Brown rot surprises cherry growers

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

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  • Researchers tackle apple weevil

Researchers tackle apple weevil

  • March 1st, 2011

Small and black, the apple flea weevil looks a bit like its larger snout beetle relative, the plum curculio.
Photo by matt grieshop, michigan state university

A coalition of partners in four Midwestern states has applied for grant funding to respond to three new insect threats—spotted wing drosophila, brown marmorated [...]

  • Defense strategies

Defense strategies

  • March 1st, 2011

Brown marmorated stinkbug nymphs develop through five instars, all feeding on fruit. Nymphs and adults cause both external and internal injury.
Photo by Tracy Leskey

One of the easier ways of monitoring the brown marmorated stinkbug’s invasion status is by listening to homeowner complaints, says Dr. Tracy Leskey, the U.S. [...]

  • Rainfastness of pesticides varies

Rainfastness of pesticides varies

  • March 1st, 2011

John Wise carries out his rainfastness work on grapes and apples at Michigan State University’s Trevor Nichols Research Complex, where he is coordinator of research.

Folklore says that after a heavy rainfall, you might as well get your sprayer out and reapply your insecticides. For those old twentieth century ­wettable [...]

  • Grower battles bug

Grower battles bug

  • March 1st, 2011

PHOTO BY TRACY LESKEY

Gerrardstown, West Virginia, apple grower George Behling is one very concerned grower. He first saw this stinkbug two years ago, but didn’t distinguish it at first from ordinary stinkbugs, which have been a pest on his York apples over the years. This last year, the distinction [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]