Good Fruit Grower

December 2015

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Page 59 of 95

60 DECEMBER 2015 Good Fruit Grower A s the invasive brown marmorated stinkbug spreads in the Pacifi c Northwest, research- ers have a message for growers: don't panic, but be alert. B r o w n m a r m o r a t e d s t i n k b u g populations throughout the United States are spreading from city centers into commercial agriculture. This past growing season in the Northwest, the dreaded bugs from Asia were confi rmed in a few commercial pear orchards on both the Washington and Oregon sides of the mid- Columbia River (near Hood River, Oregon) and in two commercial vineyards near Walla Walla, Washington. The pest is already found near wine grapes, hazelnuts, and berries in Oregon's Willamette Valley and in south- ern Oregon. Researchers have observed the stinkbug feeding on vegetative tissues and grape berries, poten- tially causing contamination of wine grapes and wine quality (see "Stinkbug taint in wine" on page 64). California also has a spreading population of stinkbug. As of September, reproductive populations of brown marmorated stinkbug have been identified in eight counties and the pest has been intercepted in another 20. Though it has spread quickly, as of mid-October there were no reports of stinkbug in California farms or economic damage, according to Charlie Pickett of the California Department of Agriculture. With one exception, brown marmorated stinkbug on the West Coast has not caused the severe economic damage experienced a few years ago by East Coast grow- ers—losses that ranged in the millions of dollars. The Northwest growers should be on the lookout for BMSB. by Melissa Hansen STINKBUG continues its spread

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