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Fruit Bites Fruit grower report 2019

Bob Larson Pear Estimates for 2019 Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: June 11, 2019

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The Northwest pear estimates for 2019 are down about 9% from last year and about 6% off of the five-year average, but could change between now and the end of harvest.

On top of that, Pear Bureau Northwest’s Kathy Stephenson says the Wenatchee growing region may be replaced as the top producer …

STEPHENSON … “It looks like the crop coming out of the Hood River, that mid-Columbia region which includes both sides of the river, it looks like it’s going to be higher than the Wenatchee region which has been the leading production area for our growers for sure. So, yeah, that’s a little bit of a shift. A lot of pears coming out of that Hood River Valley. Of course, both regions have an amazing production and it’s not a large increase so it’s good for everybody.”

Is the change a result of acreage OR orchard maturity? …

STEPHENSON … “I think it’s mostly maturity and also those estimates. It could come in that those numbers could shift. I think that the folks up in Hood River did not see quite the impact on the frost, for instance, and so Wenatchee maybe had a bigger impact up there. So, again, the final pick is what will make those decisions. We don’t really see a huge difference in a decrease in trees up in Wenatchee or an increase in Hood River.”

And when it comes to organic pears, Stephenson says …

STEPHENSON … “The organic pear estimate is going to be at 1.76-million standard cases. Almost 39-thousand tons and it’s about 10% of the total Northwest crop.”

Stephenson says that’s about a 20% increase over last year.

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BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. And, joining us again is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, we’re talking about mites?

AW: Mites are tiny little arachnid pests (so not true insects) that can cause a lot of feeding damage on fruit & fruit trees.

BL: Are there certain kinds of mites?

AW: We have 2 major types of mites up in the PNW. Spider mites and rust mites.

BL: What are rust mites?

AW: Rust mites are tiny cigar/pie shaped mites that cause russeting damage on the fruit surface.

BL: And, spider mites?

AW: Spider mites actually spin webs (like spiders), usually on the underside of the leaves and feed by sucking each plant cell dry. Feeding damage can leave a stippled look, then leaves can defoliate if too much feeding occurs. Two spotted spider mites can be identified by the two black spots on the back of their body.

Another spider mite, European red mite are large red mites with white bristles sticking out. They lay round red eggs which are very visible. I think they are beautiful. And European red mites can indirectly affect commercial fruit by having large (and noticeable) gatherings in the stem and calyx ends of apples.

BL: Mite-y interesting, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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