Brown Rot and Spotted Wing Drosophila

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

I got a call today from Ross Penhallegon, Lane County OSU Extension Horticulture Agent, giving us a heads up to severe Brown Rot Blossom Blight in cherries this year. 

Ross quoted Jay Pscheidt on his blog, Gardening Hints for Oregon:

More brown rot blossom blight on cherry trees out on our experiment farm (in Corvallis) than I have ever seen in 22 years. Trees have anywhere from 50 to 90% of the blossoms blighted where there has been no fungicide application. 
Jay Pscheidt -OSU
We don't have a lot of cherries in this part of the Valley, relative to our other crops, but this information is crucial for cherry producers.  This is not the year to skimp on your fungicide program!

An insect pest that is becoming a very serious problem for fruit producers in the region is the Spotted Wing Drosophila, an invasive species of the fruit fly.  The SWD has gotten a lot buzz lately due to how fast it has invaded fruit producing regions across the Western US; here is a map of its distribution in Oregon.  The SWD completes its life cycle from egg to fertile adult in as little as a week in temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees.  Adult females have the capacity to lay 350 eggs, only laying 1-3 eggs per fruit.  Fortunately our temperatures tend to be on the low side for that development speed this time of year but it gives you an idea of how quickly this pest can take off.  The SWD has been known to infest ripening cherry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry crops; it has also been observed attacking other soft-flesh fruit such as boysenberry, varieties of Japanese plums, plumcots, and nectarines

Talk with your CPS fieldman if you have any questions about Brown Rot or Spotted Wing Drosophila.