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Ag Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: June 15, 2018

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You may have heard a little about what central Washington pear and apple growers are having to deal with regarding fire blight. I talked with WSU Tree Fruit Extension specialist Tianna Dupont, based in Wenatchee, about the situation. It turns out there was a perfect storm, so to speak, with above normal temperatures and moisture during the bloom period in late April and early May.


Almost everybody you talk to had at least some fire blight this year and quite a few people had significant amount that they're either having to cut out and remove or occasionally a whole block that people are having to remove due to fire blight.


The setup for the fire blight was not just the warm wet periods this spring.


We had fire blight a couple years in a row at pretty high levels, so that means the amount of bacteria that was out in these orchards was higher this spring than it had been in past years.

WSU and growers uses a model developed several years ago called Cougar Blight.


Tim Smith with other researchers put that together a number of years ago, and it's on the Decision Aid program, and it did predict. We had infection periods just when you thought it would have been there. Problem is, the pressure was just so high this year, even when growers did everything right, there was probably still some fire blight that they got.

My thanks to WSU extension specialist Tianna DuPont for sharing her expertise on Fire Blight.

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