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SWD challenges growers

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Unlike the common drosophila flies, spotted wing drosophila will attack cherries before they are ripe.
PHOTO BY PETER SHEARER, OSU

After feeling little pressure from the spotted wing drosophila in 2011, Washington State cherry growers battled the

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Great expectations

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Milinda Dwyer

Mega retailer Costco Wholesale has high expectations when it comes to food safety and requires more from its suppliers than most, says Milinda Dwyer, Costco food safety representative.

Dwyer, based in the company’s headquarters in

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Last Bite

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1  True or false? The Z-Trap is a device for killing Zetzellia mali?

2  How many gallons of fuel does it take to transport a carload of apples by rail from Washington State to New York City?

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Meet Washington State’s new agriculture director

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Bud Hover’s road to directorship of the Washington State Department of Agriculture began in 1938 when his mother and her family loaded their belongings on a truck and left North Dakota, headed west at 35

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Your management program matters

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LEFT: Above left: Adult A. mali are affected by most of the tested reduced-risk pesticides. RIGHT: The parasitic wasp Aphelinus mali attacks woolly apple aphids and leaves black, swollen aphid mummies behind.
PHOTO BY ELIZABETH BEERS,

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Choose your poison carefully

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A barn owl nesting box at Omeg Orchards. Notice the metal underneath the box that’s used to prevent raccoons from climbing the pole to reach the next.
PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

As growers put barn owls and

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Food Safety

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● The May 16 deadline looms for public comments on two of the proposed rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. Given the complexity of these proposals, and the fact that not all the contemplated FSMA

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An urgent plea for immigration reform

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Devout Christians will tell you God works in mysterious ways.

So, perhaps it was divine intervention that two teenagers from the Yakima Valley in Washington State happened to appear in court on the same day, the

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Last Bite: FruiTrivia

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1. An experimental Solid Set Canopy Delivery System is designed for:
a.    Applying pesticides
b.    Evaporative cooling
c.     Dispensing pheromones
d.    Irrigation
e.    Frost control

2. The name of the DBR fruit harvesting system stands for:
a.     Drive-By Reaper
b.    Dwan

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What Tier 4 standards mean

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Fuel requirements. New engines will require ultra-low sulfur diesel that has no more than 15 parts per million of sulfur. (This fuel has been used since 2006 in on-highway vehicles.)

New engine technology. Changes likely to

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Ladder falls top accident list

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Farming is a dangerous occupation, which makes accident prevention even more important.

Farming is one of the four most dangerous of U.S. occupations, resulting in more on-the-job deaths and injuries than all other types of work,

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Start working on health care now

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Health care reform will add to employers’ costs and complicate their business when regulations take effect next year. But, attorney Sheldon Blumling says agricultural employers need to face reality and start working now on analyzing

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Are you over 50?

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To find out if you will be required to provide a health benefits plan for your employees starting January 1, you need to ­calculate if you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees.

The calculation method

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How integrated mite control works

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One of the keys to integrated mite control was that the western predatory mite Typhlodromus occidentalis could effectively control spider mites under certain conditions. In the picture, a “typh” attacks the larger European red mite.
PHOTO

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New off-road emission standards coming

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Clean diesel technology has been making its way off the highways and into farms and fields and other off-road uses since the 1990s. For growers, this has translated into more expensive and sophisticated tractors and

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Calculating the value of biological control

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Washington State University entomologist Dr. Stan Hoyt developed integrated mite control in the late 1960s (see “How integrated mite control works”).

Over the last four decades, integrated mite control has saved Washington fruit growers millions of

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Return from Barcelona

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● This past Sunday I arrived back from Barcelona, Spain. There, I had attended the 2013 Global Food Safety Conference, the main annual gathering for GFSI, the Global Food Safety Initiative. About 780 delegates from

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Food Safety Committee guides research

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The Pacific Northwest Food SafetyCommittee, an industry advisory group representing tree fruit growers, packers, and researchers, was organized in 2007 to guide the Northwest tree fruit industry and Northwest Horticultural Council on food safety issues.

Since

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One last Guthion spray

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Fruit growers in Michigan can use existing stocks of the insecticide azinphos-methyl (Guthion) one more time before it is phased out at the end of September this year. When should they use it?

Michigan State University

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Speak out

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Proposed regulations to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act could bring dramatic changes to the growing, harvest, and packing of tree fruit. Although state, regional, and national trade groups are coordinating responses to the draft

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Certification not unique to produce

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Agriculture, with its various food safety and sustainable production standards now required by many retailers, is not the only industry subject to standards. Hundreds of national and international standards exist relating to all types of

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Why the National Organic Standards Board made its decision

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In 2011, when the National Organic Standards Board made a formal recommendation to the National Organic Program to permit oxytetracyline for fireblight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014, the board stated

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Behind the scenes at the NOSB

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Harold Austin

In April, the National Organic Standards Board will decide whether organic apple and pear growers in the United States will be allowed to use the antibiotic oxytetracycline beyond the next two seasons. Tetracycline antibiotics

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National Organic Standards Board members

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Producers:

Carmela Beck, organic program manager, Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates, Inc., Watsonville, California.
Colehour Bondera, owner, Kanalani Ohana Farm, Honaunau, Hawaii.
Dr. Wendy Fulwider, animal husbandry specialist for Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, La Farge, Wisconsin, which is the nation’s largest

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How the NOSB makes decisions

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The National Organic Standards Board is a federal advisory committee that makes the decisions on which inputs can be used in organic agriculture. Generally, natural products are allowed in organic agriculture while synthetic products are

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Who’s on the NOSB

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The National Organic Standards Board has 15 members who serve five-year terms, though the terms are not equally staggered.

The membership is comprised of four farmers, three environmentalists or resource conservationists, three consumer or public interest

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Fireblight, antibiotics, and the NOSB

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Antibiotics have long been key disease control materials for fireblight, one of the few uses of antibiotics in plant agriculture. These materials are natural compounds produced by naturally occurring soil microorganisms. For the past several

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The Top 5

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Is yours a family-first business or a business-first family?

Iowa farmer and author Jolene Brown explained the difference when she spoke at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting last December. A family-first business tends to

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Growers urged to make themselves heard

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Jon Wyss, government affairs analyst for Gebbers Farms, urges tree fruit growers to make their voices heard in the next few months by participating in “Capitol Hill” days hosted by state and national trade associations.

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Ag groups united

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Tree fruit industry advocates believe the timing is right for Congress to pass an immigration reform bill. But it won’t come easy and will take effort from labor-intensive growers across the country to make sure

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WATCH: Feds hold “Listening Session” on new food safety regulations

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The federal government took a humble position and brought a big ear to a meeting with growers and others on the Food Safety Modernization Act, held August 14 in Yakima, Washington.
The Produce Listening Session featured

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Good Point: What can we expect from Congress in 2013?

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After the November election, the first question from members of our association, other growers, and allied associations was: “What should we expect from Washington for the next four years?” Now, the discussion has progressed to

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Worried about labor

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Steve Hunt, the incoming president of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, grows only one kind of fruit—blueberries—about 110 acres worth.

He’s been doing it for 32 years, starting work on a grower’s farm when he was

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Farm labor solution critical

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Just before the November elections, there was a flurry of farm labor-related activity in Washington, D.C.

As it turns out, it had little to do with the elections, but farm groups were meeting and talking to

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GAO report documents, but doesn’t fix, H-2A

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Adding new fuel to the growing fire over farm labor reform, the Government Accountability Office issued a report in September describing the H-2A program as time-consuming, complex, and challenging. While there are an estimated 1.5

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Planning for continued success

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Those are among the reasons why the main theme of the association’s annual meeting, December 3 to 5, will be succession planning, says David Douglas, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association and part

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Cold is hot topic at Expo

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Great Lakes region fruit growers won’t soon forget 2012, the year that Mother Nature, for the first time in the lifetimes of all but a few, froze them out of the fruit business. But the

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Grape growers to visit Capitol Hill

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Washington State diversified farmer Brenton Roy wants to see more of the state’s wine grape industry attend a national grape policy conference held annually in Washington, D.C. He believes so strongly in the value of

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Looking for a bipartisan solution

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Apple harvest season last year brought home to Dale Foreman just how important a reliable labor force was to his apple-growing operation. Some of his apples went unpicked because of a labor shortage in Washington

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Good Point: Proving safe produce is safe

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Safe food is an unobjectionable term. No one wants unsafe food.

To assure the safety of the produce sold to consumers, private grocery store chains have already imposed ever greater contractual standards on their suppliers of

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Pillars of agriculture

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American farmers can call up images from two very different historical threads when describing themselves.

Farmers are rugged individualists, pioneers who tackled the unfriendly frontier, rifle in one hand, guiding the plow with the other, spouse

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Land-grant mission still relevant

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Dan Bernardo

Washington State apple, pear, and grape growers have agreed to tax themselves assessments to raise nearly $35 million to support future research and extension at Washington State University. Is that a sign of lack

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Good Stuff

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Stickers link to grower videos
Thanks to new data bar technology, shoppers anywhere in the world can use smartphones to scan stickers on apples supplied by Chelan Fresh, one of ­Washington’s top tree fruit suppliers, and

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Later and later cherries

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Sweetheart, a late-season cultivar developed at the Summerland research center in British Columbia, Canada, is the second-most planted variety in Washington State.
Photo courtesy of Willow Drive Nursery

Last year’s record volume of Northwest cherries shipped in

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Neonicotinoids and bees

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A spate of new studies came out this spring, all of them seeking to link neonicotinoid insecticides to mortality in honeybees, bumblebees, and several kinds of native bees, and all of the studies getting wide

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Future of IR-4 in question

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More than a hundred specialty crops producers and their organizations have signed on to an effort to convince Congress not to change the IR-4 program. Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has mustered the financial and

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Head of the class

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The Young Apple Leaders of 2012 are, back row left to right, Sarah Dressell, Sara Shanteau, Casey Collins, Adam Peters, Mark Boyer, Dave Gargasz, Jeff Armock, Mark Stennes, and Andy Ferguson; front row, Holly Rogers-Rios,

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Need a lawyer?

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A group of Young Leaders listens to Don Kraemer, acting deputy director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, during the leadership luncheon.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Apple Association

Andy Ferguson is a 25-year-old

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Ready for the audit?

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Nicole Brunner checks the Gras2p training manual, which can be purchased by any Washington grower.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

More Washington growers and packers are turning to Gras2p (Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices) for

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Tips on how to avoid glyphosate damage

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As you approach weed control this spring, remember the word SUPPLY.

That’s the acronym Dr. Hannah Mathers developed to help orchardists and nurserymen prevent injury to their trees as they go about the process of controlling

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