Brown rot surprises cherry growers

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

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Buffers would make orchards vulnerable

  • March 1st, 2011

If no-spray buffers proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency go into effect, orchardists will be unable to use critical pesticides on a large proportion of their acreage, including products that will be necessary to control new, invasive pests.

The agency is proposing a 500-foot buffer alongside all flowing water [...]

  • Ready for drosophila

Ready for drosophila

  • March 1st, 2011

Spotted wing drosophila larvae that hatch from eggs inside the fruit sometimes pop out and walk around on the surface. The spotted wing drosophila can pupate inside the cherry, outside the cherry, or halfway out.
PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH BEERS, WASHIHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

The Washington tree fruit industry should be better [...]

  • A primer on Botrytis cinerea

A primer on Botrytis cinerea

  • March 1st, 2011

Dr. Wayne Wilcox of Cornell University says Botrytis cinerea as a weak pathogen that prefers injured, senescent tissue, such as old blossom parts and ripening fruit. The more ripe the fruit, the more susceptible it becomes, an added consideration when rains delay harvest.

Botrytis thrives where there’s low evaporative water [...]

  • Bunch rot strategy for 2011

Bunch rot strategy for 2011

  • March 1st, 2011

PHOTO COURTESY OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY

For Washington grape growers who had a bunch rot problem in 2010, efforts to get rid of any carryover crop are worthwhile, says a New York plant pathologist. Growers should also be prepared to spray a botrytis-specific fungicide during bloom, if weather conditions are favorable [...]

  • Opportunistic fungi

Opportunistic fungi

  • February 15th, 2011

Disease organisms invade injured tissue and develop cankers that release spores. Some red strains of McIntosh are susceptible, for reasons unknown, to opportunistic diseases that kill branches.
Photos courtesy of george sundin, Michigan State University

Starting in 2006, an epidemic of sorts started in apple orchards in Michigan. It was [...]

Watch for crown gall and vine decline

  • February 15th, 2011

Vineyardists in the Pacific Northwest have been relatively lucky regarding the number of grape diseases they have to worry about. But recent experiences indicate that Washington growers should also watch for diseases associated with vine decline, and crown gall could again be a problem in the state.

In the mid-1990s, [...]

BUYER BEWARE: Certified may not be clean

  • February 15th, 2011

Recent Washington State grower experiences of finding disease in a vineyard planted with certified stock have highlighted the weaknesses of state plant health certification programs and the need for program improvement.

“We thought we had something clean, and we were going down the road thinking we had some nice, clean [...]

  • A program for scab control

A program for scab control

  • February 15th, 2011

Photos courtesy of kerik cox, cornell university

Growers producing apples in the cool, damp northeast quadrant of the United States need to take a step-by-careful-step approach to apple scab control—starting early and being meticulous—or they can be in for a long summer of expensive spraying and still lose part of [...]

Little cherries, little flavor

  • February 15th, 2011

The cool weather of 2010 highlighted a growing concern about little cherries showing up in some orchards. Follow-up testing by Washington State University confirmed that the trees were infected with a dreaded cherry disease that had not been found extensively in Washington before.

“The 2010 spring was very cool, and [...]

Tackling scab resistance

  • February 15th, 2011

Apple growers in the Midwest who stuck by the “old ways” of applying fungicides have not faced the problem of apple scab becoming resistant to fungicides. The old ways employed protectant fungicides like captan and ­mancozeb; the new ways used curative chemistries.

Now what should growers do? Dr. Janna Beckerman, [...]

Scab-resistant varieties need protection, too

  • February 15th, 2011

When apple breeders in New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois came together in 1926 to form the Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois university collaboration called PRI, their ­number-one goal was to create new apple varieties that were scab resistant.

They did it, too, and about 20 resistant varieties have been released. While several varieties have [...]

  • Spin your weeds away

Spin your weeds away

After years of sitting on a tractor to knock down vineyard weeds with an old grape hoe, only doing about an acre an hour and always causing some vine damage, Dave Kohler finally reached his breaking point. Nearly ten years ago, he’d had enough and was determined to figure [...]