Too hot to handle

  • January 21st, 2014

Pyrethroid barrier trunk sprays have proven effective against cutworms in Washington State, but for growers who want to avoid using pyrethroids, an organic alternative is looking pretty “hot” in research trials.

The industrywide adoption of trunk barrier sprays for cutworms has greatly helped reduce the use of pesticides by Washington [...]

  • Preparing for change

Preparing for change

  • October 18th, 2013

When Dr. Stefano Musacchi arrived in Washington State in August, he knew the expectations were high.

Musacchi, a world-renowned pomologist from Italy, was appointed to a new position at Washington State University created with funding from a special grower assessment to enhance tree fruit research.

Musacchi arrived with plenty of ideas [...]

  • New spray concept proves feasible

New spray concept proves feasible

  • September 1st, 2013

If we had to irrigate orchards by pulling tanks of water down the alleys, would we do it?

We do that now with pesticides and plant growth regulators, hauling loads of water with small amounts of chemicals in them, then blasting the mixtures into the trees.

Only about a year ago, [...]

  • Peach growers challenges

Peach growers challenges

  • September 1st, 2013

Growing peaches is getting easier in some ways, harder in others, a rather normal description of many orchardists’ efforts. Take two steps forward, then one back, and call that progress.

Clemson University professor of horticulture Dr. Greg Reighard talked about the challenges peach growers face during the International Fruit Tree [...]

Precise disease management is complicated

  • September 1st, 2013

Like insects, diseases develop in predictable ways based on ­growing-degree accumulations, but diseases are driven more by moisture than are insects, which makes management more complicated. For both insects and diseases, predictive models are used, but insect models are more precise than disease models.

The models used by New York [...]

  • Growers need to adjust sprayers for deposition and drift

Growers need to adjust sprayers for deposition and drift

  • September 1st, 2013

Precise application of pesticides in orchards provides growers with better crop protection, less environmental pollution, and better use of resources. It costs less when pesticides are not wasted.

Since coming to Cornell University in 1998, Dr. Andrew Landers has been working to make airblast canopy sprayers, designed more than 50 [...]

  • WSU apple breeder screens for fireblight resistance

WSU apple breeder screens for fireblight resistance

  • August 9th, 2013

Washington State University’s apple breeding program is now screening seedlings and selections for fireblight resistance.

During WSU’s annual field day at Sunrise Orchard, near Wenatchee, this week, Dr. Kate Evans, pome fruit breeder, described her program’s efforts to find new apple varieties specifically suited to Washington conditions.

The program uses genetic [...]