Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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At the meeting, he presented results of tests showing that fruit from treated trees had no residues of antibiotics at harvest. Granatstein said he has no fundamental disagreement with phasing out antibiotics, but he believes they should be allowed until research on alternatives has been completed. Dr. Ken Johnson, plant pathologist at Oregon State University, is leading a multistate project to develop an integrated fireblight management program without antibiotics, but it won't be completed in 2015. "It's bad timing," he said. "That's what we objected to. What are they basing these decisions on—other than some people want it gone yesterday?" He thinks oxytetracycline should have been made available until the research was complete, the results written up, and some guidelines were developed for growers to use. In addition, the new products need to be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approved for organic use, and made available in sufficient quantities by the manufacturer. Last year, for example, there was only enough Blossom Protect (Aureobasidium pullulans) available to treat 2,000 acres. And then they need to be tested by the growers when conditions are conducive to fireblight. "It takes time," he said. "It's not going to happen in two years." Tim Smith, Washington State University extension educator, said the industry doesn't have much experience with the alternatives available, and a promising copper material is a year or two away from registration. The impact of losing the antibiotics won't be immediate and won't affect all growers. Only orchardists who have the fireblight pathogen in their neighborhood when the weather is conducive to the disease need to apply a control. The impacts are likely to be felt less in the Pacific Northwest than in other growing regions where the weather is more humid, there is more fireblight in the environment, and there are more alternative hosts, he said. "I would not be tearing out my organic orchard in the Pacific Northwest because of this issue. I think we'll be fine. We will have to be on our toes a little bit more because we can't wait for infection conditions to occur and then do something about it. "We have hope that we'll have alternative products that we've been working with that, if used at the appropriate time, will do the job. We're not ready to hang out the flags and say, 'We've succeeded,' but we're making really good progress." Considering that the meeting was held in Portland—within driving distance of the Hood River, Yakima, and Wenatchee fruit-growing districts—Austin felt that the industry could have been better represented. "We really need a calm, pragmatic approach." proposals that come from the NOSB in the future," he said. "I'm glad that I'm there to represent our industry and our stakeholders, and I'll continue to do everything within my ability to represent them," he added. "The challenge going forward is how to present the —Harold Austin information in a fair and balanced way. We see things being presented that are very dramatic and emotional to try to capture attention, but those types of presentations and antics don't do us much good. We really need a calm, pragmatic approach to the process and the presentations. "We're all in this to see that the organic industry is there long term, and we have to realize that decisions we make as individuals have long-lasting impacts on people's lives and the entire industry." • We're with you from the ground up For more than a century, KeyBank has delivered a unique combination of agribusiness knowledge, experience, and flexible service. We have solutions to help our clients, whether you're a grower, processor, packager, or distributor. Our tailored solutions spring from our understanding of the cycles of farming, seasonal dynamics, and the unique risks associated with the industry.. KeyBank is one of the nation's leading agribusiness lenders. We specialize in: These services can help protect you from the inevitable Contact us today. We want to help your business grow and thrive. To learn more, call Mike McKay at 800-346-8828 or visit Just the beginning "I really feel this is just the beginning of the process, and we, as organic stakeholders, really need to pay attention to the GOOD FRUIT GROWER May 15, 2013 M ADL6291 7

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