Friday, October 14, 2011

Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)

With apple harvest in full swing, are you confident that your fruit meet the allowable MRLs for your target market? Do you know the limits for the different countries you plan to ship your fruit? Where do you find out?
In this issue of our newsletter we cover several topics related to MRLs, pesticide use, residue studies and where to get more information. To read about MRLs visit:

Inside this issue:
  • Maximum Residue Levels - defined
  • Pesticide Degradation
  • Apple Pesticide Residue Study
  • OP-alternative Insecticides
  • Pesticides that Exceeded the MRLs
To view back issues of the newsletter visit our archive:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sterile Insect Release to Control Pests

SIR moth release device used in research trials.
Using the Pest to Control the Pest

Many pests of agricultural or human health importance have been eradicated or controlled using the Sterile Insect Release (SIR) approach. These include the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Melon Fly, Pink Bollworm, Oriental Fruit Fly, Tsetse Fly, Boll Weevil, Mexican Fruit Fly, Gypsy Moth, Stable Fly, Horn Fly, Corn Earworm, and Tobacco Hornworm.

The current issue our newsletter discusses the use of SIR to combat Codling moth infestations in commercial apple orchards. To read more visit:

Inside this issue:

  • Use of Sterile Insects to Control Pests
  • British Columbia's SIR Program
  • WSU Research with Selected SIR
  • Release Mechanisms
  • Differentiating the SIR Moths from Wild Moths 
To view back issues of the newsletter visit our archive:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

eNewsletter: Enhancing Western Orchard Biological Control

Tachinid flies are a natural enemy of leafroller
and other Lepidoptera that feed on foliage.
What is Biocontrol?

Biological control occurs when pest populations are reduced by their natural enemies.  All pest species have natural enemies.  The effect of biocontrol can be enhanced by importing enemy species from the pest’s native country, increasing the number of already existing natural enemies, or working to conserve the natural enemies that are already present.  A research project, led by Vince Jones at the WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, is looking at ways to improve biocontrol and reduce the negative effects of pesticides on natural enemies.

To learn more about Biocontrol and this project read our newest eNewsletter

Inside this issue:
  • What is biocontrol?
  • Enhancing biocontrol in western orchards
  • Lab studies on pesticide effects
  • Natural enemy phenology
Read about Biocontrol here:
For more information about the Enhanced Biocontrol project visit their website here:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stink Bug eNewsletter

Chlorochroa sp.
Do you have a stink bug problem or would you just like to know more about this group of insects? Our newest issue of the PMTP eNewsletter is out and full of information about stink bugs.

Inside this issue:
  • Photo ID of our most common species
  • Fruit injury compared to bitter pit
  • Monitoring, traps and control
  • How to tell if you have Brown Marmorated or something else
Read all about stink bug here:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Taiwan Systems Approach Work Plan Training and Other Sessions of Import

Its time to mark your calendar for this year's apple training sessions.
If you are planning to export your apples from the Pacific Northwest to Canada, China, Japan, Mexico or Taiwan you need to be registered with the appropriate exporting agent, Northwest Fruit Exporters or the Northwest Horticultural Council. This year's registrant packets should be on their way to those who are already registered. If you aren't registered, now is the time to do so. There will be a joint work plan informational meeting in Wenatchee at 10 am on Aug. 2 at the Red Lion and one in Yakima at 10 am on Aug. 3 at the Howard Johnson's.

If you are planning to export apples to Taiwan you need personnel trained to perform orchard and bin sampling, as well as having at least 2 certified cull cutters in the packing facility. Each requires retraining/certification every other year. However, annual refresher training is never a bad idea. So far this year 4 combined training sessions have been scheduled:
Aug. 3, 10am - Prosser   Aug. 5, noon - Yakima   Aug. 10, 3pm - Wenatchee   Aug. 15, 2pm - Brewster

For details on requirements, schedules, locations and directions visit our web site.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Petal Fall Orchard Pest Management

Petal fall is traditionally a time to treat for orchard pest to get a handle on control early in the season. Missing treatments at this time can cause a cascade effect on insect pest populations for the rest of the growing season. The main target pests at this time are leafrollers and codling moth. Secondary targets include San Jose scale, woolly apple aphid and Western flower thrips.
But do you know what pests are actually in your orchard? Do you know how to choose the best materials for your pest problems? And just when exactly is the best time to apply your treatments? If you are sure of the answer to any of these questions you should read our next installment of the eNewsletter. In this issue we cover how to identify which leafroller you have, how to monitor for them, how to time your treatments and which materials you can you to target your specific problems.
Read more at:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Western Flower Thrips & Campylomma in Your Orchard

Spring is here and so are some of those pesky orchard invaders that like to feed and lay eggs in buds and fruitlets. I'm referring to Western flower thrips (WFT) and Campylomma. The best time to control WFT is at petal fall up to when fruit are 5 mm in size. Control of Campylomma requires a close monitoring for their presence starting before bloom and continuing up through petal fall.
A new issue of our newsletter discusses both WFT and Campylomma Spring emergence and what you should know about management. It also covers the best method of monitoring for these pests using a beating tray and when to know its time to treat. Visit our newsletter web page to learn more.

This issue includes instructions on using a beating tray
to sample for WTF and Campyloma

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AZM Phase-out

In 2007 EPA made a regulatory decision to phase out the use of azinphosmethyl (AZM, Guthion) in all agricultural crops (Figure 1).  For nearly fifty years, AZM has been the primary tool used by Washington apple growers to control the key pest in apple, the codling moth.  Although there were initial fears that replacement insecticides would not be registered and that there would not be effective controls available, this has not happened.  Pest management programs designed to protect fruit from codling moth have become more complicated and more expensive, but Washington growers continue to produce quality, pest free fruit.  In 2011 and 2012, the maximum allowable use of AZM will be 1.5 pounds of active ingredient (AI) per acre, one application.  No use of AZM will be allowed after the summer of 2012.

EPA AZM Phase-out Schedule

More than fifty new insecticides and miticides have been registered for use on tree fruit crops since the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act in 1996.  Many of the insecticides have been classified as reduced risk, or OP alternatives.  In general, the OP alternative insecticides that have been registered for the control of codling moth have lower efficacy, a narrower spectrum of activity, and are more expensive than the OP insecticides that they are replacing.  Sprayer coverage and application timing are also more critical with these new products as residues must directly contact the egg or be consumed by the feeding larvae to be effective.  The Washington State University has developed the Decision Aid System (DAS - and education programs such as the Apple IPM Transition Project (AIPMTP - to facilitate the implementation of more complicated IPM programs.

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) survey results show that OP use in Washington apple declined by more than 50% between 2007 and 2009, from 2.4 average acre applications in 2007 to 1.1 in 2009.  This change is reflected by an increase in the use of pheromone technologies (our best estimate is that 85% of the bearing apple acres in Washington were treated with codling moth pheromones in 2010) and an increase in confidence with OP alternative insecticides, which has lead to a decrease in consultant recommendations for use of OP products (93% recommended OP products in 2007 compared to 83% in 2009 - AIPMTP survey).  Though these changes have been influenced by the AZM phase out, better educated growers and consultants with better resources for making decisions have made the transition away from OP insecticides successful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

San Jose Scale

San Jose Scale (SJS) populations left unchecked can quickly grow into an huge problem. An infested apple can have over 1,000 or more scale. Besides making the fruit unmarketable, SJS kills twigs and limbs. If uncontrolled, SJS can kill the tree.

To learn more about SJS and how to control this pest read the new issue of our eNewsletter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 Export Training Workshop Schedule

At the start of each summer I am asked to present training workshops to a variety of Washington tree fruit industry personnel to fulfill various export work plan requirements. The first of the workshops are for stone fruit quality control cutters at packing facilities. In addition to needing preregistration in the export programs, any facility wishing to ship stone fruit (primarily apricots and peaches) to Mexico or B.C., Canada must have 2 certified cull fruit cutters trained annually. The training teaches participants how to identify the target pest, Oriental Fruit Moth (OFM) and to perform the required cull fruit screening/cutting for this pest using the required forms. This training is now scheduled for May 26 (Yakima) & May 27 (Wenatchee). For more information visit my Cullage Education web site.

The second set of training workshops is for growers/field managers/field scouts, etc. that must perform monitoring and sampling for codling moth (CM) in apples destined for export to Taiwan. This workshop covers the life history and identification of CM, how to perform the required field and/or bin sampling of fruit and the correct use of the official forms. Often the workshops also include participation by WSDA inspectors to perform the required training of packing house cull fruit cutters. People wishing to perform the field/bin sampling must training at least every other year. WSDA recommends that cull cutters be retrained annually. This year's CM/Taiwan workshops are currently being scheduled. Please check the web site listed above for details on the training and updates on the schedule.

Update: The Taiwan training schedule is now up.  Please visit our training schedule page for more information.

Friday, March 18, 2011

AZM limits reduced to 1.5 lb AI

This is the 4th year of the EPA phase-out of AZM (Guthion). Starting this year apple growers are limited to 1.5 lbs AI per acre. This reduction limits growers to only one application of a high labeled rate for the year. And next year will be the final year (same rate) of its use. So, if you've been putting off the inevitable, it is time to adopt OP-alternative insecticides into your pest management program.

The Pest Management Transition Program website is a good source of information on alternatives to AZM. Check out our handbook at:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome to the New and Improved PMTP Blog!

The PMTP Blog is now back online! We hope to use this new blog to present the material we formerly reserved for our newsletters. By posting here, we hope to keep our followers apprised of all recent news and events in a much timelier fashion. The material from our past newsletters is still available on our Newsletter Archive located on the PMTP website.

Our old PMTP blog is still online and can be accessed at:

We hope you enjoy our new blog!