Brown rot surprises cherry growers

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

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  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Steps to manage canker

  • May 15th, 2012

Scientists have developed the following ­integrated approach to manage canker in cherries:

Avoid interplanting new with old trees. Rain can splash inoculum from old trees onto the young, healthy trees.
 Do not use sprinkle irrigation on trees for the first three years. In late summer, reduce the amount of water [...]

  • Not just a raincover

Not just a raincover

  • May 15th, 2012

This Dutch cherry orchard has a rain cover and is enclosed on the sides with netting to keep out insects and birds.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

So-called rain covers for cherries provide benefits far beyond just protecting the fruit from damage by rain or hail, says Reinhard Vöhringer, a German [...]

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 [...]

  • Bacterial canker requires an integrated approach

Bacterial canker requires an integrated approach

  • May 15th, 2012

A canker from the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae has developed in this young cherry tree.
Photo by Ken Johnson, OSU

With copper bactericides failing in some areas to control bacterial canker (Pseudomonas syringae) in cherries, growers will have to adopt an integrated approach, says an Oregon State University plant pathologist.

Bacterial canker [...]

  • Watch out, codling moth!

Watch out, codling moth!

  • May 1st, 2012

Left: A female Neoscona oaxacensis orb-weaving spider. Top: Cheiracanthium spiders are known as yellow sac spiders. They are usually pale colored and are 1/5 to 3/8 inch long. Gut-content analysis has shown evidence of feeding on codling moth. In central Washington, C. mildei is the species most commonly found. [...]

  • Choosing not to replant

Choosing not to replant

  • May 1st, 2012

An example of layering, in which a cane is brought from the old Cabernet Sauvignon cordon on the right to where a vine was missing, burying it so that a new sho ot would emerge to become the new trunk. The new vine, still connected to the old one, [...]

  • Organic viticulture is all about timing

Organic viticulture is all about timing

  • May 1st, 2012

Bill Powers used common materials—screen mesh, bottoms of plastic jugs—to construct his pest fan.
Melissa Hansen

The key to making organic practices effective in the vineyard boils down to timing, says organic wine grape pioneer Bill Powers. With more than two decades of organic farming experience, he’s used farmer know-how [...]

  • Lone organic grower finds it tough

Lone organic grower finds it tough

  • May 1st, 2012

Most of Owens’s orchards are surrounded by mature timber. On this mountain, he has three isolated orchards, each about a half mile apart. Luckily, infrastructure is good, as the landowner built good roads at his own expense.

Anthony Owens’s decision to go organic wasn’t popular with many of his fellow [...]

  • Promising organic herbicide found

Promising organic herbicide found

  • May 1st, 2012

These large crabgrass seedlings show the effect of preemergence application of manuka oil. Control is on the right. Concentrations of manuka oil increase toward the left. Large crabgrass was completely controlled with 1% of oil in water in the leftmost pot. Bleaching to the foliage in that pot is [...]