Fire blight concerns ease in Medford, Oregon

  • July 23rd, 2013

  Concerns that fireblight would cause significant damage to this year’s pear harvest in the Medford, Oregon, region have eased in recent days. Fireblight, the contagious bacteria most commonly found in apple and pear trees, had been discovered in certain pear trees, with Comice trees showing [...]

Five ways to make sure people eat fewer peaches

  • July 1st, 2013

1
Grow just one variety. Growing one variety will limit your marketing season and the number of times consumers can come back to buy more peaches.

On the other hand, growers who want to sell lots of peaches will select multiple varieties that will ripen over a six- to eight-week [...]

  • California growers worry about fireblight

California growers worry about fireblight

  • July 1st, 2013

The generally arid conditions in the Pacific Northwest limit the threat of the disease, which needs warm and moist conditions to become established. Some areas in the Midwest and eastern United States, which have more humid weather, simply can’t grow pears because of fireblight. Some varieties are more susceptible [...]

Good Stuff

  • May 15th, 2013

Book of secrets
Karin Argo of Zillah, Washington, is selling the second edition of her popular The Secrets of Eastern Washington Cookbook. Argo, who grew up on an apple, cherry, and pear orchard in Yakima, said she wrote the book as a way to showcase agriculture in central Washington. [...]

  • Science on the Hudson

Science on the Hudson

  • May 15th, 2013

Modern apple tree plantings have been made at the Hudson Valley Lab.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

Workers at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory at Highland, near Poughkeepsie, New York, tend to see themselves as guardians of the gate. Whenever new diseases and insects come to challenge fruit growers in New [...]

The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

  • May 15th, 2013

A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an NOSB board member.

The antibiotic oxytetracyline will no longer be approved for use on organic [...]

Pest pressures challenge organics future

  • May 1st, 2013

The favorable climate and relatively low pest and disease pressure in the arid West have been blessings for organic tree fruit growers. Those conditions explain why more than 95 percent of the nation’s organic apple production comes from Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon. But increasing pest challenges and [...]

  • New grape disease reduces yields, quality

New grape disease reduces yields, quality

  • April 1st, 2013

Left: A Merlot grapevine shows redleaf symptoms on mature leaves in the lower portions of the canopy. Symptoms are easily confused with grapevine leafroll disease. Right: Cabernet Franc clusters from a single vine show infection on the left, nonsymptomatic cluster on the right.

A new disease that threatens the health [...]

  • Kill the pathogen

Kill the pathogen

  • March 15th, 2013

Apple scab is a serious problem in humid climates, and McIntosh is very susceptible. Lesions occur on both leaves and fruit.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE SUNDIN

Apple growers have three new fungicides they can use to control apple scab, and Dr. George Sundin would like to see growers keep them.

“Use [...]

  • Developing a disease management program

Developing a disease management program

  • March 15th, 2013

Washington State University viticulture extension specialist Dr. Michelle Moyer suggests growers consider the following when developing a ­disease management program:

•    Reproductive rate of the pathogen. How fast can the disease reproduce in your vineyard? Is weather conducive to reproduction?
•    Speed of your reaction time. Do you have enough [...]

  • Living with cherry diseases

Living with cherry diseases

  • March 15th, 2013

Little cherry disease made a dramatic resurgence in Washington in 2010 and has since spread rapidly. These Sweetheart cherries show symptoms of small and puny fruit.
PHOTO BY KEN EASTWELL

With no cure for cherry trees infected with most viruses—short of cutting them out of the orchard—Washington State University researchers [...]

Preventing mildew

  • March 15th, 2013

Guide for grape pest management available
Washington State University’s 2013 Grape Pest Management Guide includes recommendations for controlling insects, weeds, diseases, and other pests. The guide also includes results of 2012 fungicide efficacy trials, a table with Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) codes for resistance management, and suggestions of [...]