Brown rot surprises cherry growers

Tart cherry growers need to watch out for European brown rot as bloom arrives.

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  • Plant in clean ground

Plant in clean ground

  • October 1st, 2012

Grape selections that come out of the Clean Plant Center-Northwest Grapes are certified to be free of known grape viruses and crown gall disease, making them the cleanest in the nation. But years of work to test and maintain the clean plant material can quickly be undone by planting [...]

  • Stinkbug biocontrol

Stinkbug biocontrol

  • October 1st, 2012

Perdue University Extension

Brown marmorated stinkbug, an invasive insect from Asia, swept over the Mid-Atlantic states’ fruit crops like a tsunami in the fall of 2010, causing millions of dollars in damage to peaches and apples and leaving growers worried that it might be worse the next year.

It wasn’t. In [...]

Good Stuff

  • October 1st, 2012

Bayer purchases AgraQuest
Bayer Crop Science, headquartered in Germany, has purchased the U.S. biological crop-protection company AgraQuest, Inc., for $425 million plus milestone ­payments, according to a Bayer news release.

AgraQuest, headquartered in Davis, California, is a global supplier of biological pest management products derived from natural organisms. Its production [...]

  • Insect-resistant varieties

Insect-resistant varieties

  • October 1st, 2012

Scientists at Washington State University hope to breed apples with resistance to key apple pests.
Joseph Schwarz, a doctoral student with WSU in Wenatchee, this summer reported progress in identifying apple cultivars that seem less appealing than the standard varieties to codling moth and obliquebanded leafroller.

Genetically resistant varieties could [...]

  • Parasite studied in quarantine

Parasite studied in quarantine

  • October 1st, 2012

Scientists around the United States are studying a natural enemy of the brown marmorated stinkbug that has been imported from China with the hope that it might help keep the pest in check in this country.

The parasitic wasp Trissolcus halyomorphae was collected in the fall of 2011 by U.S. [...]

  • Fireblight expert retires

Fireblight expert retires

  • October 1st, 2012

Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse.
Geraldine Warner

For almost 20 years, Dr. Larry Pusey has been focused on researching a single problem—­fireblight.

As Pusey, 60, retires this month as plant pathologist with the U.S. [...]

  • Biocontrol veteran arms for battling brown marmorated stinkbug

Biocontrol veteran arms for battling brown marmorated stinkbug

  • October 1st, 2012

Pennsylvania State University’s Dr. David Biddinger is a veteran in the army battling for better biocontrol, and it’s had its ups and downs. But it has made him confident that patience and diligence can pay off.
Over the last ten years, he has been involved in the introduction of [...]

  • Sweet!

Sweet!

  • September 1st, 2012

Scientists are testing a sweet idea that might help organic cherry growers manage insects, birds, and diseases all in one go.

Organic growers have been successfully using the GF-120 protein bait to control the key pest, cherry fruit fly, but it does not provide sufficient control of the spotted wing [...]

Soft spray program for pears

  • September 1st, 2012

Though a no-organophosphate codling moth control program is more expensive at first, it’s not long before growers are saving money, says Bruce Kiyokawa, a pest control advisor with Chamberlin Distributing Company in Hood River, Oregon.

Kiyokawa works with several pear growers who are participating in an areawide codling moth program [...]

Cooperative effort defeats pests

  • September 1st, 2012

An areawide effort to control codling moth without organophosphate chemicals has resulted in better control of both codling moth and pear psylla as well as lower pesticide costs for a group of pear growers in Hood River, Oregon.

Many of them are no longer applying pesticides for either pest during [...]

  • Good Stuff

Good Stuff

  • August 1st, 2012

New cherry sorters

Chelan Fruit Cooperative has about 600 year-round employees, but needs an additional 1,000 packing house workers during the cherry season. It installed a new cherry grader at its Brewster plant this season to reduce its labor needs.

After just a week of working with the new equipment, Rick [...]

  • Focus on soil health

Focus on soil health

  • July 1st, 2012

Apple seedlings grown in soil infested with root-lesion nematodes (on the left) and in soil without nematodes (on the right).

Whenever there is evidence of nematode problems in an orchard or vineyard—such as poor growth or yields—pathogens are usually working in concert with the nematodes, says Dr. Tom Forge, researcher [...]