Research tackles decay issue

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

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  • 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. [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Living with plum pox

Living with plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

Jim Bittner, pictured with a tour group in his New York orchard, pulled out 20 acres of peaches when a plum pox-positive tree was found in his orchard. He is worried about Canada dropping its eradication effort.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

The question of how plum pox should be ­managed [...]

  • Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

In the “usual” journalistic process, reporters find expert sources and ask questions, then ask additional questions as the answers dictate. This process did not work in developing this article.

On both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, phone calls directed to knowledgeable horticulturists involved in the plum pox programs were shunted [...]

Neonicotinoids and bees

  • May 15th, 2012

A spate of new studies came out this spring, all of them seeking to link neonicotinoid insecticides to mortality in honeybees, bumblebees, and several kinds of native bees, and all of the studies getting wide publicity.

Reaction among agricultural entomologists varied. Some criticized the studies as being scientifically flawed. None [...]

  • Spotlight on apple skin problems

Spotlight on apple skin problems

  • May 15th, 2012

Cracks in the fruit cuticle can form soon after bloom (back), exposing the underlying hypodermal cells to air, stimulating a wound response that results in russet (front).

When apples have bad skin, they’re less appealing to customers, so defective fruit has to be sorted out and diverted to the processing [...]