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Pest pressures challenge organics future

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The favorable climate and relatively low pest and disease pressure in the arid West have been blessings for organic tree fruit growers. Those conditions explain why more than 95 percent of the nation’s organic apple

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Pear growers surveyed on biological control

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Implementing stable biological control programs requires growers and pest managers to have a much better understanding of management actions against not only pests, but also their natural enemies. Sound management strategies must consider the phenology

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Last Bite

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1  True or false? The Z-Trap is a device for killing Zetzellia mali?

2  How many gallons of fuel does it take to transport a carload of apples by rail from Washington State to New York City?

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Nothing easy about organic weed control

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Research in a newly planted organic vineyard showed just how difficult and labor-intensive weed control is under organic conditions. Not only can weeds and cover crops compete with young vines and reduce growth, but also

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Last Bite

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    1    Dagger nematodes are vectors of which virus?

a.    Prune dwarf
b.    Tomato ring spot
c.    Professor Plum pox
d.    Prunus necrotic ring spot

    2    Minerals make up what percentage of typical soil?

a.    5 percent
b.    45 percent
c.    63

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Hidden costs of rodent control

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Rodents—particularly voles, ground squirrels, and gophers—can have a big economic impact on orchard and vineyard production costs.
Rodents cause obvious damage to orchards and vineyards, especially to young trees that have yet to establish a large

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Growers rapturous over rodent control

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Wildlife biologist Tim Pitz holds an adult golden eagle that was captured as part of a telemetry study. The study outfitted raptors with backpack transmitters to track their hunting, movement, and migration.
PHOTO B OURTESY OF

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Your management program matters

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LEFT: Above left: Adult A. mali are affected by most of the tested reduced-risk pesticides. RIGHT: The parasitic wasp Aphelinus mali attacks woolly apple aphids and leaves black, swollen aphid mummies behind.
PHOTO BY ELIZABETH BEERS,

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Choose your poison carefully

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A barn owl nesting box at Omeg Orchards. Notice the metal underneath the box that’s used to prevent raccoons from climbing the pole to reach the next.
PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

As growers put barn owls and

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Beware of weed resistance

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DON’T LET WEEDS
GET AWAY
It’s particularly important to keep up with weed control in a young orchard because the weeds compete with the trees for water, nutrients, and light. It doesn’t take long for a new

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Weed ZAPPER

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Engineer Graham Brodie developed the microwave weed-killing machine. Four microwave horn antennae at the back end, each about four inches wide, transmit and direct two kilowatts of microwave energy to the ground.

Kitchen microwave ovens are

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Orchard ground covers

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For 21 years now, Dr. Ian Merwin has tended a 320-tree apple orchard on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake near Cornell ­University’s Ithaca campus. He’s been studying the long-term effects of four different orchard

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New grape disease reduces yields, quality

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Left: A Merlot grapevine shows redleaf symptoms on mature leaves in the lower portions of the canopy. Symptoms are easily confused with grapevine leafroll disease. Right: Cabernet Franc clusters from a single vine show infection

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How integrated mite control works

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One of the keys to integrated mite control was that the western predatory mite Typhlodromus occidentalis could effectively control spider mites under certain conditions. In the picture, a “typh” attacks the larger European red mite.
PHOTO

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Calculating the value of biological control

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Washington State University entomologist Dr. Stan Hoyt developed integrated mite control in the late 1960s (see “How integrated mite control works”).

Over the last four decades, integrated mite control has saved Washington fruit growers millions of

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Developing a disease management program

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Washington State University viticulture extension specialist Dr. Michelle Moyer suggests growers consider the following when developing a ­disease management program:

•    Reproductive rate of the pathogen. How fast can the disease reproduce in your vineyard? Is

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Living with cherry diseases

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Little cherry disease made a dramatic resurgence in Washington in 2010 and has since spread rapidly. These Sweetheart cherries show symptoms of small and puny fruit.
PHOTO BY KEN EASTWELL

With no cure for cherry trees infected

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Deer Wars

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Growers in the prime fruit-growing area surrounding Grand Traverse Bay in northwest Michigan are protesting the conversion of their orchards into prime hunting ground for deer hunters wanting to shoot bucks with ­bigger antlers.

The state’s

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Preventing mildew

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Guide for grape pest management available
Washington State University’s 2013 Grape Pest Management Guide includes recommendations for controlling insects, weeds, diseases, and other pests. The guide also includes results of 2012 fungicide efficacy trials, a table

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Working with copper

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Copper is a potent spray chemical, useful on many stone and pome fruits. It is active against bacterial diseases like fireblight, bacterial canker, and bacterial spot, and fungal diseases like cherry leaf spot, peach leaf

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Codling moth: It’s what’s for dinner.

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A sterilized carabid beetle before gut dissection.
Angela Gadino, WSU

Do you ever wonder what those earwigs, spiders, and other ground-dwelling predators eat in your orchard?

This question has been a main focus in the Enhancing Biological Control

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The Top 5: What growers can do to improve pollination success

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Inspect the bees you receive. A strong hive should have enough adult bees to cover eight to ten frames.

Honeybees are under unprecedented pressure, besieged by ­parasitic mites, viruses, diseases, and pesticide residues.

So, what can orchardists

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Kill the pathogen

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Apple scab is a serious problem in humid climates, and McIntosh is very susceptible. Lesions occur on both leaves and fruit.
PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE SUNDIN

Apple growers have three new fungicides they can use to control

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Stinkbug is strong flier

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The stinkbug injects saliva into the fruit and then sucks out the juice, causing brown areas in the flesh that can resemble bitter pit.
PHOTOS BY NIK WIMAN, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

The brown marmorated stinkbug continues to

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Good to Know: New traps and lures for tree fruit pests

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Generations of growers have monitored the key pests in their orchards. Over the years, traps and lures available to growers have evolved. Yet, the goal has always been to develop easy-to-use, sensitive, and selective trapping

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Last Bite: Do you know your pests?

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1    In which plant has the brown marmorated stinkbug been most commonly found in Oregon?
a.    Tree of heaven
b.    Hop
c.    Cherry
d.    Holly
e.    Grape

2    Which of the following features cannot be used to distinguish spotted wing drosophila

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Bug pheromone studied

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In tree fruit pest management, most monitoring and mating disruption technologies are based on phero­mones that female insects release to attract males. For example, sex pheromones are used to lure male codling moths to traps

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Bacterial canker

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The weather turned hot and dry—­conditions conducive to healing the cuts without making the canker situation worse. Then, the recommended approach was to make two fall sprays of copper, with two more copper sprays recommended

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A new tool for IPM

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In recent years, the use of insect models has become an important tool in pest management. Current models help predict key seasonal events in a pest’s life history, such as adult emergence or egg hatch.

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One last Guthion spray

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Fruit growers in Michigan can use existing stocks of the insecticide azinphos-methyl (Guthion) one more time before it is phased out at the end of September this year. When should they use it?

Michigan State University

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For the birds

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Preliminary estimates of bird damage to fruit crops made during 2012 show what fruit growers already know: Fruit production can be for the birds—at least a good part of it.

The estimates were made in the

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Good Stuff

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Hydroponic irrigation
New technology combining hydroponics and drip irrigation is being used to grow fruit trees, offering benefits to orchardists in water-starved regions. The Hydroponic Irrigation Adaption System or HIAS, has been patented by Jorge Labrador

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Last Bite

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1  Which of the following is not a fruit symptom of little cherry disease?
a.    Small size
b.    Poor color
c.    High acids
d.    Poor shape

2    Which of the following rootstocks is not resistant to fireblight?
a.    Geneva 41
b.    Budagovsky

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An expensive disorder

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Photos courtesy of Bhaskar Bondada

A shrivel is not just a shrivel.

Of the various types of shrivel impacting grape quality, sour shrivel is especially unwanted because it renders the fruit unsuitable for winemaking.

The disorder, found in

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Identifying grape shrivels

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In the past, grape growers have mistaken any shrivel in their fruit for grape berry shrivel, also known as sour shrivel, says Washington State University’s Dr. Bhaskar Bondada. In a panic, some were needlessly thinning

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Fireblight is native to North America

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Fireblight is a plant disease of apples and pears caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora. It is native to North America where it resides in wild hosts such as crab apple and hawthorn. Over the

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Natural enemy inventory

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Herbivore-induced plant volatile (HIPV) lure to attract natural enemies in orchards.

Monitoring is one of the key components of any successful integrated pest management program, because it provides a window into what is going on in

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Behind the scenes at the NOSB

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Harold Austin

In April, the National Organic Standards Board will decide whether organic apple and pear growers in the United States will be allowed to use the antibiotic oxytetracycline beyond the next two seasons. Tetracycline antibiotics

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Fireblight-resistant apple

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Ladina, a new high-quality apple variety with low susceptibility to fireblight and mildew, has been developed by a Swiss research station. The variety is also scab resistant. Ladina, bred at the Swiss federal research institute

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Turning on a plant’s defenses

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New technology is coming to the apple and pear industry to help control fireblight. Actigard is a systemic compound with a unique mode of action that mimics the natural systemic-activated resistance response found in many

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Coppers are a fit for organics

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Before the 1960s, there were no antibiotics to help orchardists control fireblight, one of the most destructive diseases of pears and apples. Copper materials were the mainstay back then.

But coppers are returning as fireblight control

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Growers have several choices in fireblight control

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Pear and apple orchardists have a fairly broad field of products to use in controlling fireblight—and it should get even more crowded in the coming year with new registrations anticipated, says an Oregon State University

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Fireblight, antibiotics, and the NOSB

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Antibiotics have long been key disease control materials for fireblight, one of the few uses of antibiotics in plant agriculture. These materials are natural compounds produced by naturally occurring soil microorganisms. For the past several

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Enhancing biocontrol

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Knowing when and where natural enemies, such as the green lacewing, are active is critical in order to conserve them. Large inset: Garden orb web spider in apple orchard. Small inset: Adult ladybug feeding on

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Last Bite

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1.    Which of the following is not a tree fruit disease?
a.    Black rot
b.    Blue mold
c.    White rot
d.    Pink rot
e.    Coral rot
f.    Gray mold
2.    Which of the following is not a fungicide?
a.    Topguard
b.    Centaur
c.  

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Eradication not likely

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The light brown apple moth is about a quarter of an inch long.
PHOTO BY R. ANSON EAGLIN, USDA APHIS

State and federal officials, and growers and homeowners, in California have settled in for a long, contentious

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Sterile insects get a boost

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In 1959, the very nasty flesh-invading screwworm fly was eradicated from Florida using a new kind of technology called SIT—Sterile Insect Technique.

Since then, the technology has been widely used. It is effective against fruit flies.

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Research project tackles trunk diseases

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Researchers will use nearly $1.8 million in grant money to develop new detection, extension, and research tools for managing wood-canker diseases of grapes and nut crops. Wood-canker diseases are a leading cause of vineyard and

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Yeast tested as lure

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A species of yeast that University of California scientists have found in cherries and raspberries infested by the spotted wing drosophila could play a role in developing better lures to detect the pest.
The spotted wing

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B.C.’s Sterile Insect Release program evolves

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In sterile insect release, male insects made sterile by exposure to gamma radiation are released in huge numbers to compete with normal wild males. When the sterile males win the mating game, females lay infertile

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