• One last Guthion spray

One last Guthion spray

  • March 1st, 2013

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 tree fruit entomologist Dr. Larry Gut suggests they target flies—the apple maggot in the [...]

Why the National Organic Standards Board made its decision

  • February 15th, 2013

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 the following:

That its Crops Committee was presented with evidence that tetracycline antibiotics can contribute [...]

  • Behind the scenes at the NOSB

Behind the scenes at the NOSB

  • February 15th, 2013

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 are produced synthetically, but have an organic exemption that will expire in October 2014, [...]

How the NOSB makes decisions

  • February 15th, 2013

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 not, but the Organic Food Production Act permits exceptions.

Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator for the [...]

  • Fireblight, antibiotics, and the NOSB

Fireblight, antibiotics, and the NOSB

  • February 15th, 2013

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 decades, the most common control for fireblight has been the use of antibiotic sprays [...]

Neonicotinoids and bees

  • May 15th, 2012

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 publicity.

Reaction among agricultural entomologists varied. Some criticized the studies as being scientifically flawed. None [...]

  • Fumigant regulations keep coming

Fumigant regulations keep coming

  • April 15th, 2012

Soil fumigation, like this broadcast application, now requires that fumigation management plans be developed to include a long list of components.

The soil fumigation landscape has changed ­dramatically in the last few years. Effective postplant nematicides have been lost, use of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant is on the [...]

Tips on how to avoid glyphosate damage

  • April 15th, 2012

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 weeds with herbicides, especially with glyphosate.

The Ohio State University nursery and landscape extension horticulturist, [...]

Tree safety is key issue with herbicides

  • April 15th, 2012

Choosing a herbicide program for an orchard is not so simple as choosing which herbicide kills what weeds and when. A careful reading of the label of any herbicide reveals a host of warnings, most of which deal with tree safety.

Wayne Mitchem, a weed control specialist from North Carolina [...]

  • Leafroller challenges cherry growers

Leafroller challenges cherry growers

  • April 1st, 2012

Obliquebanded leafroller larva
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture

Tart cherry growers need to use a modern, effective insecticide to control obliquebanded leafroller about two weeks before ­harvest—or risk delivering a contaminated crop that may be rejected by the processor.

That’s the advice of Dr. Nikki Rothwell, the entomologist who coordinates activities at [...]

EU regulations stifle fruit exports

  • March 15th, 2012

Pacific Northwest apple and pear exports to Europe have dropped dramatically since pesticide ­regulations were harmonized among members of the European Union. Restrictive pesticide residue limits of the European Union have required U.S. producers to adopt chemical use practices and compliance systems unique to the EU market, and that’s [...]

Three keys to successful pollination

  • March 15th, 2012

Queen bees lay eggs singly in cells of the honeycomb. After the eggs hatch, worker bees feed the larvae in the cells and cap them when the larvae pupate. A drone is pictured emerging from a cell.
PHOTOS BY KATHY KEATLEY GARVEY, UC, DAVIS.

The three major considerations in tree [...]