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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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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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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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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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Seaweeds tested for pest control

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Seaweed extracts are typically used by growers with the aim of improving tree growth and enhancing fruit yields and quality. Although the extracts are regulated and marketed as plant growth regulators, entomologists have been studying

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Good to Know

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Grape growers have been closely watching the spread of the brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys Stål). It was first identified in 1996 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and has spread to 36 states. In 2010, a warm

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Parasite studied in quarantine

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Scientists around the United States are studying a natural enemy of the brown marmorated stinkbug that has been imported from China with the hope that it might help keep the pest in check in this

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Fireblight expert retires

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Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse.
Geraldine Warner

For almost 20 years, Dr. Larry Pusey has been focused on researching a

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Good Stuff

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Bayer purchases AgraQuest
Bayer Crop Science, headquartered in Germany, has purchased the U.S. biological crop-protection company AgraQuest, Inc., for $425 million plus milestone ­payments, according to a Bayer news release.

AgraQuest, headquartered in Davis, California, is a

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Biocontrol veteran arms for battling brown marmorated stinkbug

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Pennsylvania State University’s Dr. David Biddinger is a veteran in the army battling for better biocontrol, and it’s had its ups and downs. But it has made him confident that patience and diligence can pay

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Clean vines keep viruses out

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Washington State’s grape industry teamed up with researchers and regulatory officials last summer to educate growers and ­vintners about the importance of clean plants and about the process of certifying plant materials.

Grapevine leafroll disease and

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Plant in clean ground

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Grape selections that come out of the Clean Plant Center-Northwest Grapes are certified to be free of known grape viruses and crown gall disease, making them the cleanest in the nation. But years of work

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Stinkbug biocontrol

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Perdue University Extension

Brown marmorated stinkbug, an invasive insect from Asia, swept over the Mid-Atlantic states’ fruit crops like a tsunami in the fall of 2010, causing millions of dollars in damage to peaches and apples

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Insect-resistant varieties

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Scientists at Washington State University hope to breed apples with resistance to key apple pests.
Joseph Schwarz, a doctoral student with WSU in Wenatchee, this summer reported progress in identifying apple cultivars that seem less appealing

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Sweet!

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Scientists are testing a sweet idea that might help organic cherry growers manage insects, birds, and diseases all in one go.

Organic growers have been successfully using the GF-120 protein bait to control the key pest,

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Soft spray program for pears

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Though a no-organophosphate codling moth control program is more expensive at first, it’s not long before growers are saving money, says Bruce Kiyokawa, a pest control advisor with Chamberlin Distributing Company in Hood River, Oregon.

Kiyokawa

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Cooperative effort defeats pests

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An areawide effort to control codling moth without organophosphate chemicals has resulted in better control of both codling moth and pear psylla as well as lower pesticide costs for a group of pear growers in

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Good Stuff

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New cherry sorters

Chelan Fruit Cooperative has about 600 year-round employees, but needs an additional 1,000 packing house workers during the cherry season. It installed a new cherry grader at its Brewster plant this season to

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Focus on soil health

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Apple seedlings grown in soil infested with root-lesion nematodes (on the left) and in soil without nematodes (on the right).

Whenever there is evidence of nematode problems in an orchard or vineyard—such as poor growth or

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Living with plum pox

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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

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Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

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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,

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Spotlight on apple skin problems

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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

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Steps to manage canker

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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

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Not just a raincover

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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

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Bacterial canker requires an integrated approach

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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

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Neonicotinoids and bees

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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

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Watch out, codling moth!

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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

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Choosing not to replant

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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

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Organic viticulture is all about timing

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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.

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Lone organic grower finds it tough

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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

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Promising organic herbicide found

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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

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Niche product

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Sevin (carbaryl) will continue to be available for chemical thinning and pest control in tree fruits, says Dr. Jonathan Akins, director of regulatory affairs with the supplier Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

Tessenderlo recently bought Sevin from Bayer

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Eastern organic apples

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Until now, Owens has worked with orchards established conventionally and converted to organic.

This year, Anthony Owens will start his second decade as a grower of organic apples. That’s likely a record for his location.

Back in

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Fumigant regulations keep coming

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Soil fumigation, like this broadcast application, now requires that fumigation management plans be developed to include a long list of components.

The soil fumigation landscape has changed ­dramatically in the last few years. Effective postplant nematicides

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Read the label

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Marestail, or horseweed, has been confirmed to be resistant to glyphosate in California.

Have you read your glyphosate herbicide label lately?

Today’s glyphosate herbicide is not the same as it was when first introduced as Roundup by

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Tips on how to avoid glyphosate damage

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As you approach weed control this spring, remember the word SUPPLY.

That’s the acronym Dr. Hannah Mathers developed to help orchardists and nurserymen prevent injury to their trees as they go about the process of controlling

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Tree safety is key issue with herbicides

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Choosing a herbicide program for an orchard is not so simple as choosing which herbicide kills what weeds and when. A careful reading of the label of any herbicide reveals a host of warnings, most

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Newer herbicides join the arsenal

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Among the newer herbicides that fruit growers should look at are Treevix, Alion, Matrix, Spartan, and Sandea, and there are new formulations of Sinbar and Rely, says Michigan State University weed control specialist Dr. Bernie

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Who’s eating codling moth?

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This article is part of a series on the multistate project “Enhancing Biological Control in Western Orchards.”

How big a role can predators play in controlling codling moth in fruit orchards? That’s a question that Dr.

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Leafroller challenges cherry growers

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Obliquebanded leafroller larva
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture

Tart cherry growers need to use a modern, effective insecticide to control obliquebanded leafroller about two weeks before ­harvest—or risk delivering a contaminated crop that may be rejected by the

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New York apple growers on alert for strep-resistant fireblight

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Dead terminal shoots on apple trees caused by infection by fireblight bacteria.
COURTESY OF KERIK COX

Apple growers in New York State were not granted the Section 18 emergency use permit they requested from the U.S. Environmental

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