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 [...]

New pesticide safety guide released

  • March 1st, 2012

Many practical ideas to solve everyday problems with pesticide handling have been invented and used by growers throughout Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, known as PNASH, studied these farm-bred and tested ideas and put them together in a new guide called Practical ­Solutions for [...]

Reduced risk?

  • March 1st, 2012

A three-year study just completed in Michigan apple orchards showed that reduced-risk pesticides—which growers are now adopting—are more damaging to the functional ecology of the orchards than the products they are replacing.

Orchards using these reduced-risk pesticides have fewer beneficial organisms to help control pests, so growers will likely incur [...]

How to conserve beneficials while fighting stinkbug

  • March 1st, 2012

Penn State University entomologist Dr. David Biddinger provided some rules of thumb growers can apply so as not to destroy all natural enemies and the integrity of integrated pest management programs as they go about controlling the brown marmorated stinkbug.

Insecticide selection—Choose the product least harmful to natural enemies, but [...]

  • U.K. growers try to lower residues

U.K. growers try to lower residues

  • December 1st, 2011

Jerry Cross is in charge of entomology and plant pathology at East Malling Research, where trials to minimize residues on fruit were successful.
Geraldine Warner

A “name and shame” policy by the British government several years ago prompted apple growers to make efforts to reduce the residues on their fruit.

The [...]

  • DriftWatch shows sensitive crops

DriftWatch shows sensitive crops

  • May 15th, 2011

These pushpin-like balloons identify sites that are sensitive to ill effects from spray drift. Growers register the sites so neighbors and custom pesticide applicators can exercise special care when spraying.

Midwestern farmers are finding a new way to ease some of the tensions caused by conflicting interests between field crop [...]

  • Fumigant regulations keep coming

Fumigant regulations keep coming

  • April 15th, 2011

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 [...]

  • Rainfastness of pesticides varies

Rainfastness of pesticides varies

  • March 1st, 2011

John Wise carries out his rainfastness work on grapes and apples at Michigan State University’s Trevor Nichols Research Complex, where he is coordinator of research.

Folklore says that after a heavy rainfall, you might as well get your sprayer out and reapply your insecticides. For those old twentieth century ­wettable [...]

Buffers would make orchards vulnerable

  • March 1st, 2011

If no-spray buffers proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency go into effect, orchardists will be unable to use critical pesticides on a large proportion of their acreage, including products that will be necessary to control new, invasive pests.

The agency is proposing a 500-foot buffer alongside all flowing water [...]

  • Old pesticides wanted

Old pesticides wanted

  • March 1st, 2011

Bins should not be used for storing pesticides. The Department of Agriculture can bring all the necessary equipment to the farm to dispose safely of old pesticides.

Mike McCormick wants your old pesticides. Cancelled insecticides? Great. Leaking containers? Even better.

Legal pesticides you no longer need? Those are fine, too, says [...]

  • Use glyphosate  with caution

Use glyphosate with caution

  • September 1st, 2010

This stunted apple tree, which has a large basal canker, is in an orchard where the grower used glyphosate alone three to four times a year to control weeds. Cuts on the margin of the canker show healthy green tissue.

Growers often express concern that a herbicide program using glyphosate [...]

  • Symptoms of glyphosate damage

Symptoms of glyphosate damage

  • September 1st, 2010

Young trees can show injury after glyphosate application the previous year. One symptom of glyphosate damage is small spindly leaves that look like zinc deficiency. Shoot tips die so you get clustered growth.

Micronutrient (and often some macronutrient) deficiency
Low vigor, slow growth, stunting
Leaf chlorosis (yellowing), complete or between [...]