Beating back the bug, for now

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010

 

0810_ATS04
The drosophila is worrisome because it attacks ripe, healthy fruit. Fruits attacked include apple, blueberry, cane berry, cherry, grape, peach, persimmon, plum and strawberry.
// PHOTOS COURTESY OF OREGON DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

A wet and cold growing season was bad news for Oregon’s fruit crops, except in the battle against a destructive fruit pest. Last year, one-fourth of the organic and non-commerical growers of blueberries, raspberries and peaches reported loses due to the spotted wing drosophila. There was minimal damage to the commerical berry industry. This Asian fruit fly, which uniquely attacks fruit on the tree, was dealt a blow this April when the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Oregon a $2.5 million grant and the state chipped in $225,000 in emergency funds. The money primarily funded Oregon State University researchers and some farmers to trap and monitor the nasty larvae. Then farmers crossed their fingers as crops began to ripen.

So far, there’s been “no conventional crop damage this year,” says OSU researcher Amy Dreves.

The cool spring also helped control the pest population. Wasco County, the location of the biggest 2009 outbreak, has had no sightings this year. Only one female drosophila was found in Hood River County.

Farms are controlling the pest, but backyard trees pose a threat. These trees are rarely sprayed and some larvae have been spotted.

“I am moderately optimistic. This is not an insurmountable problem,” says Dan Hilburn, Oregon Department of Agriculture plant division administrator.

Fly damage this season is low, but researchers and farmers are still worried as the days get warmer and drosophila traps get fuller.

JOSEY BARTLETT
 

Comments   

 
Tom Peerbolt
0 #1 Wrong facts on 2009 crop losses included in this articleTom Peerbolt 2010-07-26 11:52:55
"Last year, one-fourth of Oregon’s blueberries, raspberries and peaches were destroyed by the Spotted Wing Drosophila. Some Willamette Valley farmers reported a 30% loss in revenue."

I'm a crop consultant involved in the coordinated scouting/inform ation dissemination program on SWD. The above statement is just plain not true. Some worse case estimates of potential damage this season were in the 20% range but losses last year were actually minimal to the commercial berry crops except for some late season blueberry fields.
One fairly small grower reported up to a 30% loss in his peach crop but that was the only place I know of that this figure could have come from. This is a very serious potential pest and I don't mean to minimize the potential but, please, don't throw around crop loss figures that have no basis. It causes damage to credibility, and can bounce around and be misused/quoted by other sources. Check with your own sources--Amy Dreves and Dan Hilburn would never throw out those figures because they're wrong. Please correct them.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Robin Doussard, OB Editor
0 #2 Crop losesRobin Doussard, OB Editor 2010-07-27 21:43:45
More detail on our crop loss reporting: Amy Dreves, OSU researcher, says that fruit damage ranged from 20% to 80% of farmer’s total blueberry, raspberry, and peach crop last year, but that the damage was confined to the organic and non-commercial areas. She said that damage in the commercial berry industry was minimal. Helmuth Rogg, supervisor of the state’s pest management division, says 25% is a good average for the damage done last year. Rogg says he knows some Willamette Valley farmers lost 30% of their revenue because of the bug. For example, almost all of Stuart Olson’s peaches on his farm in Salem were destroyed. And although the bug’s damage has been kept to a minimum, this year’s revenue damages from the pest will also be felt. “Many farmers spent lots of money preventing the pest this season,” says Rogg.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Photo Log: The 2015 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
greenthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS