Continuing the Fight. I'm Greg Martin with today's Fruit Grower Report.
The Spotted Winged Drosophila or fruit fly has been causing a lot of headaches for fruit growers in Oregon and Washington ever since it was first detected last year. The industry has galvanized and instigated monitoring and management practices but Dan Hilburn of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says we are at a critical juncture.
HILBURN: Up until this point, the cherries, the caneberries and blueberries that have made it to market have been high quality and without problems from spotted wing drosophila. But we don't know that's because of the efforts that have been made or because this thing is always going to an end of the season problem.
There was some significant damage last year in some areas but commercial growers this year have effectively used pesticide products- some even approved for organic growers- to avert any crop damage. That doesn't mean the norrthwest is problem free.
HILBURN: We have had hot spots that have had fruit damage. It's interesting to look at those hot spots. They are almost all backyards, unmanaged situations.
Unlike other fruit flies that feed off rotting fruit, this one attacks fresh, ripening fruit. Even though smaller growers and home gardeners may be finding problems, consumers should rest assured that local fruit in the marketplace right now is clean, good tasting, and nothing to worry about.
HILBURN: I think the message to consumers is the fruit that is making it to the market is high quality, good tasting, and nothing to worry about.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.