Brown rot surprises cherry growers

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

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  • Biocontrol is fragile

Biocontrol is fragile

  • March 1st, 2012

These four creatures have survived pesticide treatments to become the most important biocontrol agents in eastern apple orchards. There are two species of predatory mites (far left and far right pictures); the “mite destroyer” ladybeetle Stethorus punctum (center left); and the woolly apple aphid parasitic wasp, Aphelinus mali.

The arrival [...]

  • New pests threaten Washington grapes

New pests threaten Washington grapes

  • March 1st, 2012

Doug Walsh, holding a mealybug pheromone trap, says that such traps have been used throughout the state to look for vine mealybug. Thus far, the destructive pest that’s prevalent throughout California grape regions, has not been found in Washington.
Melissa Hansen

While exotic and invasive pests threaten grape industries in [...]

  • Trapping for grape mealybug

Trapping for grape mealybug

  • March 1st, 2012

Brian Bahder transfers a first-instar grape mealybug from a grapevine leafroll-diseased Concord vine to a healthy Concord vine to assess mealybug competency as a vector.
Melissa Hansen

With the insidious spread of grapevine leafroll disease in Washington State vineyards, Washington State University scientists have worked to help growers better detect [...]

New pesticide safety guide released

  • March 1st, 2012

Many practical ideas to solve everyday problems with pesticide handling have been invented and used by growers throughout Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, known as PNASH, studied these farm-bred and tested ideas and put them together in a new guide called Practical ­Solutions for [...]

  • Bunch rot,  a different beast

Bunch rot, a different beast

  • February 15th, 2012

Michelle Moyer reminds growers who had powdery mildew problems last year to prepare for disease carryover this year. Botrytis bunch rot is a different beast than grape powdery mildew, says Dr. Michelle Moyer, Washington State University viticulture extension specialist. While it’s not a problem [...]

  • Strategies for controlling bacterial spot

Strategies for controlling bacterial spot

  • February 15th, 2012

The O’Henry peach variety is a poster child, highly susceptible to bacterial spot. Symptoms include fruit spots, leaf spots, and twig cankers. Bacterial spot is a serious problem for peach growers in the eastern United States, but no big worry for western growers. This [...]

Growers fear loss of antibiotics

  • February 15th, 2012

The shape of organic apple production in the future could well hinge on decisions made in the next few years about the continued use of antibiotics for control of fireblight.     Two key tenets of organic production are, don’t use synthetic substances and don’t cure a problem [...]

  • Manage resistance at the warehouse

Manage resistance at the warehouse

  • February 15th, 2012

Chang-Lin Xiao recommends that use of Penbotec and Scholar alternate from year to year to preserve their effectiveness against fungal pathogens like this blue mold on a Gala apple. Chang-Lin Xiao Resistance of the blue mold pathogen to the postharvest [...]

New fungicides benefit from lessons of Benlate

  • February 15th, 2012

Fruit growers will have new fungicides this year to help manage diseases as diverse as leaf spot in cherries, scab in apples, and brown rot and scab on peaches.      The new materials are so-called second-­generation succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHI), similar in action to boscalid, one [...]

Let natural enemies play a role

  • February 1st, 2012

Growers today tend to think that integrated pest management has to do primarily with monitoring pests and scheduling ­pesticide applications.

But that’s not what IPM was envisioned to be at the outset, Dr. Nick Mills, entomologist with the University of California, Berkeley, told growers during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s [...]

Spraying with sprinklers

  • December 1st, 2011

On a cold rainy day with apple scab threatening, wouldn’t it be nice to push a button labeled “Fungicide” and let the orchard spray itself?

Spraying is one of those things all orchardists have to do. Whether conventional or organic, they spend a lot of time filling sprayers, mixing chemicals, [...]

  • Pest help at your fingertips

Pest help at your fingertips

  • December 1st, 2011

Andy Kahn can use his iPhone to access WSU’s Decision Aid System, which automatically uploads weather data from the AgWeatherNet and provides pest predictions and control recommendations.

Washington State University’s online Decision Aid System has made life easier for integrated pest management consultant Andy Kahn of Wenatchee. He can log [...]