Immunox alone does not deal with these fungi. This year I used Captan and Immunox together a few times and my apples are clear.

Two years ago with the bumper crop most of us had, my apples were seriously infected with sooty blotch--so I hesitated to give them away and scrubbing each apple was too onerous a task. I vowed then to find out what needed to be done, and this year I had success. Captan may be hard to find, but I bought some on Amazon, and will be ready next year to treat scab ( I think).

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 7:25AM
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I'd be real careful with apple scrubbing machines if I were a commercial grower. Those two growers who had the disease on their cantaloupes from a washing machine have just been indicted on felony counts.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 10:18AM
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