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Friday, January 21, 2011

NC 10% Campaign

The 10% Campaign, a project of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), the Golden Leaf Foundation, and NC Cooperative Extension seeks to increase the purchase of locally grown foods by10%. According to an article in the NC Farm Bureau Magazine, they're off to a good start, signing up 1,700 individuals and 161 businesses who pledge to buy local. Local purchases are key drivers for many of the small fruit growers I work with. North Carolina is the 3rd largest strawberry producing state, but virtually all of the fruit we produce is consumed locally, unlike California and Florida, the two largest strawberry producers. In addition to strawberries, many of our blueberries, caneberries, and grapes (especially muscadines) are consumed within the state.

You can get involved by visiting the 10% Project's website and pledging to purchase. They'll help folks out by providing information on where to find local foods and what's in season as well as tracking individual and statewide progress.

More information
10% Campaign off to strong start - NC Farm Bureau Magazine
10% Campaign

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LBAM Found in Oregon

The light brown apple moth, an invasive leaf rolling moth found on the central coast of California since 2007, was detected in Oregon this summer. Although light brown apple moth (LBAM) has been much slower to spread than SWD, it was the target of a large scale eradication effort in California and crops grown in infested areas have been subject to quarantine. LBAM can infest a large number of host plants, which raised concerns about it pest potential, but economic losses in CA have been primarily due to quarantine restrictions and not direct crop feeding.

More information
Light brown apple moth detected in Oregon - Fruit Growers News

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter 2011 Small Fruit News Now Online

Sentinel blackberry plants after one month in the field at Killdeer Farms, Kings Mountain, NC. These plants are being used to determine the timing of virus infection in blackberries. Photo: HJB

The Winter 2011 issue of the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium's Small Fruit News is now online. Of particular interest are an article on developing a marketing and research program from blackberries and raspberries, a project being organized by the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association, and an article by Ioannis Tzanetakis, University of Arkansas, and colleagues detailing new virus findings in blackberries. The role of my lab in this virus project is to help determine potential vectors by tracking insect movement in relation to disease transmission. Our first set of traps and sentinel plants were placed in April 2010, and we completed our first field season in October.

Pan trap placed near sentential blackberry plants to capture flying aphids and other insects. These and other traps are being used to relate insect movement to virus infection timing in blackberries. Photo: HJB

Kevin Littlejohn, a research technician in my lab, has been busily processing insect traps all winter and will be identifying our findings to species as well as identifying viruses in sentinel plants. This project has been funding by the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) and will continue for at least 3 more field seasons.

More information
Small Fruit News, Vol 11. Issue 1.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Management tools for spotted wing drosophila in NC

Because we detected spotted wing drosophila (SWD) in the Carolinas in 2010 before any commercial fruit was compromised, we have this winter to prepare growers and homeowners to detect and manage this new pest.

The first step to managing SWD is to determine whether it is present on your farm or garden. We have detected SWD in 13 counties in NC and SC, but we have been monitoring 24 locations and do not have traps in all possible fruit growing areas. This means that: 1. Some locations do not yet have SWD, and 2. Some locations may have SWD and we may not have detected it yet.

2010 NC and SC SWD Monitoring locations (blue dots) and counties with confirmed SWD trap captures. Figure: HJB

Growers and gardeners should work with their county extension agents (or myself) to trap for and identify SWD. See here to find your county extension agent in NC. Expert identification confirmation is recommended for the first detection at location to ensure that SWD is not confused with native Drosophila species. See the NC Small Fruits, Special Crop, and Tobacco IPM SWD Page for links to SWD identification guides.

Once SWD presence has been confirmed and at risk (ripe) fruit is present, chemical treatment is the current recommended means of commerical management. Cultural control, namely sanitation, can greatly reduce damage but will not eliminate it. Fruit should be frequently and regularly harvested and culls (non marketable or non edible fruit) should be disposed of off site. Burying culls will not necessarily kill SWD. Culls should not be left on the ground because they can be reinfested.

I have adapted factsheets which list the registered, commerical insecticides and their possible impact on SWD developed by Oregon State University entomologists for North Carolina. Links to these factsheets are provided below. The insecticides listed are registered for commerical fruit production, not for use by homeowners. Cultural controls may be sufficient to reduce SWD damage in gardens. If not, contact your cooperative extension agent for pesticide recommendations. The information provided in these factsheets does not replace the insecticide label. The label must be followed at all times; it's the law!

More information
Insecticides registered for use in blueberries & their potential use against SWD
Insecticides registered for use in caneberries & their potential use against SWD
Insecticides registered for use in grapes & their potential use against SWD
Insecticides registered for use in strawberries & their potential use against SWD

Friday, January 7, 2011

Presentation from the SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference

I have been attending the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association (NARBA) annual meeting at the Southeastern Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, GA. In addition to participating in the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium pest identification agent training, I presented to the NARBA general session on Thursday, January 6th. I discussed SWD range, biology, monitoring, and management. Much of the information I discussed with generously shared by researchers on the west coast, where SWD has been present longer. In particular, Frank Zalom (UC Davis), Bob Van Steenwyk (UC Berkeley), Denny Bruck & Jana Lee (USDA-ARS) , and Amy Dreves (Oregon State University) provided valuable content.

You can download the slides from my NARBA presentation here. It's a large file, saved as a pdf.

More information

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Upcoming Grower Meetings

It's taken me a while to put together a list of winter meetings, and it's already meeting season! Below is a summary of the meetings I will be attending and the topics I will be covering. Hope to see you there! I've listed the number of attendees behind those meetings that have already occurred.

Tobacco meetings
January 11, 12pm. Coastal Plain tobacco production meeting. Rocky Mount Farmers Market, Rocky Mount, NC. Topic: New pesticides and their use, Late season insect management. 130 attendees.

January 13, 12pm. Lenoir County tobacco production meeting. Lenoir County Center, Kinston, NC. Topic: New pesticides and their use, Late season insect management. 90 attendees.

January 18, 5pm. Vance, Franklin, and Oxford County tobacco production meeting. Aycock Recreation Center, Henderson, NC. Topic: New pesticides and their use, Late season insect management. 125 attendees.

January 19, 11am. Alamance, Person, Caswell, and Rockingham County tobacco production meeting. Yancyville, NC. Topic: New pesticides and their use, Late season insect management. Contact Roger Cobb, Alamance County NCCE, for location information. 130 attendees.

January 24, 10am. Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry County tobacco production meeting. Forsyth County Center, Winston-Salem, NC. NC. Topic: New pesticides and their use, Late season insect management.

January 27, 6pm. Craven County Tobacco Meeting. Craven County Center, New Bern, NC. Topic: New pesticides, TSWV tools: Thrips prediction website and treatment timing, late season insect management.

January 28, 12pm. Wayne County tobacco production meeting. Wayne County Center, Goldsboro, NC. Topic: New pesticides and their use, Late season insect management.

Blueberry meetings
January 11-12. Blueberry Open House. Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center, Clinton, NC. I will be presenting on the 12th and will be discussing SWD and blueberry maggot. Shelley Rogers, a masters student in my laboratory, will be sharing results from the first year of her work on pollinator diversity and efficiency in blueberries on the 11th. 50 attendees.

January 15. SunnyRidge Growers Meeting. Orlando, FL. Topic: SWD monitoring and management. 80 attendees.

Grape meetings
February 4-6. NC Winegrowers Association Annual Meeting. I will be speaking on Sunday, February 6 at 9am and discussing grape root borer, cutworms & grape flea beetle, and two spotted spider mites. I will also touch on grape phylloxera and SWD. You can find the entire meeting program here.

Canebery Meetings
February 22. 10am-2:15pm. 4th Annual North Carolina Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association Meeting. Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, Mills River, NC. I will provide an insect update and discuss SWD.

General Fruit Meetings
February 22, 10am. Plants, Pests, and Pathogens, an NCSU led webinar for Master Gardeners and others. See here for details on joining the webinar. I will be speaking on SWD identification and management for home gardeners. I'll be joining remotely from Mills River, NC, where I will be attending the 4th Annual NC Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association Meeting.