Research tackles decay issue

A new project will focus on controlling decay and finding pollinizers that are not disease hosts.


  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • May 1st, 2013

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?
a. 34
b. 93
c. 169
d. 324

3  Which is the Pacific Northwest’s number-one plant for attracting [...]

  • Nothing easy about organic weed control

Nothing easy about organic weed control

  • May 1st, 2013

Research in a newly planted organic vineyard showed just how difficult and labor-intensive weed control is under organic conditions. Not only can weeds and cover crops compete with young vines and reduce growth, but also mechanical means to control weeds can injure the tender trunks.

Dr. Carol Miles, extension specialist [...]

  • Heavenly host

Heavenly host

  • May 1st, 2013

For brown marmorated stinkbugs, the tree of heaven appears to be just that—a heavenly place to live.

“They can live there and rear their young there—they have absolutely no incentive to go anywhere else,” says Tim ­Lampasona, a research assistant at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory in Highland, New York. [...]

Organic hurdles

  • May 1st, 2013

Growing apples in the eastern United States under USDA organic certification standards is not easy, and it’s still not clear whether there is much future in it outside of a few niche markets.

The recent invasion by the brown marmorated stinkbug poses one more hurdle, a high one, since this [...]

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 [...]

  • Hidden costs of rodent control

Hidden costs of rodent control

  • April 15th, 2013

Rodents—particularly voles, ground squirrels, and gophers—can have a big economic impact on orchard and vineyard production costs.
Rodents cause obvious damage to orchards and vineyards, especially to young trees that have yet to establish a large root mass. They also can girdle adult trees when they chew on the [...]

  • Growers rapturous over rodent control

Growers rapturous over rodent control

  • April 15th, 2013

Wildlife biologist Tim Pitz holds an adult golden eagle that was captured as part of a telemetry study. The study outfitted raptors with backpack transmitters to track their hunting, movement, and migration.

Efforts in the last few years to bring raptors into Oregon [...]

  • Your management program matters

Your management program matters

  • April 15th, 2013

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.

Pesticides are an important tool to protect crops from pest damage. While pesticides [...]

  • Choose your poison carefully

Choose your poison carefully

  • April 15th, 2013

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.

As growers put barn owls and other raptors to work in their orchards and vineyards for rodent control, care [...]

  • Beware of weed resistance

Beware of weed resistance

  • April 15th, 2013

It’s particularly important to keep up with weed control in a young orchard because the weeds compete with the trees for water, nutrients, and light. It doesn’t take long for a new planting to become dominated by weeds.Weeds are weeds for a reason—they’re very [...]

  • Weed ZAPPER


  • April 15th, 2013

Engineer Graham Brodie developed the microwave weed-killing machine. Four microwave horn antennae at the back end, each about four inches wide, transmit and direct two kilowatts of microwave energy to the ground.

Kitchen microwave ovens are routinely used to “zap” our food. They can heat leftover pizza or cook dinner [...]

  • Orchard ground covers

Orchard ground covers

  • April 15th, 2013

For 21 years now, Dr. Ian Merwin has tended a 320-tree apple orchard on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake near Cornell ­University’s Ithaca campus. He’s been studying the long-term effects of four different orchard floor management systems.

A key question is, are there better arrangements than trees in herbicide-treated [...]