Accelerating the Implementation of Integrated Crop Management Practices in Northwest Berry Crops by Vertical Integration through the Processor
The berry industry in the northwest is in transition. While processors and growers of these small fruits (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) are increasingly concerned with providing a pest and residue free product for their customers, the pesticide options available to accomplish this are also shifting. Guthion (Azinphos-methyl) has recently been removed. However, many calendar based applications of carbaryl and Malathion continue, plus an increasing use pyrethroids. There are increased options for softer controls but their use often requires a greater economic investment and more precision in terms of timing and application methods. In 2007 Peerbolt Crop Management (PCM) partnered with Willamette Valley Fruit Company (WVFC) to create a pilot program assisting growers in the use of scouting, and alerting them to potential infestations for timed low risk control. A limited number of WVFC growers' fields were used (12 fields, approximately 150 acres). The program was well received by the growers; however, a wider program that would involve more growers, increased management aspects and increased communication is needed to accelerate the adoption of this type of program by other Northwest processors and their growers. We propose enlarging the pilot program with WVFC to approximately 35 fields with a total of 700 acres. We would also add cultural practices, and water and nutrient management to the pest management program, and include Oregon State University researchers as involved consultants.
Project goals and objectives
1. Of the 40 major growers taking their fruit to WVFC, 50% will increase their use of safer, less risk chemicals and decrease their use of carbaryl and Malathion.
2. Of the 1900 acres of small fruit production being processed by WVFC, 500 will be actively using regular IPM scouting in their pest management decisions, a more than 200% increase over the 2007 pilot program.
3. By the end of the project, at least one other northwest processor will show an active interest in having its growers enrolled in a similar program.
1. We will impact 700 acres during 2008 and 2009.
2. The current level of pest management is zero for some growers and one for others. The expected level at the end of the 2009 season will be two for those current at zero and three for those currently at one.
3. The percent reduction of lb/acre reduction in high risk ingredients/pesticides will be 50%.
4. The successful implementation of this program will allow this team to be favorably viewed in its pursuit of further funds to enlarge the program (up to $60,000 per year) and to coordinate with processors and commodity groups and/or university staff to develop and
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