No Apple Maggots in Northwest Orchards Thanks to Spraying Outside the Orchards

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Apple Maggots

Apple maggot is a native pest of the eastern United States and Canada. In 1979 it was discovered in Oregon and has since moved into California, Washington, and other Western states. Female apple maggot adults deposit eggs singly under the apple skin. Damage is caused when larvae burrow and feed on apple flesh. Browning of the trails occurs as the apple responds to this injury and bacteria associated with maggots cause fruits to rot internally. No Western commercial apples have been infested with maggots thanks to spraying trees outside the orchards to keep them away.

“The first detection of this species [apple maggot] infesting apples in western North America occurred in the United States in Oregon in 1979; flies were caught in neighboring Washington the following year. However, no commercial apples from central Washington, the major apple growing region in the United States, have been found to be infested by R. pomonella, even though adults were first detected within this region in 1995.  

In Washington, an R. pomonella quarantine is established in 22 counties, including two under partial quarantine.

R. pomonella is widespread and abundant in Washington west of the Cascade Mountain range, but is much less abundant in central and eastern Washington except in Spokane County. It occurs in low numbers on the margins of the apple-growing regions in central Washington in native hawthorns and in even lower numbers in unmanaged roadside and backyard apples.

…In the major apple-producing regions of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, control does not occur at the orchard level but rather outside orchards. There is zero tolerance for infested apples. The probability of R. pomonella being moved in apples from Washington to Canada or Mexico is minimized by an extensive annual fly detection and insecticide spray response program conducted by the WSDA and cooperating county pest control boards. …Similar programs exist in Oregon, Idaho, and California.”

Authors: Yee, W. L., et al.
Affiliation: Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Title: Status of Rhagoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae) Pests in the NAPPO Countries.
Source: J. Econ. Entomol. 2014. 107[1]:11-28.

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French Government Policies to Reduce Pesticide Use Will Lower Food Production

Sprays!

Pesticide Spraying: French Vineyard

French farmers spend several billion Euros on pesticides each year. A large number of pesticide treatments are made to crops in France: wheat (4), sugarbeets (4), rapeseed (6), potatoes (17), apples (36) and vineyards (7-22). The French government has announced a policy to reduce the use of pesticides by 50%. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) estimated the impacts on crop production as a result of the pesticide use reductions.

“The results demonstrated that the commitment of the Environment Round Table to a 50% reduction of pesticide use from current levels is a difficult target to achieve. During an average year similar to 2006, this could correspond to the results of a simulation under which all French farming would switch to integrated production: the reduction in pesticide use would then be estimated at 50% in arable crops, 37% in viticulture, 21% in fruit orchards and 100% in grasslands; drops in yield (in value terms) would then be observed, estimated at 12% for arable crops, 24% for viticulture and 19% for fruits (based on 2006 prices).”

Author: INRA
Affiliation: INRA
Title: Ecophyto R&D – which options to reduce pesticide use?
Source: Ecophyto R&D. January 2010. Pgs. 1-8.

Apple Rots Reappear Because of Fungicide Cancellations

 

Core rot

Core rot

 

Many storage rots of apples are actually initiated in the orchard. There are often no pre-harvest symptoms. Core rot is a wet rot that spreads into the flesh of the apple. Core rot can be controlled with spring fungicide sprays in the orchard. However, core rot has reappeared in some Australian apples in storage due to cancellation of some key fungicides.

“In the last couple of months I have attended to a couple incidences of core rot in apples that have arrived in their destination market. This is not a pretty sight and costs the packer/marketers both in financial and brand terms, not to mention degradation of Australia’s reputation as a supplier of quality fruit.

This situation has probably arisen due to low levels of core rots being encountered in the last 15 or so years. This has meant that this problem has slipped from our memories and we have forgotten that in the 1980s core rot could be present in up to 20 per cent of our fruit. This level of infection cannot be tolerated in today’s marketing environment. Its re-appearance is probably due to the de-registration of both Benlate and Rovral for spraying onto the apple flowers, a treatment in common use in the 1990s and 2000s for the control of core rots.”

Author: Brown, G.
Affiliation: Technical Editor.
Title: Getting to the core of the problem: Core rots.
Source: Australian Fruitgrower. September 2012. Pgs. 12-15.

Taiwan is Free of the Codling Moth and Wants to Keep It That Way: US Apple Growers Need to Spray in Order to Export

Asian with Foood

Apple Inspection in Taiwan

Gross Apple

Codling Moth in Imported Apple

The Taiwanese have the highest per capita consumption of fresh fruit in the world, about 300 pounds per person. The apple is the most heavily consumed imported fruit in Taiwan. US exports supply about 40% of the marketplace. If Taiwanese inspectors find three living codling moth larvae anywhere in the 2 million boxes of apples Washington growers send them, that shuts down the entire export market.  That happened in the fall of 2004 and in the four following months it cost the industry about $25 million. Since then, US growers have been vigilant……

“In 2002, Taiwan ruled that the discovery of three codling moths in US apple shipments in any given crop year would result in the closing of the Taiwanese market to all US apple imports. Since then, warehouses and shippers have been very careful in inspecting and rejecting damaged fruit from growers, and growers have been vigilant in spraying for codling moth as needed.”

Authors: Goldberger, J. A., Lehrer, N., and Brunner, J. F.
Affiliation: Washington State University
Title: Azinphos-methyl (AZM) phase-out: actions and attitudes of apple growers in Washington state.
Source: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 2011. 26(4):276-286.

 

Apple Scab Would Almost Completely Destroy Dutch Apple Orchards Without Fungicide Sprays

Apple Scab

Apple Scab

Apple scab is caused by a fungus Venturia inaqualis, which overwinters in infected leaves on the orchard floor.  Mating among different strains of the fungus occurs shortly after leaf fall and spores develop in the fallen leaves during the winter.  Spring rains cause spores to be forcibly discharged. Spores continue to mature and are discharged over a period of 5-9 weeks. If the surface of apple tissue is wet and temperatures are suitable, the spores germinate and penetrate the cuticle and outer layers of the plant, causing an infection.  The fungus grows beneath the cuticle and eventually ruptures it and forms dark green lesions.  Masses of spores are produced asexually within the lesions and become detached during rain.  Water splashes and redistributes these spores, causing secondary infections. Each leaf scab lesion is capable of producing 50,000-100,000 spores. Assuming 50,000 leaves per tree have 2% scab infection, about 50 million spores would be present on a single tree.  One spore can cause an infection. Infections early in the season can kill tissues near the fruit surface and the fruit develops unevenly as uninfected portions continue to grow.  Cracks appear in the skin and flesh and the fruit may become deformed.  Heavily infected fruit fall from the tree resulting in yield losses.  Scab lesions on harvested apples result in a lower price for growers since the commercial tolerance for scab damage approaches zero.

“Apple scab [Venturia inaequalis (CKE.) Winter] is one of the most important diseases of apple, causing considerable losses every year in many countries. Crop losses in the Netherlands caused by apple scab would be about 80% if no control measures were taken; therefore, 15-22 conventional spray applications per season are used to prevent apple yield loss under Dutch weather conditions.”

Authors: Holb, I. J., et al.
Affiliation: Department of Plant Protection, Centre of Agricultural Sciences, Debrecen University.
Title: Summer epidemics of apple scab: the relationship between measurements and their implications for the development of predictive models and threshold levels under different disease control regimes.
Source: Journal of Phytopathology. 2003. 151:335-343.

French Apple Production Requires Dozens of Pesticide Sprays every Year

Codling Moth

Codling Moth

Apple Scab

Apple Scab

French apple production totals about 1.9 million tons worth approximately $750 million annually. French apple orchards are plagued with the same major pests that infest orchards worldwide: the fungal disease, apple scab, and the insect, codling moth. Both pests would seriously damage most of the apple crop in France without the dozens of pesticide sprays that are made.

[1]
“In Southern France, over 35 pesticide treatments are applied yearly in apple orchards, among which 8-15 are targeted against the codling moth.”

[2]
“Codling moth is a major pest of pome fruit orchards throughout their area of cultivation…. Two or three larval generations are present in southern France and insecticide applications are needed from the beginning of the first larval generation in May until fruit harvest.”

[3]
”Chemical control of apple scab represents a considerable part of the pest control measures necessary to protect an apple orchard when it is planted with one or several cultivars susceptible to the disease. In France, as many as 15-20 fungicide treatments per year may be necessary to control the disease.”

[1]
Authors: Monteiro, L. B., Lavigne, C., Ricci, B., Franck; P., Toubon, J-F
Affiliation: UFPR, Parana Federal University; INRA Plantes et Systemes de Culture Horticoles
Title: Predation of codling moth eggs is affected by pest management practices at orchard and landscape levels.
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2013. 166:86-93.

[2]
Authors: Simon, S., et al.
Affiliation: Unite Experimentale Gotheron, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique.
Title: Effect of codling moth management on orchard arthropods.
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2007. 122:340-348.

[3]
Authors: Brun, L., et al.
Affiliation: INRA, UMR Pathologie Vegetale.
Title: Effects of apple cultivar susceptibility to Venturia inaequalis on scab epidemics in apple orchards.
Source: Crop Protection. 2008. 27:1009-1019.

Organic Apple Growing Not Popular in Sweden

Apple Scab

Apple Scab

The Swedish government set a goal of having 20% of the total crop area grown organically by 2010. Organic fruit acreage did not make the goal and is still less than 5%. Growers fear low yields and poor quality by not using chemical pesticides in organic systems. Apple production would decline significantly in Sweden if the majority of growers gave up the use of pesticides and used organic methods. A major problem for apple growers in Sweden is apple scab.

 “There is a large demand for domestically grown apples in Sweden. However, approximately 85% of the apples consumed in Sweden are imported, and the percentage of imported organic apples is even higher. Organic fruit is produced on 4% of the orchard area.

The estimated cost price of producing organic apples in a 5 ha orchard is €1.14 per kg, which is twice as high as for conventionally produced apples, mainly due to lower yields in organic production. Modern apple orchards have average yields of 40 ton/ha in conventional production and around 20 ton/ha in organic production.

The high cost price of organic apples was mainly due to lower yields in organic production, but also higher costs for weed control. Although it is possible to generate similar economic returns from organic production, few conventional growers in Sweden are converting to organic production. Another obstacle is that growers fear low yields and poor quality in organic production due to pests, diseases and weeds.”

Authors: Ascard, J., et al.
Affiliation: Swedish Board of Agriculture.
Title: Cost price calculations for organically and conventionally grown apples in Sweden.
Source: Ecofruit Proceedings. 2010.

Organic Apple and Pear Growers Fear Fire Blight

Fire Blight: Apple

Fire Blight: Apple

In April 2013, the National Organic Standards Board voted to not extend the approved use of antibiotics in organic orchards for fire blight control past October 21, 2014.Fire blight is the most devastating bacterial disease affecting apples and pears in the U.S. Fireblight is caused by the bacterial organism Erwina amylovora which grows readily and utilizes sugars and acids as food sources. An infected tree may die within a few months of infection. Fire blight was so named because the plants look as though they have been burned. Tissue infected with fire blight will exude droplets of sticky ooze that contain fresh inoculum. Infected fruit may exude copious amounts of bacterial ooze. Antibiotics have long been key disease control materials for fire blight control and both organic and non-organic growers have been permitted their use. However, after October 21, 2014, only the non-organic growers will be able to use them.

“A bad fire blight year after 2014 could devastate some Northwest organic apple and pear growers, who have relied on oxytetracycline to control the disease, a researcher said.

When the National Organic Standards Board voted April 11 not to extend the sunset for use of the antibiotic, orchardists faced the prospect of losing a useful tool without having a suitable replacement.

David Granatstein, sustainable agriculture specialist with Washington State University, said, “I suspect we’ll see some exit organics or selectively exit some blocks.”

A study he performed in 2011 found that only a quarter of surveyed Washington growers expected they could survive a fire blight outbreak without tetracycline.”

Author: Brown, S.
Affiliation: Capital Press
Title: Organic growers fear fire blight
Source: Capital Press. 4-26-2013, Pg. 7.

Fungal Colonies on Apples are not Acceptable to Consumers

Sotty Apple

 

Sooty blotch and flyspeck are diseases of apples which result from fungi colonizing the fruit surface without penetrating below the peel. These fungal colonies simply grow on the surface of the apple. However, consumers don’t want to purchase apples with any blemishes. As a result, numerous fungicide sprays are used to prevent the fungal colonies and meet consumer demands.

“Sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) is a disease caused by a complex of saprophytic fungi that colonize the epicuticular wax layer of apple and several other fruit crops in humid production regions worldwide. In the eastern half of the continental United States, SBFS is a major problem for commercial apple growers because the dark blemishes of SBFS colonies result in downgrading fruit from fresh-market to processing use, with economic losses as high as 90%

To suppress SBFS and fruit rots, most apple growers in this region apply fungicide sprays every 1 to 2 weeks from 7 to 10 days after petal fall until shortly before harvest.”

Authors: Diaz Arias, M.M., et al.
Affiliation: Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University
Title: Diversity and Biogeography of Sooty Blotch and Flyspeck Fungi on Apple in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
Source: Phytopathology. 2010. 100(4):345-355.

Southern California Vineyards Recover Thanks to Insecticide Applications

Grapevines Destroyed in 1999

Grapevines Destroyed in 1999

Temecula Today

Temecula Today

In 1999, about one-third of the vineyards in Temecula Valley, Riverside County, California were destroyed due to Pierce’s Disease which is caused by a bacteria transmitted to grapevines by an insect-the glassy winged sharpshooter. The disease seemed destined to spread throughout Southern California. However, research demonstrated that a carefully-timed insecticide application would prevent the sharpshooter from transmitting the disease to grapevines. As a result of this insecticide use, the wine grape industry in Southern California has recovered and is prospering.

“Twelve years ago a Pierce’s disease epidemic in Southern California wine grapes prompted a multi-pronged local, state and federal attack to contain the disease spread and find a cure or treatment.

Riverside County agriculture officials declared a local emergency in 1999 and 300 acres of Temecula wine grape vines were destroyed after they were found to be infested with the glassy winged sharpshooter.

Emergencies were declared, a task force was formed, and in 2000 $22.3 million in federal financial assistance was secured to reduce pest infestations and support research.

Research found that the Southern California epidemics were almost entirely the result of vine-to-vine transmission…. A protocol of applying one carefully timed application of a persistent systemic insecticide such as imidacloprid virtually eliminates the vine-to-vine spread.

Ben Drake is a Temecula-area wine grape grower and vineyard manager who began seeing problems from PD in the Temecula Valley as early as 1997.

We’ve found that if we apply (imidacloprid) at the middle to the end of May, before the sharpshooter moves out of the citrus and goes into the vineyards, we get levels of the material into the plant high enough that when the sharpshooter flies over from the citrus groves to try it, they just fly back where they came from. Or, if they feed long enough, it will kill them.

But just look at the Temecula Valley now to understand what’s changed: From 12 wineries in 1999, the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association website today lists more than 50 growers and 34 wineries…. A thriving agritourism industry has developed…. Existing wineries are expanding and new ones are under construction or in planning phases.”

Author: Christine Thompson
Affiliation: Reporter
Title: Grape growers urged to remain vigilant against sharpshooter pest
Source: Western Farm Press. 2011-12-12. Available at: http://westernfarmpress.com/grapes/grape-growers-urged-remain-vigilant-against-sharpshooter-pest