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Tree fruit meetings examine threats


Pair of emerging pests present problems for growers


By DAN WHEAT


Capital Press


WENATCHEE, Wash. -- The brown marmorated stink bug and spotted winged drosophila, both from Asia, will be discussed at Washington State University Extension horticultural meetings the week of Jan. 17 in north central Washington.


While spotted winged drosophila received much attention in the past year and spread into Eastern Washington, the brown marmorated stink bug is established in Portland and seems to be spreading, said Tim Smith, WSU Extension tree fruit specialist in Wenatchee and the meetings' coordinator.


The brown marmorated stink bug has devastated some orchards in the Northeast, Smith said. It is feared because it can travel long distances and has a huge range of hosts, he said.


It attacks tree fruit but also grapes, corn, beans and other crops but not wheat, he said.


"It could arrive (in north central Washington) as soon as this spring or as late as 10 years from now," Smith said. "Wine lovers will hate it. It only takes five or 10 of them in a lug of winegrapes to taint wine flavor. It can taint corn silage so cows don't like it."


Spotted winged drosophila so far seems mainly a concern for cherry growers in Central Washington. While initially feared as a winegrape pest, it doesn't seem to like the tough skin of winegrapes.


Newer "softer" pesticides don't seem to work well on the spotted winged drosophila or brown marmorated stink bug. That makes battling them difficult, Smith said.


The five meetings all run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are sponsored by WSU Extension and other organizations.


* Jan. 17: Lake Chelan Horticultural Day, apple, pear and cherry horticulture and pest management, Lake Chelan High School.


* Jan. 18: North Central Washington Apple Day, apple horticulture and pest management, Wenatchee Convention Center.


* Jan. 19: North Central Washington Pear Day, pear horticulture and pest management, Wenatchee Convention Center.


* Jan. 20: North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day, mostly cherry horticulture and pest management, Wenatchee Convention Center.


* Feb. 2: Okanogan Horticultural Day, apple, pear and cherry horticulture and pest management, Okanogan County Agriplex.


Information: www.ncw.wsu.edu or 509-667-6540.



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