News for the Horticulture Department

Purple TomatoesThe Purple Tomato FAQ

Learn more about this promising release from Oregon State University Department of Horticulture Plant Breeder Jim Myers.

Al Shay’s Sustainable Landscaping Online Course Starts Sept. 21

Al Shay’s Sustainable Landscaping Online Course Starts Sept. 21. Receive personalized guidance on approaches to plant selection and care for your local setting. Learn more.

Establish lush lawn by renovating, planting in early fall (Statesman Journal)

Establish lush lawn by renovating, planting in early fall (Statesman Journal)
Lawns languish in the heat of summer unless showered with the water they require to thrive. But not to worry, the grass isn’t dead. Come fall when the rains start again, grass greens up quickly, said Alec Kowalewski, turf specialist for Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

The Fate of Coastal Wetlands – A Conversation with Dr. Dennis Albert

The Fate of Coastal Wetlands – A Conversation with Dr. Dennis Albert
In this video, Nature Change catches up with Dr. Dennis Albert and Kate Wellons doing coastal wetland research at Cecil Bay near Wilderness State Park. One of the foremost experts on Great Lakes coastal wetlands, Denny worked with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory for almost 20 years before joining the research faculty at Oregon State University.

Store seeds to plant next year: Beans are easy (Oregonian)

Store seeds to plant next year: Beans are easy (Oregonian)
“Saving seed can be really fun and is a great way to learn about plants,” said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “If you choose the right varieties, you can keep them going year after year without buying them again.

Oregon State Uni open second free Intro to Permaculture course (Permaculture)

Oregon State Uni open second free Intro to Permaculture course (Permaculture)
Oregon State University is once again offering a 4-week online Intro to Permaculture course that is completely free! The course ran in May of 2016 with nearly 16,000 registrations.

Oregon State scientist awarded tasty $3 million grant (Corvallis Advocate)

Oregon State scientist awarded tasty $3 million grant (Corvallis Advocate)
Oregon State University professor Shawn Mehlenbacher was awarded a five-year, $3.1 million research grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to do research on blight-resistant hazelnut trees.

EM 9148, Integrated Clubroot Control Strategies of Brassicas: Nonchemical Control Strategies

EM 9148, Integrated Clubroot Control Strategies of Brassicas: Nonchemical Control Strategies
Aaron Heinrich, Alex Stone, Dan M. Sullivan, James Myers, Ed Peachey
New. Clubroot (causal organism, Plasmodiophora brassicae) is a major soilborne disease of brassica crops in the Willamette Valley. It’s incidence and severity is increasing due to a high demand for brassicas that has resulted in more land dedicated to growing these crops and to short rotations. This publication provides information on integrated control strategies to minimize crop loss.

EM 9128-S, El Cultivo de Verduras en el Oregon Central

EM 9128-S, El Cultivo de Verduras en el Oregon Central (los Condados de Crook, Deschutes y Jefferson)
Amy Jo Detweiler, Liz Douville, Vicky Kemp, Toni Stephan
Translation. El clima del desierto alto en el Oregon central puede presentar retos para los jardineros a cualquier nivel. Esta guía aporta consejos y técnicas aptos para la región, con el objetivo de darle mayor éxito con su huerto. Se incluyen temas tales como la selección del sitio, la modificación y preparación del suelo, el riego, el manejo de malas hierbas y plagas, la siembra en casa o en el huerto, y la extensión de la temporada. También contiene guías de siembra para más de treinta verduras comúnmente cultivadas en el Oregon central.

Free Garden Workshops at the Benton County Master Gardener Demo Garden

Free Garden Workshops at the Benton County Master Gardener Demo Garden: Common Tomato Problems on Aug. 20; and Cover Crops and Soil Building on Sept. 10. Workshops are from 1 – 3 p.m. The Demonstration Garden is located on the south side of the fairgrounds at 110 SW 53rd Street in Corvallis. No registration is required. Call 541-766-6750 for more information.

Stinkbugs’ natural predator has arrived in the Pacific Northwest (Capital Press)

Stinkbugs’ natural predator has arrived in the Pacific Northwest (Capital Press)
That trait caught they eye of researchers at ODA, Oregon State University and elsewhere, because BMSB will eat nearly anything and are considered a major threat to fruit, berry, vegetable and nut crops. Its discovery in southeast Portland’s venerable Ladd’s Addition neighborhood in 2004 touched off a program, funded by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Services, to find a method of biocontrol, as bug-on-bug predation is called.

Videos from OSU Horticulture Extension Field Days

Dr. Brooke Edmunds created videos from three recent OSU Horticulture field days. All three videos can be viewed at this link:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIelD7ZO8N55VO-70A65z1GU8rBqwlTf0

Featured field days:
2016 Strawberry Open House, Dr. Bernadine Strik
2016 Ornamental Plant Breeding Field Day, Dr. Ryan Contreras
2016 Blueberry Research Field Day, Dr. Bernadine Strik
 

FREE Garden Workshops at the Benton County Master Gardener Demo Garden

FREE Garden Workshops at the Benton County Master Gardener Demo Garden: Garden Irrigation and Planning for Winter on July 16; Common Tomato Problems on August 20; and Cover Crops and Soil Building on September 10. Workshops are from 1 – 3 p.m. The Demonstration Garden is located on the south side of the fairgrounds at 110 SW 53rd Street in Corvallis. No registration is required. Call 541-766-6750 for more information.

8 fragrant flowers to delight your senses in the summertime (Statesman Journal)

8 fragrant flowers to delight your senses in the summertime (Statesman Journal)
Some flowers fragrant at night only open their blossoms after the sun starts to go down. Many of these evolved to be white in order to attract night-flying moths that feed on their nectar, explained Heather Stoven, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. Others — no matter the color — release or increase their scent after hours seemingly just for human enjoyment.

More than edibles, artichokes can be ornamentals (Daily Journal)

More than edibles, artichokes can be ornamentals (Daily Journal)
“To grow artichokes from seed, start them indoors in late February or March under grow lights for about eight weeks, and then plant them outside after the last frost,” said Jim Myers, a plant breeder and researcher at Oregon State University. “In May or June, it’s best to purchase starts from your local nursery or mail-order catalog.”

EM 9147, Sampling for Varroa Mites from a Honey Bee Brood Nest

EM 9147, Sampling for Varroa Mites from a Honey Bee Brood Nest
Carolyn Breece and Ramesh R. Sagili
New. Knowing the levels of Varroa mites in your apiary and understanding the effects of their presence will enable you to make an educated decision on your treatment plan. This video demonstrates two methods for sampling a colony for varroa mites: the alcohol wash and the powdered sugar shake.

EM 9146, Nosema Analysis in Honey Bees

EM 9146, Nosema Analysis in Honey Bees
Ellen Topitzhofer, Carolyn Breece and Ramesh R. Sagili
New. Knowing the levels of Nosema in your apiary and understanding the effects of its presence will enable you to make an educated decision on your treatment plan. In this video, we demonstrate how to process a sample of honey bees for microscopic diagnosis of Nosema for both presence/absence and spore quantification. 

EM 9145, Dissecting Honey Bees for Tracheal Mites

EM 9145, Dissecting Honey Bees for Tracheal Mites
Ellen Topitzhofer, Carolyn Breece and Ramesh R. Sagili
New. Knowing the levels of tracheal mites in your apiary and understanding the effects of their presence will enable you to make an educated decision on your treatment plan. In this video, we demonstrate the dissection of a honey bee worker for tracheal mite infestation.

EM 9143, The Small Hive Beetle: A Potential Pest in Honey Bee Colonies in Oregon

EM 9143, The Small Hive Beetle: A Potential Pest in Honey Bee Colonies in Oregon
D. Caron, K. Torgerson, C. Breece, R. Sagili
New. Although no significant damage has been reported from this pest in Oregon and it is not clear whether this beetle can thrive in this state, the beetle has been a menace in many states and poses a threat to Oregon through migratory bee colonies and from package bees and queens purchased from regions where the beetle is well established, such as Southern California, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

What’s the best mulch? OSU horticulturist explains pros and cons (Oregonian)

What’s the best mulch? OSU horticulturist explains pros and cons (Oregonian)
“It really does reduce your work load,” said Linda Brewer, a senior research assistant in Oregon State University’s department of horticulture. “Once applied it cuts down on weeding and watering.”

Encourage kids to explore imagination in the garden (Statesman Journal)

Encourage kids to explore imagination in the garden (Statesman Journal)
“One of the keys to getting kids interested in gardening is to get them engaged,” said Joy Jones, Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener coordinator in Tillamook County. “Let them explore what catches their attention, especially small children.”

Plant trends: Small, new and purple (Oregonian)

Plant trends: Small, new and purple (Oregonian)
“People like what’s new or different,” said Claudia Groth, an Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener for more than 25 years. “It’s the human condition. We want what’s trending.”

Gorge’s wine success rooted in Wright’s old vine legacy (Capital Press)

Gorge’s wine success rooted in Wright’s old vine legacy (Capital Press)
For winemakers, the Gorge represents the “blessing and challenge” of a diverse American Viticultural Area, said Mark Chien, program coordinator of the Oregon Wine Research Institute at Oregon State University. “They are well on their way to making great wine,” Chien said. “It’s sort of like where the Willamette Valley was 25 years ago: You figure out what the heck you’ve got and what to do about it.”

SWD – How to stop a proliferate press (Good Fruit Growers)

SWD – How to stop a proliferate press (Good Fruit Growers)
Since 2008, USDA has funded $47.7 million in competitive research grants and Extension programming to combat spotted wing drosophila, many through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), under USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). That effort includes a five-year, $5.4 million project at Oregon State University headed by Dr. Vaughn Walton, which kick-started the efforts in 2010.

Battle bugs with low risk to us, animals, land (Oregonian)

Battle bugs with low risk to us, animals, land (Oregonian)
Blood thirsty as that may sound, most gardeners don’t appreciate planting a garden only to have it turn into a mottled, notched or spotted mess. Sure, a certain amount of nibbling is to be expected and tolerated by gardeners who use integrated pest management, said Heather Stoven, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. But dead plants are not.

Oregon State University offers lazy person’s lawn (Register-Guard)

Oregon State University offers lazy person’s lawn (Register-Guard)
If you’re weary of lawn mowing chores already this year, Oregon State University has a potential solution for you: the ecolawn. The ecolawn — including varieties developed by OSU horticulturalists — requires mowing about once every three weeks and watering, maybe, twice in the summer, according to OSU.

Pollinator gardens: Planting with a purpose (Corvallis Advocate)

Pollinator gardens: Planting with a purpose (Corvallis Advocate)
“Most people focus only on pollinator plants. These flowering plants offer nectar and pollen that can attract pollinating insects. But, also important are practices that allow pollinators to nest and persist in your garden,” said Gail Langellotto, the statewide coordinator for the Oregon State University Extension Service’s Master Gardener program.

Eco-friendly lawns: The natural look is in (My San Antonio)

Eco-friendly lawns: The natural look is in (My San Antonio)
A typical eco-lawn is a combination of turf grass varieties with broadleaf plants such as white clover, which supplies nitrogen to the roots, said Alec Kowalewski, a turf grass specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. (see also San Francisco Gate)

Master gardeners say it’s time to spring into the garden (Coast Weekend)

Master gardeners say it’s time to spring into the garden (Coast Weekend)
Miller has a passion for beautiful edible garden landscapes. An associate professor at Oregon State University, he serves as community and urban horticulturist for OSU Extension Service and manages the popular Metro Master Gardener program in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Rototilling tips for the garden (Farm & Dairy)

Rototilling tips for the garden (Farm & Dairy)
If you’re adding compost to your garden’s soil, you can do so with a shovel or a spading fork instead of rototilling, Oregon State University Extension says.

Chilean fruit company expands its U.S. footprint (Capital Press)

Chilean fruit company expands its U.S. footprint (Capital Press)
For the past 15 years or so, berry production has become increasingly globalized as farmers seek to diversify their holdings, said Bernadine Strik, berry specialist with Oregon State University Extension.

Mowing. Fertilization. Irrigation: What you need to know about lawn care (KVAL)

Mowing. Fertilization. Irrigation: What you need to know about lawn care (KVAL)
“When we compare the Willamette Valley of Oregon to other areas of the country, probably the biggest difference is the dominate grass in home lawn is perennial ryegrass,” says Alec Kowalewski, assistant professor and turf specialist with Oregon State University. Kowalewski conducts research with OSU’s Extension Service with the goal of creating best-practice methods to take care of turf and treat it for common fungi and weeds.

Organic gardening (KATU)

Organic gardening (KATU)
You’ve decided to go organic in the garden, but the products staring back from the nursery shelves seem as daunting as the bugs and diseases they’re meant to control. What’s a gardener to do? Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service, stopped by with everything you need to know!

Effective bug control in organic gardens: Read the label (Oregonian)

Effective bug control in organic gardens: Read the label (Oregonian)
First, take some advice from Weston Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. Stop, take a breath and evaluate your garden. How bad is it? Have you really looked carefully?

Stay healthy, by land or by water (Dispatch Argus)

Stay healthy, by land or by water (Dispatch Argus)
“Gardening can easily be considered a moderate activity,” says Bradley J. Cardinal, Ph.D., professor of exercise and sport science, Oregon State University, Corvallis.  “With gardening, you’re working your legs, your upper back, your arms, bending and getting up,” Cardinal says

Kids blossom and learn in gardens (Oregonian)

Kids blossom and learn in gardens (Oregonian)
“One of the keys to getting kids interested in gardening is to get them engaged,” said Joy Jones, Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener coordinator in Tillamook County. “Let them explore what catches their attention, especially small children.”

Blueberry farmer warns some surfactants may sunburn plants in unseasonably hot weather (Capital Press)

Blueberry farmer warns some surfactants may sunburn plants in unseasonably hot weather (Capital Press)
However, a berry crops extension agent at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center said it’s too early to know if the damage will affect pollination. Associate Professor Wei Qian Yang said the damage was largely to flower petals. In some cases, only one-third to one-half of the petals were damaged, and flowers might be OK.

EM 8418, 2016 Apple Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8418, 2016 Apple Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Nik Wiman, Jay W. Pscheidt and Ed Peachey
Revised. Recommends pest management practices for apple.

EM 8329, 2016 Cherry Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8329, 2016 Cherry Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Nik Wiman, Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey
Revised. Recommends pest management practices for cherry.

10,000,000 bees arriving for bee weekend (KEZI)

10,000,000 bees arriving for bee weekend (KEZI)
As part of Bee Weekend, Glorybee is presenting Oregon State University’s Honey Bee Lab with a check for $65,000 to help fund colony collapse research

NEW! MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE MAY 7

NEW! MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE MAY 7: It’s that time of year again.  Benton County Master Gardeners will be hosting their 14th annual plant sale and clinic. Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Solar Barn, Southwest Corner of the Benton County Fairgrounds, 110 SW 53rd Street, Corvallis. Free admission and Free parking. Over 7,000 plants! Perennials, natives, veggie starts, trees, shrubs and lots more. Gardening advice available.

Questions about transplanting raspberries, battling armyworms or adding mulch? Ask an OSU expert (Oregonian)

Questions about transplanting raspberries, battling armyworms or adding mulch? Ask an OSU expert (Oregonian)
All that said, if you are planning to transplant what you have, which is a so-called ever-bearing raspberry by the description, if you get enough roots then you will get an autumn crop. You would need to move longer floricanes (1-year-old canes) to get the normal summer crop, but this is not likely going to work as they are too far along now. In any case, the plants will survive, naturally they will need very careful watering.– Neil Bell, Extension community horticulturist

How to grow fruit trees in Central Oregon (Bend Bulletin)

How to grow fruit trees in Central Oregon (Bend Bulletin)
Amy Jo Detweiler, associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University’s Extension Service, wants Central Oregon gardeners to be successful in growing fruit trees and managing an apple tree enemy, the codling moth.

WEED, 2016 PNW Weed Management Handbook

WEED, 2016 PNW Weed Management Handbook
Editor: Ed Peachey
Revised.  Covers biological weed control agents, pesticide safety and disposal, agrichemicals and their properties, and control of problem weeds. Contains sections on weed control in cereal grain crops; grass seed crops; forage and seed crops; legumes; oilseed crops; irrigated field crops; aquatics; forestry; orchards and vineyards; small fruits; vegetable crops; vegetable seed crops; Christmas trees; nursery, greenhouse, and bulb crops; professional landscape maintenance; turfgrass; home landscapes and gardens; pasture and rangeland; and noncropland and right-of-way. 

EM 9140, Green Pea Nutrient Management Inland Northwest – East of the Cascades

EM 9140, Green Pea Nutrient Management Inland Northwest – East of the Cascades
Clive Kaiser, Don Horneck, Rich Koenig, Lyndon Porter, and Linda Brewer
New. Describes management practices for east of the Cascades that are essential to optimize green pea crop response to fertilizer inputs. These include soil pH, crop rotation, and inoculation; and recommendations for fertilizer placement and specific nutrients.
This publication replaces FG 72.

EM 9138, How to Monitor for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Specialty Crops

EM 9138, How to Monitor for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Specialty Crops
N. Wiman, D. Dalton, L. Brewer, P. Shearer, and V. Walton
New. The invasive brown marmorated stink bug is a serious threat to Oregon specialty crops, including hazelnuts, tree fruits, small fruits, vegetables, and wine grapes. This insect pest also attacks ornamentals, agronomic crops and native plants in Oregon. Monitoring for BMSB can be done several ways including using beat sheets, pheromone traps, and visual observations.

Ripe for the planting (Hermiston Herald)

Ripe for the planting (Hermiston Herald)
“We are famous for a few crops, but there are some really diverse crops being grown here,” said Silvia Rondon, an entomologist at Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, “The Columbia Basin is a prime site for growing any crops because we have excellent soil, excellent temperature, long days, cool nights, and we have a lot of water. Those things have made this really a prime site for growing crops.”

Welcome spring with dishes using dandelion greens (Statesman Journal)

Welcome spring with dishes using dandelion greens (Statesman Journal)
“Dandelion greens top all fruits and vegetables for iron content,” according to Al Shay, instructor in the horticulture department at Oregon State University

From bust to boom (Mail-Tribune)

From bust to boom (Mail-Tribune)
If one word can summarize Phil VanBuskirk’s 32-year tenure at Oregon State University’s Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, it is “transition.” (see also Register-Guard)

Free online permaculture course at OSU: Design sustainable landscapes (Oregonian)

Free online permaculture course at OSU: Design sustainable landscapes (Oregonian)
And as part of an effort to aid this growing movement, a free new course at Oregon State University this spring may help you learn more. “Part of permaculture is placing elements for efficient management as you move through the garden,” said Andrew Millison, a permaculture instructor in the department of horticulture at OSU. “It’s the most efficient garden system.”

Plant two times the flavor with edible flowers (The World)

Plant two times the flavor with edible flowers (The World)

“Edible flowers look great in the garden and on the plate,” said Brooke Edmunds, horticulturist for the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Some especially pretty and tasty ones are the blue blossoms of borage, classic roses and chamomile with its little, white flowers.”

PNW 591, How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides (app is new)

PNW 591, How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides  (app is new)
New App for iPhone and Android. An overview of how a variety of wild and managed bees and their pollination activities are affected by pesticide application. Provides guidelines for how beekeepers, growers, and pesticide applicators can work together to prevent bee poisoning.

EM 8421, 2016 Walnut Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8421, 2016 Walnut Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Nik G. Wiman, Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Vaughn Walton
Revised. Recommends pest management practices for walnut.

EM 8420, 2016 Pear Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8420, 2016 Pear Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Nik G. Wiman, Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Steve Castagnoli
Revised. Recommends pest management practices for pear.

New app helps determine stunted vine causes (Growing Produce)

New app helps determine stunted vine causes (Growing Produce)
Stunted grapevines are a big concern for growers, and they often assume pests such as rust mites are to blame. But that’s not always the case, according to Oregon State University Viticulture Extension Specialist Patty Skinkis.

Oregon State University launches free permaculture introductory course (Permaculture Magazine)

Oregon State University launches free permaculture introductory course (Permaculture Magazine)
Oregon State University is providing free access to the knowledge and tools needed to help combat climate change and other world issues in a massive open online course, or MOOC, on sustainable landscape design this spring taught by Andrew Millison. This is fantastic news for anyone in the world who wants to learn permaculture design but can’t either take the time off work or afford to do an introductory course.

Have a date with your shrub before getting out the clippers (Herald & News)

Have a date with your shrub before getting out the clippers (Herald & News)
You’ve got clippers in hand, a shrub in mind and a gleam in your eye. It’s pruning time. But do you have a plan? Before you clip a stem, know your shrub, said Neil Bell, horticulturist for Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

EWEB uses sustainable gardening class to decrease summer water usage (Register-Guard)

EWEB uses sustainable gardening class to decrease summer water usage (Register-Guard)
While EWEB is subsidizing the program, the workshops are open to anyone in Lane County, not just to EWEB customers. “We’re sort of assuming (participants) have a basic knowledge of gardening,” said Brooke Edmunds, horticulturist for the OSU Lane County extension. “We really want people to get the technique down behind stormwater management, and aspects of increasing wildlife diversity.”

Are last season’s saved seeds still viable? Test them (Chicago Daily Herald)

Are last season’s saved seeds still viable? Test them (Chicago Daily Herald)
Much depends on how the seeds were collected and stored, said Ross Penhallegon, an associate professor emeritus and horticulturist with the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

Borers make their mark (Good Fruit Grower)

Borers make their mark (Good Fruit Grower)
Hubbard collected samples of the larvae and asked Dr. Peter Shearer, an entomologist with Oregon State University Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River, to identify them. The plum borer, a native to North America, has little history in the Northwest, Shearer said.

Invasive species chews through Oregon lawns (Green Industry)

Invasive species chews through Oregon lawns (Green Industry)
With spring around the corner, the worms’ population could be set to boom. Entomology experts from Oregon State University are urging growers and lawn care professionals to use insecticides to kill the worms, and tilling to expose them to birds and other predators so their population goes down.

Onions: Springtime planting brings big summertime bulbs (Herald & News)

Onions: Springtime planting brings big summertime bulbs (Herald & News)
Plant as soon as the soil is dry enough to work, said Jim Myers, a plant breeder at Oregon State University. March and April are prime times.

New app helps to ID vine maladies (The Newberg Graphic)

New app helps to ID vine maladies (The Newberg Graphic)
A new app developed at Oregon State University aims to help grape growers accurately diagnose unhealthy grapevines, in the hopes of stemming the common urge to immediately spray the vines with pesticides.

EM 9130, Nurturing Mason Bees in Your Backyard in Western Oregon

EM 9130, Nurturing Mason Bees in Your Backyard in Western Oregon
Brooke Edmunds, Richard Little, Ramesh Sagili
New. An overview of mason bee basic biology and life cycle, and detailed descriptions of what is needed to start keeping mason bees, including desirable plants, nesting sites and types of nests, and caring for the cocoons over fall and winter. There are many helpful color photos throughout.

EM 8538, 2016 Blueberry Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8538, 2016 Blueberry Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Joe DeFrancesco, Jay W. Pscheidt, Wei Yang
Revised. Recommends pest management practices for blueberry.

EM 8413, 2016 Pest Management Guide for Wine Grapes in Oregon

EM 8413, 2016 Pest Management Guide for Wine Grapes in Oregon
P.A. Skinkis, J.W. Pscheidt, E. Peachey, A.J. Dreves, V.M. Walton, C. Kaiser
Revised. This publication reviews the growth stages of grapes. For each growth stage (or group of growth stages), the document lists the more effective pesticides used to control insects, weeds, and disease, their rates, and application timing for Oregon grape growers. It also covers the effectiveness of various fungicides for control of grape diseases; strategies for controlling powdery mildew, botrytis bunch rot, and spider mites; methods of controlling vertebrate pests and weeds in vineyards; and resources for organic growers. It also includes a vineyard airblast sprayer calibration worksheet.

EM 8328, 2016 Hazelnut Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8328, 2016 Hazelnut Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Nik G. Wiman, Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, Vaughn Walton
Revised. Recommends pest management practices for hazelnut.

EC 1529, What Can I Do With My Small Farm? Selecting an enterprise for small acreage

EC 1529, What Can I Do With My Small Farm? Selecting an enterprise for small acreage
Garrett, C. Bubl, M Fery, M. Powell, H. Stoven, L. Gwin, and G. Stephenson
Revised. Covers the many factors involved in making decisions related to the use of small-farm property. Discusses the small farm as a hobby, an agricultural tax deferral, and a family income. Explains how to match crop choices to the farm's physical resources, such as soil type, irrigation potential, and climate, and how to choose a production technique, select traditional or specialty crops, and market crops. Emphasizes the importance of considering the family's financial resources, credit options, strengths, and goals. Includes lists of additional resources.

NEW! Permaculture Design Online Already Half Full!

NEW! Permaculture Design Online Already Half Full! The versatility of permaculture is astounding. From urban balconies and 100-acre ranches to your backyard, permaculture techniques can transform any landscape with sustainable, ethical, whole-system methods. OSU’s own Andrew Millison leads this ten-week course, helping students create a unique and extensive site design. Click here to view student examples.

Equal parts beauty and bounty in edible landscape (Register-Guard)

Equal parts beauty and bounty in edible landscape (Register-Guard)
“Turf is sort of the lowest common denominator in ground covers,” says Weston Miller, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service in Portland. “It takes more work, specialized timing and tools. The advantage with edibles is that they provide more (wildlife) habitat and they also look good.”

‘Zombie bee’ parasite that ‘takes over the body of the insect’ discovered in Oregon (Daily Mail)

‘Zombie bee’ parasite that ‘takes over the body of the insect’ discovered in Oregon (Daily Mail)
‘We have several other stresses on bees and we don’t want any other stress like this one,’ said Ramesh Sagili, an assistant professor of apiculture at Oregon State University. ‘We have to be cautious, but I’m not alarmed that this parasite is going to create a big problem.’

Better nutrition helps bees mitigate pathogen presence, OSU study finds (Capital Press)

Better nutrition helps bees mitigate pathogen presence, OSU study finds (Capital Press)
Ramesh Sagili, Oregon State University’s honeybee researcher, has long believed nutrition is key to fighting off colony collapse disorder, the mysterious ailment that wipes out hives and threatens crop pollination.

Oregon State University: Bees need more vitamin P (as in pollen) for survival (Register-Guard)

Oregon State University: Bees need more vitamin P (as in pollen) for survival (Register-Guard)
A just-release Oregon State University study suggests bees really need to bulk up on variety of pollens to survive the pests, diseases and pesticide exposure to which they are prone.

Artichoke growing tips (Oregonian)

Artichoke growing tips (Oregonian)
Although most artichokes thrive in the cool, moist climate of coastal California, western Oregon is usually mild enough to grow these edible thistles as perennials if cut back and mulched in the winter, according to Jim Myers, plant breeder and researcher at Oregon State University.

How are the honey bees doing? (Nevada Appeal)

How are the honey bees doing? (Nevada Appeal)
Researchers at Oregon State University have been studying bees and hives to examine protein levels and the impact of mites and fungi. They monitor bee health as bees are transported from one field to another and again when the bees are brought home. They also respond to beekeepers’ requests to find out why their bees are dying.

EM 9139, Winter Cutworm: A New Pest Threat in Oregon

EM 9139, Winter Cutworm: A New Pest Threat in Oregon
J. Green, A. Dreves, B. McDonald, E. Peachey
Damage from winter cutworm (the common name for the larval stage of the large yellow underwing moth) is a growing concern. In 2015, large numbers of larvae were observed around homes, within golf courses, and in field crops located in Oregon and Washington. This publication highlights general information about winter cutworm, including identification, scouting recommendations, and potential control measures.

EM 8203, 2016 Pest Management Guide for Tree Fruits in the Mid Columbia Area

EM 8203, 2016 Pest Management Guide for Tree Fruits in the Mid Columbia Area
Steve Castagnoli, Lynn E. Long, Peter Shearer, Todd Einhorn, Nik Wiman, Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey
Revision. Presents pesticide and herbicide application rates and recommendations, by tree growth stage, for pests that infect fruit trees. Covers apples, pears, and cherries. Provides (1) spray program for nutrients; (2) dilutions table for wettable powder and liquid products; (3) natural enemy impact guide for tree fruit pesticides; (4) illustrated bud development chart and associated stages for apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries, and plums; (5) reentry levels for common pesticides; and (6) application rates for chemical thinning and growth regulator sprays.

Long-lived asparagus plants can last for decades (Statesman Journal)

Long-lived asparagus plants can last for decades (Statesman Journal)
Barb Fick, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, said preparing an asparagus bed properly may reward you for years.

‘Carefree’ fruit trees with well-timed sprays, good pruning and effective fertilizer (Oregonian)

‘Carefree’ fruit trees with well-timed sprays, good pruning and effective fertilizer (Oregonian)
People tend to have a love-hate relationship with their fruit trees. The fruit they love; the work they hate. Especially the regimen of spraying turns off home gardeners, said Steve Renquist, horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. But times have changed.

Don’t buy seed-starting mix, make your own for less money (Oregonian)

Don’t buy seed-starting mix, make your own for less money (Oregonian)
Home gardeners can start vegetable and flower seedlings indoors from four to 12 weeks before the last average spring frost in their area, which means it’s time to get started. Making homemade planting medium can be more economical than buying a sterile mix at the store, said Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Seeds of dreams (Register-Guard)

Seeds of dreams (Register-Guard)
Cynthia Waters, an OSU Extension Service-Lane County Master Gardener, recommends planting marigolds around vegetable beds as a form of pest control. The flowers can be golden yellow, red or orange and require little care once planted, although they are not cold tolerant. Marigolds’ strong smell seems to discourage flying pests such as whiteflies, which attack tomatoes and peppers, and carrot flies.

EM 9132, Are Your Weed-control Products Damaging Nearby Vineyards?

EM 9132, Are Your Weed-control Products Damaging Nearby Vineyards?
Michael Kennedy, Patty Skinkis
New. A brief guide for anyone living near a vineyard to understand the damaging effects that common herbicides can have on grapevines. With the Oregon grape industry growing rapidly near urban boundaries throughout the state, herbicides used in home gardens and residential and urban landscapes can cause serious damage to local vineyards.

EM 8975, Recognize the Symptoms and Causes of Stunted Growth in Vineyards

EM 8975, Recognize the Symptoms and Causes of Stunted Growth in Vineyards
P. Skinkis, V. Walton, A. J. Dreves, C. Kaiser, S. Renquist, S. Castagnoli, R. Hilton, L. Brewer
Revision. Apps are new. Spring frost, herbicide drift, water or nutrient stress, diseases, and insect and mite pests can cause similar symptoms of stunting or distorted growth in grapevines. Recognizing the symptoms and distinguishing their causes is the first step in diagnosing problems and developing a management plan. With many color photos, this publication will help you identify probable causes of distorted shoot and vine growth in vineyards and direct you to other resources that can lead to solutions.

Gearing Up for Gardening: The Year of the Veggie, FREE talk series at the Corvallis Library

Gearing Up for Gardening: The Year of the Veggie, FREE talk series at the Corvallis Library: Mark your calendars! These talks will be held noon- 1 p.m. every Tuesday in January and February. Seminars are free and open to the public. Each talk will feature a different topic in vegetable gardening. Click here for the schedule. Hosted by the Benton County Master Gardeners.

Floral smells stop stinging bees (Inside Science)

Floral smells stop stinging bees (Inside Science)
Ramesh Sagili, a bee researcher at Oregon State University in Corvallis, said he is not surprised that attractive floral scents can affect stinging behavior. He said it makes sense that bees would weigh the costs and benefits of stinging before they act, and that the floral scents could confuse them by presenting conflicting information that leads them to think stinging is not the right response.

NEW! Gearing Up for Gardening: The Year of the Veggie

NEW! Gearing Up for Gardening: The Year of the Veggie, FREE talk series at the Corvallis Library: Mark your calendars! These talks will be held noon- 1 p.m. every Tuesday in January and February. Seminars are free and open to the public. Each talk will feature a different topic in vegetable gardening. Click here for the schedule. Hosted by the Benton County Master Gardeners.

Decoding next: Five trends (The Drum)

Decoding next: Five trends (The Drum)
Lane Selman, an agricultural researcher at Oregon State University, started the Culinary Breeding Network, which brings chefs, plant breeders, and farmers together to create more flavorful veggies and fruits. It’s been theorized that Americans eat so much junk food because the flavor has been bred out of fruits and vegetables to keep them uniform in look and fresher, longer.

Stinkbug continues its spread (Good Fruit Grower)

Stinkbug continues its spread (Good Fruit Grower)
Dr. Peter Shearer, entomologist for Oregon State University, leads the West Coast component of the national project.  Shearer, based at OSU’s Mid Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River, said refinements have been made to trap designs but timing of when traps catch the most bugs is still a weakness.

Science, policy and passion reflect challenges facing bees (KLCC)

Science, policy and passion reflect challenges facing bees (KLCC)
Oregon State University hosts a research lab that aims to identify the challenges facing bees and seek potential solutions. Nonprofit organizations like the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation study and report on the role habitat loss and pesticides that affect pollinators. Local bee advocates like Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens work with schools and neighborhoods to promote organic gardening and other activities that can save bees.

Should you buy a real or an artificial Christmas tree? (Yahoo)

Should you buy a real or an artificial Christmas tree? (Yahoo)
No one likes cleaning up the piles of needles from a natural tree. “No matter what you do, there’s going to be needles falling off a real tree,” said Chal Landgren, a professor in the department of horticulture at Oregon State University. If you want to avoid the mess, go with an artificial Christmas tree. (see also Oregonian)

Landscape design goes native (Turf Design Build)

Landscape design goes native (Turf Design Build)
While the native plant movement seems to have only recently taken off, the fact is that its roots are deeply entrenched. Native plant gardening dates back to the European settlement of America, if not earlier, says Linda R. McMahan, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service.

Can killer bees save America? (Daily Beast)

Can killer bees save America? (Daily Beast)
To understand the wide world of alternative pollinators, The Daily Beast reached out toMichael Burgett, emeritus professor of entomology at Oregon State University.

EM 9128, Growing Vegetables in Central Oregon (Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties)

EM 9128, Growing Vegetables in Central Oregon (Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties)
Amy Jo Detweiler, Liz Douville, Vicky Kemp, Toni Stephan
New. The high-desert climate of Central Oregon can create challenges for any gardener. This guide provides region-specific tips and techniques for more successful vegetable gardens, including topics such as site selection, soil amendment and preparation, irrigation, weed and pest management, seed starting, direct seeding, and season extension. It also contains planting guides for over thirty vegetables commonly grown in Central Oregon.

EM 9125, Conserving Water in the Garden

EM 9125, Conserving Water in the Garden
VanDerZanden, J. McNeilan, B. Edmunds
New. When water supplies are restricted, you can keep your landscape healthy by developing water priorities, applying water efficiently, and modifying your maintenance practices. (Available as PDF and eBook)

This publication replaces EC 1530 (Conserving Water in the Garden: Designing and Installing a New Landscape) and EC 1531 (Conserving Water in the Garden: Landscape and Lawn Care)

EM 8964, Preventing Water Contamination and Pesticide Drift: A Checklist for Pesticide Applicators

EM 8964, Preventing Water Contamination and Pesticide Drift: A Checklist for Pesticide Applicators
Tim Stock, Steve Castagnoli
Revision. When applying pesticides it is important to avoid water contamination and pesticide drift as much as possible. This checklist can help. Three separate checklists (before, during and after) make it easier to remember things to do before, during and after an application to avoid contamination and drift.

Cherry growers fear threat from pest (Fresh Plaza)

Cherry growers fear threat from pest (Fresh Plaza)
Peter Shearer is leading studies on spotted wing drosophila at Oregon State University. “We’re looking at little tiny wasps that attack the fly and kill it,” he says.

Hummingbirds, earthworms in your yard: Ask OSU Extension (Oregonian)

Hummingbirds, earthworms in your yard: Ask OSU Extension (Oregonian)
Earthworms are very beneficial to your lawn and in addition to supplying it with needed nutrients help to keep the soil aerated. The best advice that we can give you on this is to consider it nature’s way of adding nutrients and conditioning the soil. As the grass returns to its normal growing stage the mud piles should be hidden and your lawn look normal again. – Larry Sutton, Extension Master Gardener.

Compost: Put yard debris to work, says OSU expert (Oregonian)

Compost: Put yard debris to work, says OSU expert (Oregonian)
“Compost is good for the environment and for the garden,” said Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “You take all these things you don’t know what to do with – grass clippings, leaves, garden refuse, anything left over – and throw it into the compost pile. Then it decomposes and you put it back into the soil. It’s a sustainable system.

This could be the most delicious berry you’ve never heard of (Idaho Statesman)

This could be the most delicious berry you’ve never heard of (Idaho Statesman)
Now retired from Oregon State University, plant breeder Dr. Maxine Thompson has worked for years breeding new cultivars of the Japanese haskaps, L. caerulea var. emphyllocalyx, native to Hokkaido.

New invasive species spotted in the region (Newberg Graphic)

New invasive species spotted in the region (Newberg Graphic)
Robin Rosetta, an Oregon State University associate professor and entomologist, works with nurseries and greenhouses on pest management. She said that the tiny insects were first discovered in Oregon last year, but have greatly increased in numbers this year.

Making a meal that’s bred to order (Atlantic)

Making a meal that’s bred to order (Atlantic)
But if farmers want hardy foods that are easy to grow, consumers want fresh foods that taste good. That’s where chefs can play a huge role, says Lane Selman, an agricultural researcher at Oregon State University. “Plant breeders are really big decision-makers, but sometimes they’re guessing,” she says. “Working with chefs sheds a lot of light on what the final users—the eaters—are going to want.” (see also Grist)

Oregon beekeepers gather this weekend (Capital Press)

Oregon beekeepers gather this weekend (Capital Press)
Speakers include Ramesh Sagili, an Oregon State University professor and Extension specialist who is researching causes of colony collapse disorder.

OSU hires orchard crops specialist to boost state’s hazelnut industry (Register-Guard)

OSU hires orchard crops specialist to boost state’s hazelnut industry (Register-Guard)
Oregon State University has hired a new orchard crops specialist, entomologist Nik Wiman, to help the state’s rapidly expanding $91 million hazelnut industry, which grows 99 percent of the U.S. crop.

Beekeepers trying to keep bees – and livelihoods – from going extinct (Idaho Statesman)

Beekeepers trying to keep bees – and livelihoods – from going extinct (Idaho Statesman)
“People ask me, ‘The bees are going to be extinct soon?’ ” said Ramesh Sagili, principal investigator at the Oregon State University Honey Bee Lab. “I’m not worried about bees being extinct here. I’m worried about beekeepers being extinct.”

Spiders earn keep as pest control (Statesman Journal)

Spiders earn keep as pest control (Statesman Journal)
“Spiders are on the move right now because they’re looking for a mate,” according to Gail Langellotto, an entomologist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Go native: The best Pacific Northwest plants that help pollinators (Oregonian)

Go native: The best Pacific Northwest plants that help pollinators (Oregonian)
While you’re at it, think about native plants, said Weston Miller, horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “There’s a new aesthetic,” he said. “Gardeners want to connect to nature and the heritage of plants that grow in the Pacific Northwest.”

PNW 682, Overwintered Honey Bee Nucleus Colonies: Big Solutions in Small Packages

PNW 682, Overwintered Honey Bee Nucleus Colonies: Big Solutions in Small Packages
R. Sagili, C. Breece, H. Vanderpool, and K. Torgerson
New. This publication describes how commercial and backyard beekeepers can minimize colony losses through such best management practices as establishing nuclear colonies, which can provide quick resolution for many beekeeping problems.

10 kinds of trees for fiery fall foliage (Lake Oswego Review)

10 kinds of trees for fiery fall foliage (Lake Oswego Review)
“If you’re specifically interested in fall color, it will soon be the time to start looking,” said Neil Bell, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “There are already some trees starting to display color.”

Ashflies: The new invasive species spotted in the region (Sherwood Gazette)

Ashflies: The new invasive species spotted in the region (Sherwood Gazette)
Robin Rosetta, an Oregon State University associate professor and entomologist, works with nurseries and greenhouses on pest management. She said that the tiny insects were first discovered in Oregon last year, but have greatly increased in numbers this year.

Harvesting hazelnut, walnut and chestnut trees (Oregonian)

Harvesting hazelnut, walnut and chestnut trees (Oregonian)
Harvesting hazelnuts means gathering them as they fall from the trees – before autumn rains, if possible, said Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. You can shake branches lightly, but in most cases the nuts will fall on their own.

ZomBee Watch helps scientists track honeybee killer (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

ZomBee Watch helps scientists track honeybee killer (San Luis Obispo Tribune)
“We have several other stresses on bees and we don’t want any other stress like this one,” said Ramesh Sagili, an assistant professor of apiculture at Oregon State University. “We have to be cautious, but I’m not alarmed that this parasite is going to create a big problem.”

US prof warns berry growers of SWD (Good Fruit & Vegetables, Australia)

US prof warns berry growers of SWD (Good Fruit & Vegetables, Australia)
Oregon State University department of horticulture Professor Dr Bernadine Strik says Australian berry growers, governments and academics should be working together to formulate a plan in case spotted win drosophila (inset) ever arrives.

OSU honors master gardeners for dedicated service (The World)

OSU honors master gardeners for dedicated service (The World)
The Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener program, a highly trained volunteer force that educates Oregonians about the art and science of growing and caring for plants, has conferred top honors to its most dedicated ambassadors.

How big could a world record pumpkin get? (Inverse)

How big could a world record pumpkin get? (Inverse)

The pumpkins will expand thanks to a combination of genetics and better growing techniques, says Oregon State University horticulturist Ross Penhallegon. “The growers are extending the season, adding more water, more nutrients, and more sunlight; each factor adds to the growth of the pumpkins.” Meier, for example, grew his pumpkin in a greenhouse in Switzerland.

Can raspberries and strawberries grow together? (Oregonian)

Can raspberries and strawberries grow together? (Oregonian)
Raspberries and strawberries would most likely grow best in separate beds because they attract the same pests and diseases. Hemlock bark could be used for mulch. Oregon State University Extension has two publications that could help you plan for raspberries and strawberries. One is Growing Raspberries in Your Home Garden. The other is Growing Strawberries. Both of these publications make suggestions on mulch. – Linda Krugel, OSU Master Gardener volunteer.

Landscape design goes native (Turf Magazine)

Landscape design goes native (Turf Magazine)
While the native plant movement seems to have only recently taken off, the fact is that its roots are deeply entrenched. Native plant gardening dates back to the European settlement of America, if not earlier, says Linda R. McMahan, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. Certain pioneers of native plant design helped lead the way for others to incorporate natives into their landscapes. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, was said to experiment widely with Southeast native plants, including Osage orange used as a hedge, McMahan says.

OSU Extension taps Wiman as new hazelnut specialist (Capital Press)

OSU Extension taps Wiman as new hazelnut specialist (Capital Press)
Nik Wiman, an entomologist with extensive experience in integrated pest management, is Oregon State University’s new orchard crops extension specialist, a position designed to focus on hazelnuts.

A crash course in gardening, from one of the masters (OPB)

A crash course in gardening, from one of the masters (OPB)
OPB’s John Sepulvado recently met with Oregon State University Master Gardener Weston Miller. It didn’t go quite as expected.

Breeding network connects farmers, chefs (Capital Press)

Breeding network connects farmers, chefs (Capital Press)
Oregon State University’s Culinary Breeding Network helps breeders decide which vegetable traits are desired by chefs and farmers.

Master gardeners awards: Volunteers who help feed (Oregonian)

Master gardeners awards: Volunteers who help feed (Oregonian)
The Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener program, a highly trained volunteer force that educates Oregonians about the art and science of growing and caring for plants, has conferred top honors to its most dedicated ambassadors.

Prune birch or smoke trees (Oregonian)

Prune birch or smoke trees (Oregonian)
Answers from OSU Master Gardeners.

The secrets of ripe pears and apples (Statesman Journal)

The secrets of ripe pears and apples (Statesman Journal)
But how do you know when it’s prime picking time? According to Steve Castagnoli, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service, the signs are different for apples and pears.

A Passion for Mint (Fall 2015 Mint Industry Research Council Insight)

A Passion for Mint
For Kelly Vining, nothing quite compares to mint research.
Vining, Assistant Professor, Horticulture Department, Oregon State University, has been fascinated with mint since she began working on it in 2002 while a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire. (For entire article.)

PNW 676, Best Management Practices for Maintaining Sand-based, Natural Grass Athletic Fields

PNW 676, Best Management Practices for Maintaining Sand-based, Natural Grass Athletic Fields      

Alec Kowalewski, Gwen K. Stahnke, Tom Cook, Roy Goss

New. This publication recommends specific ways to manage of sand-based fields, which will require more frequent fertilization, irrigation, and cultivation for proper maintenance than native soil fields. This publication emphasizes the critical aspects of maintenance, including the primary cultural practices (mowing, fertilization, and irrigation), as well as the secondary cultural practices (cultivation, top-dressing, and inter seeding). Also available as an eBook.

New. Sand-based, natural turfgrass and synthetic surfaces are the best options for athletic fields in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

PNW 675, Best Management Practices for Construction of Sand-based Athletic Fields for Football and Soccer    

Alec Kowalewski, Gwen K. Stahnke, Tom Cook, Roy Goss

New. Sand-based, natural turfgrass and synthetic surfaces are the best options for athletic fields in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Sand-based, natural turfgrass fields, when compared to synthetic surfaces, are initially less expensive, more enjoyable to play on, cooler in warm weather, less hazardous when wet, more resilient, and are 30 to 50 times less expensive to replace. However, high-quality, sand-based sports fields able to withstand intensive traffic under the range of climatic conditions present in the PNW depend on many construction components, including sand selection, base grade, surface and subsurface drainage, turfgrass genus, and species selection. Also available as an eBook.

 

Colorful spring blooms: Bulbs are about as easy as it gets (Oregonian)

Colorful spring blooms: Bulbs are about as easy as it gets (Oregonian)

“You plant them in fall, they grow over winter, flourish in spring and go dormant in summer,” said Heather Stoven, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “Once they’re in the ground, they do quite well over multiple years with little maintenance.”

9 college courses that will have you geeking out and rethinking your major (Huffington Post)

9 college courses that will have you geeking out and rethinking your major (Huffington Post)

7. Farside Entomology – Oregon State University.  Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” cartoons are full of personified animals and insects. OSU professor Michael Burgett uses the humor of Larson’s illustrations to teach his students about the complex nature of insects and their importance to human life. Burgett has been teaching the course for 30 years and often puts the role of teaching in the hands of the students; teams present “their entomological and humanistic interpretation of an entomological cartoon” each week.

EM 9123, Integrated Pest Mangement for Turfgrass

EM 9123, Integrated Pest Mangement for Turfgrass
Alec Kowalewski
New. This video highlights the five cultural practices needed for proper integrated pest management of turfgrass: (1) mowing, (2) fertilization, (3) irrigation, (4) cultivation, and (5) pesticide selection and use.

Helping monarch butterflies: Five key points about local pollinators (Oregonian)

Helping monarch butterflies: Five key points about local pollinators (Oregonian)
For more background and perspective on the role individuals can play in saving pollinators, we talked to Gail Langellotto, an associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University.

EM 9115, Growing Hops in the Home Garden

EM 9115, Growing Hops in the Home Garden
Brooke Getty, Shaun Townsend, Amy Jo Detweiler
New. Provides instructions for the home gardener on how to select, grow, harvest, and store hops.

PNW 667, Cherry Training Systems

PNW 667, Cherry Training Systems
Apps now available for this recently published publication.
Lynn E. Long, Gregory Lang, Stefano Musacchi, Matthew Whiting
New. This publication describes the seven major pruning systems used in commercial cherry tree orchards in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Michigan.

Pesticide reduction in the McKenzie River Watershed

Pesticide reduction in the McKenzie River Watershed
EWEB teamed up with the Oregon Hazelnut Commission, Oregon State University and McKenzie River farmers to find ways to reduce pesticide use near the river, which is Eugene’s sole source of drinking water. After a three-year pilot project, results showed hazelnut farmers were able to cut their use of pesticides by a whopping 60-75 percent. View the video to learn how.

WEED, 2015 Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook

WEED, 2015 Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook
Editor: E. Peachey
Revised June 2015, 598 pages, $60.00
http://pnwhandbooks.org/weed/

The PNW Weed Management Handbook is updated quarterly. Individual articles are revised once a year; revision dates are listed at the start of each section. Most sections are also available as PDF documents on the weed handbook website.

The following handbook sections contain content updated in June 2015:

  • Forestry and Hybrid Cottonwoods
  • Nursery, Greenhouse, and Bulb Crops
  • Professional Landscape Maintenance
  • Home Garden and Landscape Management
  • Pasture and Rangeland

EM 8666, Pollination and Seed Set in Meadowfoam

EM 8666, Pollination and Seed Set in Meadowfoam
R. Sagili, J. Kling, and C. Breece
Revision. Defines characteristics of meadowfoam and offers honey bee management practices.

Fragile trees causing some problems for city (Philomath Express)

Fragile trees causing some problems for city (Philomath Express)
Workman said the city is working with Al Shay, an Oregon State University horticulture professor who is helping with a master plan for a tree-replacement program. The scope of the project also includes Philomath City Park, where a lot of old ash trees are found.

Josh Lewis, Turf Management graduate and course superintendent, helps get Chambers Bay ready for the U.S. Open

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — Tweaks. Yeah, there were plenty of those made to Chambers Bay, which in six months will play host to the Pacific Northwest’s first-ever U.S. Open. But with the tweaks in place, the fescue growing and the between-the-ropes planning sewn up, getting Chambers Bay ready for the scrutiny that will come in June still requires intense daily attention.

Read more in Sports Illustrated »

Ripe, juicy tomatoes: Avoid bad weather, disease and insects (Oregonian)

Ripe, juicy tomatoes: Avoid bad weather, disease and insects (Oregonian)
“Everyone wants to grow tomatoes,” said Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “It’s a universal food people tend to like.”

The environmental benefits of back yard chickens (Chicago Botanic Garden)

The environmental benefits of back yard chickens (Chicago Botanic Garden)
Betsey Miller and her colleagues at Oregon State University recently conducted a study with red ranger chickens to test the insect-finding power of poultry. They placed hundreds of insect pest decoys in leaf litter. They put some of the litter in the chicken pen and some outside. A day later, they examined both piles and recovered any remaining decoys. The results: all the decoys remained the control pile, but there were no decoys to be found in the chickens’ pile. The birds had gobbled them up! This study illustrates the chickens’ persistence in ridding an area of potential pests in a very short time.

New guide focuses on non-crop plants used by spotted-wing drosophila (Good Fruit Grower)

New guide focuses on non-crop plants used by spotted-wing drosophila (Good Fruit Grower)
A new guide to non-crop host plants used by spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been published by Oregon State University, compiling information from collections made in Michigan, New York, Florida, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

Cherry cracking prevention (Ag Info)

Cherry cracking prevention (Ag Info)
A tissue-thin, food-grade film developed at Oregon State University acts like a raincoat for sweet cherries, cutting rain-related cracking of the fruit in half and potentially saving a whole season’s crop.

Lawn-care basics: how much to cut, irrigate and fertilize (Boston Globe)

Lawn-care basics: how much to cut, irrigate and fertilize (Boston Globe)
Irrigate frequently but not too heavily each time, said Alec Kowalewski, a professor and turf specialist at Oregon State University. ‘‘Turn your water on after Memorial Day,’’ he said. Set the timer ‘‘for three times a week at a quarter of an inch each time. As it heats up, increase the number of days you irrigate.’’

Blueberry barrage (Register-Guard)

Blueberry barrage (Register-Guard)
Blueberries have specific needs and take eight years to become fully mature. Under the right growing conditions, however, the plant can live for up to 50 years, says Dr. Bernadine Strik, a professor of horticulture and lead berry researcher at Oregon State University. “If you get things right with blueberries, you’re going to reap rewards for a long time,” she says.

Rain-related cherry cracking (Ag Info)

Rain-related cherry cracking (Ag Info)
Scientists at at Oregon State University have found a protective skin for cherries to help minimize rain-related cracking. During a discussion with OSU horticulturist Lynn Long, I learned that there are two separate modes of action that can introduce enough water to the fruit to make it crack.

4 tips to keep your roses free of diseases and pests (Oregonian)

4 tips to keep your roses free of diseases and pests (Oregonian)
When it comes to one of the county’s most popular perennial plants, the “big four” vexations are powdery mildew, black spot, rust and aphids, according to Jay W. Pscheidt, a plant pathology specialist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Swiss needle cast or drought? OSU extension experts answer garden questions (Oregonian)

Swiss needle cast or drought? OSU extension experts answer garden questions (Oregonian)
When there are no peas in the pods or flowers on the dahlias, get the answers you need with Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, usually less.

Grass-free backyard makeover (The Oregonian)

Grass-free backyard makeover (The Oregonian)
Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist with the OSU Extension Service, suggests two ways to rid your yard of grass: an organic technique that uses no pesticides and a chemical method that employs an herbicide that leaves no residue in the soil.

Have a gardening question? Ask an OSU expert (Oregonian)

Have a gardening question? Ask an OSU expert (Oregonian)
When there are no peas in the pods or flowers on the dahlias, get the answers you need with Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

OSU moving toward hiring hazelnut Extension specialist (Capital Press)

OSU moving toward hiring hazelnut Extension specialist (Capital Press)
Oregon grows nearly all of the U.S. hazelnut crop, and Oregon State University plans to hire an extension specialist to keep pace with the industry’s rapid growth.

When I eat honey, do I hurt bees? (Grist)

When I eat honey, do I hurt bees? (Grist)
Smart beekeepers leave the bees enough honey to nibble on over the winter, added Dr. Ramesh Sagili, principle investigator at Oregon State University’s Honey Bee Lab. “[Beekeepers] aren’t technically taking off the comb, they’re taking the excess,” he said. So that excess is fine for you to enjoy spread over your toast – especially if you buy from local producers at farmers markets or well-stocked stores, as they often struggle to compete with cheaper honey imports from places like China.

Children of the corn: Baby corn, demystified (Serious Eats)

Children of the corn: Baby corn, demystified (Serious Eats)
The trademark flavor of sweet corn, let alone anything resembling a mature kernel, has yet to develop at this early stage, since “sugars do not start accumulating until well after pollination,” explains Jim Myers, professor of horticulture at Oregon State University. That means that pretty much any breed of corn can yield tender, succulent baby corn, from flint corn (your popcorn and grits), dent corn (corn chips and tortillas), and sweet corn (corn on the cob), to field corn—corn destined for industrial uses like oils and sweeteners, livestock feed, and bio-fuel.

Do plants have rights? GMO fight returns to Oregon with Benton County vote (Oregonian)

Do plants have rights? GMO fight returns to Oregon with Benton County vote (Oregonian)
The battle over genetically-modified food has returned to Oregon, despite attempts by politicians to stop county-by-county bans. And the debate in Benton County is pulling in academics at Oregon State University, who worry any ban there could limit their biomedical research. (see also Gazette-Times)

Dig, pry, divide plans (Oregonian)

Dig, pry, divide plans (Oregonian)
Dividing is a matter of digging up plants, prying them apart with hands, spades, knives or an ax and replanting them in new holes, said Weston Miller, a horticulturist for Oregon State University’s Extension Service. As perennials grow from the crown and the clumps get larger, plants decline in vigor and have fewer flowers. If you wait too long to divide, flowering can stop altogether.

Extension Spotlight: Prepare for summer with wasp awareness (News-Register)

Extension Spotlight: Prepare for summer with wasp awareness (News-Register)
It’s easier to deal with these aggressive wasps if you know how they live, said Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. Yellow jackets are heavy-bodied, with black and yellow or white markings. They live in gray, papery nests, which are mainly located below ground, but some are suspended above, he said.

GMO crops differ from traditional breeding techniques (Statesman Journal)

GMO crops differ from traditional breeding techniques (Statesman Journal)
“Depending on the species, natural cross-breeding is easy. For some plants, you have to physically make the cross,” said Jim Myers, professor of vegetable breeding and genetics in the department of horticulture at Oregon State University.

PNW 667, Cherry Training Systems

PNW 667, Cherry Training Systems
Lynn E. Long, Gregory Lang, Stefano Musacchi, Matthew Whiting
New. This publication describes the seven major pruning systems used in commercial cherry tree orchards in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Michigan.
This publication replaces PNW 543.

EM 9113, Noncrop Host Plants of Spotted Wing Drosophila in North America

EM 9113, Noncrop Host Plants of Spotted Wing Drosophila in North America
Amy J. Dreves, Jana Lee, Linda J. Brewer, Rufus Isaacs, Greg Loeb, Howard Thistlewood
New. Landscapes surrounding fruit production fields often include hedgerows, adjacent field margins, and woody or riparian areas with ornamentals, unmanaged shrubs, vines, or other plants that also produce fruits. Noncrop habitats can meet the requirements that favor Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) adults and their natural enemies: food, shelter, shade, and humidity. In addition, many noncrop fruits can support developing larvae of SWD. As populations of SWD build in noncrop hosts, these areas can become “hot spots” from which SWD can move into fields as commercial fruits begin to ripen. In some regions, these plants may be more important in post-crop dynamics by providing opportunities for late season population buildup.

Secret to growing highbush blueberries (Oregonian)

Secret to growing highbush blueberries (Oregonian)
Highbush blueberries, the most common in Oregon, are perennial, long-living deciduous shrubs with a mature height of 5-7 feet, according to Bernadine Strik, a berry specialist for Oregon State University’s Extension Service. Attractive as ornamentals, they produce a profusion of white or pink blossoms in spring and colorful foliage in fall.

Earliest blooms in decades (Hood River News)

Earliest blooms in decades (Hood River News)
“Here at the Experiment Station, the trees blossomed 20 days earlier than average, and that’s considerable,” said Oregon State University horticulturist Steve Castagnoli. He said that according to OSU records dating to 1944, this is the earliest bloom for Anjous and Bartletts, the two mainstay pear varieties in Hood River County, the nation’s premier pear-growing region.

Zigzagging mason bees pollinate plants before honeybees (Oregonian)

Zigzagging mason bees pollinate plants before honeybees (Oregonian)
“Mason bees fill a spot in the season when other pollinators are not out,” said Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “They’re really important for fruit trees, especially in cool, wet areas.”

Plant breeders aim to save Northwest from bland veggies (Boise State Public Radio)

Plant breeders aim to save Northwest from bland veggies (Boise State Public Radio)
Oregon State University plant breeder Jim Myers said this isn’t some miracle of genetic engineering. ”What I do is conventional breeding — or traditional breeding, if you will,” he explained. “There is plenty of genetic variation out there for us to work with.” (see also OPB)

EM 9107, Ecological Design of Urban Landscapes: Economic, Social and Ecological Benefits

EM 9107, Ecological Design of Urban Landscapes: Economic, Social and Ecological Benefits
Signe Danler, Gail Langelloto-Rhodaback
New. An ecological approach to landscape design incorporates natural systems as an integral part of urban landscapes. It differs from conventional landscaping in that buildings, hardscape, and landscape are planned as a unified whole, utilizing native plants and green infrastructure to provide ecological, economic, and social benefits. This publication explores innovative ways of looking at landscape design, and bringing ecology and design together to form a sustainable urban landscape.

EC 631, Managing Diseases and Insects in Home Orchards

EC 631, Managing Diseases and Insects in Home Orchards
Jay W. Pscheidt, Steve Castagnoli, Steve Renquist
Revised. This publication recommends management practices for controlling diseases and insects in home orchards. This pest management guide is for the home gardener. It doesn't meet the exacting requirements of the commercial fruit grower.

$2 million sought for bee health in Oregon (Capital Press)

$2 million sought for bee health in Oregon (Capital Press)
Beekeepers have been losing roughly 30 percent of their hives in recent years due to a combination of factors, including malnutrition, pests, diseases, pesticides and low genetic diversity, said Ramesh Sagili, a bee entomologist at OSU.

Little fly – big problem for wine (Wine Spectator)

Little fly – big problem for wine (Wine Spectator)
What made 2014 such a banner year for the new pest was the weather. “Mild winters and summers as well as wet weather are conducive to rapid population increase,” said Vaughn Walton, an associate professor in entomology at Oregon State University. “Spotted wing drosophila population [growth] reaches a peak during wine harvest.” In 2014, temperatures never got low or high enough in Europe to stave the frequent reproduction cycle of the fly, and humid weather around harvest exacerbated the infestation.

Good weather hurt many Oregon industries economically (GoLocalPDX)

Good weather hurt many Oregon industries economically (GoLocalPDX)
Due to the warm weather, vineyards across the state are experiencing “bud break” — the buds coming out of the vine — about three weeks earlier than normal, two weeks earlier than in 2014, said Oregon State University Vitriculture expert Patty Skinkis.
 

No green thumb yet? There’s help (Idaho Statesman)

No green thumb yet? There’s help (Idaho Statesman)
“Novice gardeners often start too big and soon realize they don’t have the time or energy to fully develop or maintain their original garden plan,” said Gail Langellotto, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service

Handbook guides gardeners week by week (Statesman Journal)

Handbook guides gardeners week by week (Statesman Journal)
May 15, on average, is the last day of frost, according to Al Shay, a horticulture professor at Oregon State University.

Warm winter = damaged trees (Bend Bulletin)

Warm winter = damaged trees (Bend Bulletin)
“We are seeing a lot of winter desiccation or winter injury to the evergreens and conifers in Central Oregon. This is where there’s a loss of water through leaf transpiration. Winter sun and winds dry the needles,” said Amy Jo Detweiler, associate professor at Oregon State University Extension Service in Redmond. “The trees come out of their dormancy and need water, but they can’t access water because the ground is still frozen.”

Be prepared in the garden in case of a cold snap (Statesman Journal)

Be prepared in the garden in case of a cold snap (Statesman Journal)
There still is more than a month until April 15, when you can, on average, count on saying goodbye to frost, according to Al Shay, a horticulture professor at Oregon State University

Get ready for brown marmorated stink bug in 2015 (Growing Produce)

Get ready for brown marmorated stink bug in 2015 (Growing Produce)
The problem is using products such as pyrethroids and carbamates can ruin an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, notes Peter Shearer, an Oregon State University entomologist who has worked with Beaudoin. Shearer is a member of the national team, Stop BMSB, which consists of 50 scientists from 10 universities and USDA.

Noisy frogs, bloated tomatoes. What’s a home gardener to do? Call the OSU experts (Oregonian)

Noisy frogs, bloated tomatoes. What’s a home gardener to do? Call the OSU experts (Oregonian)
If you want to know when to prune roses or if a bloated can of tomatoes will make you sick, the Oregon State University Extension Service can help.

Two-day blueberry school to help growers (Statesman Journal)

Two-day blueberry school to help growers (Statesman Journal)
In 2003, after participating in a day-long blueberry conference where presenters reported on research results, Oregon State University Extension Berry Crops Specialist Bernadine Strik and other small fruits researchers couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

A better tomato, a better tomorrow (Civil Eats)

A better tomato, a better tomorrow (Civil Eats)
At Oregon State University (OSU), Oregon’s only land-grant university, Jim Myers is quietly pursuing some of the most exciting vegetable breeding projects on the West Coast. – See more at: http://civileats.com/2015/02/13/a-better-tomato-a-better-tomorrow/#sthas...

Protect prize plants from chill (Oregonian)

Protect prize plants from chill (Oregonian)
There are still more than two months until April 15, when you can, on average, count on saying goodbye to frost, according to Al Shay, a horticulture professor at Oregon State University.

OSU Extension gardening expert hosts call-in radio show (Statesman Journal)

OSU Extension gardening expert hosts call-in radio show (Statesman Journal)
Once a week, Weston Miller settles into a studio at XRAY-FM radio in Portland, waits for a wave of the hand and turns to the microphone. “Grow PDX” is under way. Miller, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service, started the call-in series last October and has hosted 10 half-hour shows, each addressing different topics about gardening, horticulture or agriculture. The program can be heard throughout the state by podcast, which is available on the XRAY website within 24 hours after the program has aired for two weeks.

Blueberry industry’s explosive growth prompts OSU to bring back Northwest growers, rookies to classroom (Oregonian)

Blueberry industry’s explosive growth prompts OSU to bring back Northwest growers, rookies to classroom (Oregonian)
The influx of new growers prompted Oregon State University — the research and training backbone of the state’s industry — to hold a school for longtime farmers and beginners planning their first crop. The event, held over March 16 and 17 on campus in Corvallis, is the first in eight years, long before organic blueberries carved a spot in the industry and the state sold 90 million tons of berries in a year. (see also Fresh Plaza)

Gardeners dig program (The Dalles Chronicle)

Gardeners dig program (The Dalles Chronicle)
Spring is just around the corner and the Oregon State University Extension Service in Wasco County has lined up a variety of classes to help gardeners beautify their yards and grow healthy vegetables.

PNW cherry growers expect smaller crop (Capital Press)

PNW cherry growers expect smaller crop (Capital Press)
Temperatures crashed as much as 60 degrees in just a couple of days in mid-November killing flower buds, spurs and even 1-, 2- and 3-year-old wood in cherry trees in The Dalles, Hood River and Milton-Freewater, said a panel of speakers led by Lynn Long, Oregon State University Extension tree fruit specialist at The Dalles.

Researcher-farmer named Nut Grower of the Year (Capital Press)

Researcher-farmer named Nut Grower of the Year (Capital Press)
Harry Lagerstedt, who worked for the agency’s Agricultural Research Service, is known for his popularization the Ennis hazelnut variety. The cultivar produces high yields of large nuts and continues to receive a premium price from buyers due to its size, said Dave Smith, an Oregon State University researcher.

Flowers of winter make a heady statement in garden (Statesman Journal)

Flowers of winter make a heady statement in garden (Statesman Journal)
“One of the coolest things about gardening in the Pacific Northwest is winter gardens,” said Neil Bell, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. “We have the opportunity to plant things that people who are not aware of or even interested in gardening will look at it and be amazed. The way to do that is with flowers and scents.”

Hazelnut farmers squeeze profits from sickly orchards (Capital Press)

Hazelnut farmers squeeze profits from sickly orchards (Capital Press)
Eastern filbert blight can be slowed by cutting away “cankers” that allow the fungus to release spores and infect new trees, said Jay Pscheidt, plant pathology professor at Oregon State University.

Abrupt freeze damages fruit orchards in northeast (Bend Bulletin)

Abrupt freeze damages fruit orchards in northeast (Bend Bulletin)
“I would testify this is a disaster across the region,” Clive Kaiser, an extension horticulturist with Oregon State University said. (see also KOIN)

Try a different kind of tree this Christmas (Register-Guard)

Try a different kind of tree this Christmas (Register-Guard)
Moved outside without the care they need, the beautiful, and not inexpensive, trees meant to go in the ground in winter, languish, fade to brown and eventually die. One alternative is to buy plants meant to stay in pots, said Al Shay, a horticulture instructor at Oregon State University.

Chardonnay’s bright future (Register-Guard)

Chardonnay’s bright future (Register-Guard)
“There is increasing interest in producing premium tier chardonnay in the Willamette Valley,” said Patty Skinkis, a faculty member at the Oregon Wine Research Institute at Oregon State University.

Live Christmas trees: Stay in the pot or go in the ground after the holidays? (Oregonian)

Live Christmas trees: Stay in the pot or go in the ground after the holidays? (Oregonian)
Moved outside without the care they need, the beautiful, and not inexpensive, trees meant to go in the ground in winter, languish, fade to brown and eventually die. One alternative is to buy plants meant to stay in pots, said Al Shay, a horticulture instructor at Oregon State University.

Brown marmorated stink bugs head inside for the winter (Statesman Journal)

Brown marmorated stink bugs head inside for the winter (Statesman Journal)
“They’re unmistakable because of the stinky, irritating odor when they’re crushed,” said Vaughn Walton, an entomologist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “They move from wild host plants to our gardens and then in large amounts into our homes. That’s when people get really upset. Bugs inside freak people out.”

OSU horticulturist lists least toxic sprays and treatment for fruit trees (Oregonian)

OSU horticulturist lists least toxic sprays and treatment for fruit trees (Oregonian)
Follow that with appropriate sprays to get at those pesky insects, fungi and bacteria that like to make a home in cracks and crevices, said Ross Penhallegon, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Lawn Seed Mixtures for Western Oregon and Western Washington

EM 9100, Lawn Seed Mixtures for Western Oregon and Western Washington
Authors: Stan Baker, Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald, and Rob Golembiewski
New November 2014, 5 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/54019/em9...

Turns out, the future of food lies in these old seeds (Yahoo News)

Turns out, the future of food lies in these old seeds (Yahoo News)
Selman is a research assistant in the Organic Vegetable Research program at Oregon State University and a researcher with one of the big OSA research efforts called the Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative.

Sharing your home with hitchhiking stink bugs? Here’s how to boot them (Oregonian)

Sharing your home with hitchhiking stink bugs? Here’s how to boot them (Oregonian)
“They’re unmistakable because of the stinky, irritating odor when they’re crushed,” said Vaughn Walton, an entomologist with Oregon State University Extension Service. “They move from wild host plants to our gardens and then in large amounts into our homes. That’s when people get really upset. Bugs inside freak people out.”

Task force: report pesticide use, research bee diseases (Portland Tribune)

Task force: report pesticide use, research bee diseases (Portland Tribune)
The report also recommends that legislators spend $500,000 on new equipment for Oregon State University’s honey bee lab and fund four technicians and supplies at $500,000 a year as part of a “state of the art bee health diagnostic facility.”

Pollinator task force backs pesticide reporting system (Capital Press)

Pollinator task force backs pesticide reporting system (Capital Press)
The report also recommends that legislators spend $500,000 on new equipment for Oregon State University’s honey bee lab and fund four technicians and supplies at $500,000 a year as part of a “state of the art bee health diagnostic facility.” (see also Portland Tribune)

Fruits and vegetables are about to enter a flavor renaissance (Pacific Standard)

Fruits and vegetables are about to enter a flavor renaissance (Pacific Standard)
Lane Selman, an agricultural researcher at Oregon State University (OSU) and the emcee of the Portland feast, wants to change that. She recently founded the Culinary Breeding Network (CBN), a first-of-its-kind organization that fosters collaboration between cooks, farmers, plant breeders, and seed growers.

Extension Service horticulturist extends his reach around the globe (Register-Guard)

Extension Service horticulturist extends his reach around the globe (Register-Guard)
Penhallegon, a longtime horticulturist with the Oregon State University/Lane County Extension Service and an associate professor at OSU, has made almost 50 trips to such impoverished nations since that initial one.

Good season for grapes, hazelnuts in Douglas County (KVAL)

Good season for grapes, hazelnuts in Douglas County (KVAL)
Steve Renquist, a horticulture specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service in Roseburg, said there are approximately 1,500 acres of vineyards and 220 acres of hazelnut orchards.

Arugula as an aphrodisiac (Oregonian)

Arugula as an aphrodisiac (Oregonian)
“If you live in the warmer, wetter regions of the state, you can plant lettuce and other greens now,” said Oregon State University vegetable breeder Jim Myers. “In the colder areas of the state, a cold frame or cloche can help lengthen the harvest season into winter.”

Research in a Nutshell

Professor Shawn Mehlenbacher explains how research from OSU saved the Oregon hazelnut industry.

Less is more? Maybe not, says Oregon pinot noir study: Wine Notes

Jack harvests his pinot noir grapes at 3 tons per acre. Jill harvests her pinot noir at just 2 tons per acre. Who earns the most money?

You might say Jack. But most wine experts would say Jill.

It's a head-scratcher for anyone with a basic grasp of economics.

Say you want to grow your winery business to meet an increasing demand for pinot noir. Try explaining to a banker that you want a loan so that you can buy a piece of expensive vineyard land, plant grapevines, wait four years for them to mature, then pay a team of vinetenders to carefully clip and compost 40 percent of your crop. Every year.

Read more in the Oregonian »

As prices rise, Oregon hazelnut prospects soar (Capital Press)

As prices rise, Oregon hazelnut prospects soar (Capital Press)
Oregon State University’s hazelnut program, funded by growers and headed by renowned breeder Shawn Mehlenbacher, developed a series of blight-resistant varieties that frankly saved the industry. Growers nursed their older orchards along with stringent pruning and spraying programs while the new trees, which take about four years to mature, settled in and began producing at commercial levels.

EM 8749, An introduction to being a Master Gardener Volunteer

EM 8749, An introduction to being a Master Gardener Volunteer
Authors: Gail Langellotto, Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Jan Powell McNeilan, Ray McNeilan
Revised September 2014, 25 pages, $4.00
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/52503/em8749.pdf

Learn to diagnose plant illness like drought stress with online Oregon State University course (Oregonian)

Learn to diagnose plant illness like drought stress with online Oregon State University course (Oregonian)
Identifying diseases, pests and other threats to plant health can be a challenge for even the most experienced gardener or landscaper. A new online course from Oregon State University aims to make diagnosing sick plants and choosing the right treatment easier.

Oregon State horticulture study brings life, color to Langley streets (South Whidbey Record)

Oregon State horticulture study brings life, color to Langley streets (South Whidbey Record)
A horticulture major at Oregon State University, Martin fulfilled several duties as a summer intern for the Langley Main Street Association.

Unearthed: Are patents a problem? (Washington Post)

Unearthed: Are patents a problem? (Washington Post)
Jim Myers, a professor of vegetable breeding and genetics at Oregon State University, says that patents, or patent disputes, sometimes lock up the building blocks of plants that used to be freely available to scientists. “Before patents, there was a lot of innovation that came out of trading germplasm [the genetic material of a plant]. Now, everyone has their own set of material that they do not share. . . . My sense is that we’re missing something here because of the lack of access to each other’s programs.”

Oregon State horticulture study brings color, life to Langley streets

The Langley Library has a new garden courtesy of one botanically inclined summer intern, Emily Martin.

A horticulture major at Oregon State University, Martin fulfilled several duties as a summer intern for the Langley Main Street Association.

Read more in the South Whidbey Record »

Learn to diagnose plant illnesses like drought stress with online Oregon State University course

Identifying diseases, pests and other threats to plant health can be a challenge for even the most experienced gardener or landscaper. A new online course from Oregon State University aims to make diagnosing sick plants and choosing the right treatment easier.

Plant Disease Certificate, a 10-week online course, teaches students to use a process of elimination to choose the best care for a variety of ill crops, garden and landscape plants and introduces them to some handy online diagnostic tools.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Register for the Plant Disease Certificate course »

Unearthed: Are patents the problem?

If you’re at the right party — a party populated by agriculture wonks — the issue of patenting living organisms might get more of a rise than either religion or politics, demonstrating both that patenting is a hot issue and that agriculture wonks aren’t much of a hit at parties (trust me on this one).

A 1980 Supreme Court decision that allowed patents to be granted to living things kicked off the controversy. The basic genetic materials of the things we eat have been around, and have been tinkered with, for millennia, and the idea that a new version of one of them could earn protection that would prevent farmers from saving seed and, perhaps, give the patent holder inordinate control over our food supply has raised a number of concerns. I’m going to tackle the ones that seem to worry people most.

Read more in the Washington Post »

Horticulture Faculty Recognized at University Day 2014

The purpose of the Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award is to recognize scholarly achievement and a level of innovation and effort that far exceeds expectations. This year’s recipient is Carolyn Breece, faculty research assistant in the department of horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Breece is the coordinator of the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program, and researches honeybee health with Ramesh Sagili.

In addition, The OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award is given to the person who demonstrates outstanding professional achievement through teaching and scholarship, service to the university and the community, and professional leadership, nationally and internationally. This year, there are two winners, Joey Spatafora, professor of botany and plant pathology, and Bernadine Strik, professor of horticulture, both with the College of Agricultural Sciences.

 

EM 8973, Establishing a Vineyard in Oregon – A Quick-start Resource Guide

EM 8973, Establishing a Vineyard in Oregon – A Quick-start Resource Guide
Author: Patty Skinkis
Revised September 2014, 7 pages, NC
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/52092/em8973.pdf

Low-maintenance lawn: Time to sow fresh grass seed

Lawn looking lackluster? Mid-August to early October is a sweet spot in the calendar year to sow fresh grass seed or replace an existing lawn throughout the state, according to Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

If you wait until November, you're too late – the next best bet to establish a new lawn comes around the following April to May.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Tomato late blight: Stop purple black spots that kill foliage

Late blight, a fungal disease that infects tomatoes, usually shows up in Oregon gardens as weather turns wet and humid, and it's dispersed by the wind and rain. This devastating disease kills tomato and potato plants, as well as peppers and eggplant, and usually does not arrive until mid-August or September.

According to Ross Penhallegon, Oregon State University Extension horticulturist in Lane County, the disease is holding off because of the current warm weather. Once it turns wet and cool, start looking for late blight, Penhallegon advises.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Giving the lawn the heave-ho?: There are organic ways to remove grass

Grass lawns are the default for most yards, but a few people realize there are other options, like edible landscaping, a bark dust yard or low-maintenance groundcover.

"Maybe you have a lawn full of difficult-to-control weeds like annual bluegrass or rough bluegrass and you want to start over," said Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. "Or you want to switch from grass to lawn alternatives like groundcovers."

Read more in the Oregonian »

Do you deadhead?: Pinching off for personal taste or plant health?

Deadheading is a gardening chore that many people find pleasant. By pinching off fading flowers, you can beautify your landscape and keep some plants blooming longer. But is it necessary?

Deadheading makes sense for repeat bloomers such as roses and highly modified annuals, such as marigolds, to keep them blooming, said Heather Stoven, a horticulturist with Oregon State University's Extension Service.

For most other plants, she said, it is a matter of appearance and the personal taste of the gardener.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Pest management advice from OSU experts: Spray with water, shake to avoid using chemicals

Effectively managing garden pests, including insects, plant diseases and weeds, can be a challenge for gardeners concerned about the environment and human health.

Integrated Pest Management is a systematic approach to identify pests and use tactics that are cultural, physical, biological or chemical.

The least toxic and effective methods are always considered first, according to Oregon State University researchers Andy Hulting, a weed control specialist, and Gail Langellotto, an entomologist.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Stink bugs wreak havoc on Willamette Valley crops

Farmers in our region are under attack! The enemy: A tiny, smelly invader called the brown marmorated stink bug.

Experts say if it's not controlled soon, the pest could cause millions, if not billions, of dollars in damage to area crops.

Read more in Northwest News »

New Varieties Showcase: Compact, colorful cultivars highlighted

The 2014 Farwest New Varieties Showcase will once again highlight the latest, most interesting new plant varieties.

This year’s showcase will bring attendees face-to-face with a sprawling, colorful display of annuals, perennials, shrubs, conifers and shade and flowering trees.

Read more in the Capital Press »

New nursery sprayer could be ‘game changer’

An “intelligent” sprayer that uses a laser sensor to determine where and what to spray has shown it can cut pesticide in half and greatly reduce drift.

Researchers estimate the technology can save growers $230 an acre annually on chemicals alone.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Hurry if you want to plant fall and winter vegetables: Gardening basics

When space becomes available after harvesting summer vegetables, keep those greens coming.

In mild parts of western Oregon and along most of the coast, it is possible to grow a succession of garden vegetables throughout most of the year. Gardeners can extend the season well into fall in many parts of the Pacific Northwest with a little knowledge and protection of their plants from the elements.

Read more in the Oregonian »

EM 9095, Evaluating compatibility of horticultural oils and sulfur with vineyard IPM

EM 9095, Evaluating compatibility of horticultural oils and sulfur with vineyard IPM
Authors: Angela Gadino, Vaughn Walton, Amy J. Dreves, Gregory V. Jones, and Linda Brewer
New August 2014, 3 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/51431/em9095.pdf

Indigo Rose tomato shortlisted for Plant of the Year by the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show

Bred using genetic material from wild tomatoes, the antioxidant anthocyanin, believed to be beneficial to health, was found to be naturally present. Stunning black fruits ripen to purple. (Bred by Jim Myers – Oregon State University).

Read more at the Royal Horticultural Society » 

EC 1521, Practical lawn care for western Oregon

EC 1521, Practical lawn care for western Oregon
Revised by Doug Voderberg and Alec Kowalewski
Revised August 2014, 12 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/51127/ec1521.pdf

Research tackles colony collapse

The solution to a huge problem may be hiding in the minutia of labs like this one at Oregon State University, where researchers examine the period-size brains of honey bees, test their blood and grind their guts for inspection under a microscope.

They’re looking for signs of parasites, viruses or nutritional lapses that may help explain colony collapse disorder.

Ramesh Sagili, who leads the OSU research effort, believes there is no single “smoking gun” cause of CCD. Instead, he and most other researchers say a combination of factors is most likely to blame.

Read more in the Capital Press »

A new star may be rising in Oregon’s blackberry fields

The next great Oregon blackberry may be growing in the demonstration plots at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Station.

Chad Finn, the USDA breeder who developed it, named it Columbia Star — a nod to Oregon and Washington and the river they share, and to its quality.

Time will tell, as it always does with plant breeding. But if it takes off, as Finn believes likely, Columbia Star may surpass the venerable Marion, which since introduction in 1956 has become the most widely planted blackberry cultivar in the world.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Pest Counterpunch: Integrated Pest Management

Adjusting an insect incubator in his lab at Hood River, OSU entomologist Peter Shearer examines how hot and cold temperatures affect pests such as spotted wing drosophila. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum.)

The phone rings in a dark room in Corvallis, where Colton Bond sits illuminated by a lone lamp and headset around his neck. On the line is a distressed caller with snakes in her attic and a box of mothballs in her hand. She’s called Bond for advice on how to deploy mothballs against the snakes.

Mothballs are not intended to kill snakes—nor squirrels, bats, or birds—Bond gently informs her. Because mothballs change from solid to gas in closed spaces, they can be dangerous to people breathing in the fumes.

Visit Oregon's Agricultural Progress magazine »

 

Goat herd ‘hired’ to remove invasive species from campus

Briana Murphy may not carry a crooked staff, but with a blonde braid slung over one shoulder and a straw hat firmly perched on her head, she wears the title of shepherdess well. Standing in front of her herd of goats as they graze on ivy in front of the Crop Science Building on the Oregon State University campus, she jokes about chasing a particularly stubborn escape artist across a golf course for two hours. That goat was subsequently ‘fired.’

Murphy has owned her own sustainable landscape management business, “Goat Power,” for three years, and takes her herd of around 40 goats across Oregon and Washington to help property owners combat invasive plants with a natural, and furry solution. She’s worked everywhere from vineyards to apartment complexes, tackling all kinds of tricky situations with her hooved co-workers.

Read more in OSU Today »

Oregon beekeepers continue to see unsustainable losses (Grower)

Oregon beekeepers continue to see unsustainable losses (Grower)
Oregon State University bee researchers are trying to better understand honeybee health.

Pesticides, starvation implicated in recent Oregon bee die-offs; task force seeks solution

Several highly publicized bee die-offs have increased concern for the health of Oregon's bee populations, prompting investigations and the establishment of a legislative task force to examine pesticide use and improve pollinator habitat in the state.

A collapse in bee population could destabilize food supplies, as about a third of all the food we eat is dependent on bee pollination. In Oregon, commercial and wild bees provide an estimated $600 million in annual agricultural value.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Blueberry mania: Grow sweet to spicy berries in your backyard

Bernadine Strik, a berry specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, says three categories of blueberry plants are best suited for Oregon climates -- Northern highbush varieties, rabbiteye varieties and half-high varieties.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Linux for Lettuce

From a distance, Jim Myers looks like an ordinary farmer. Most autumn mornings, he stands thigh-deep in a field of wet broccoli, beheading each plant with a single, sure swipe of his harvest knife. But under his waders are office clothes, and on his wrist is an oversized digital watch with a push-button calculator on its face. As his hand cuts, his eyes record data: stalk length and floret shape, the purple hue of perfect heads and the silver specks that foretell rot. At day’s end his broccoli goes to the food bank or the compost bin—it doesn’t really matter. He’s there to harvest information.

Read more in the Virginia Quarterly Review »

Class explores honeybee crisis

Class explores honeybee crisis (Willamette Live)
Those concerned about the drastic decline of honeybee populations can learn more as part of Straub Environmental Center’s Amateur Naturalist series. Ramesh Sagili (OSU) will present a lecture at the center on the evening of Thursday, June 19 with a follow-up field trip on Saturday, June 21.

Pollinator pleasers (Statesman Journal)

Pollinator pleasers (Statesman Journal)
“Floral abundance is one of the strongest ways to promote bee diversity in gardens,” said Gail Langellotto, the statewide coordinator for the Oregon State University Extension Service’s Master Gardener program. “Also, bees forage better for nectar and pollen in warm, sunny spots.”

Shrink your grocery budget by growing your food (Yahoo Finance)

Shrink your grocery budget by growing your food (Yahoo Finance)
Meanwhile, Gail Langellotto, statewide coordinator for the Oregon State University Master Gardener program, analyzed the findings of six reports on the subject. She found that gardens yield an average of 74 cents worth of produce per square foot planted. However, most of the studies she used were quite old – dating to the 1970s and ’80s – which could mean their results may not correlate to those of gardeners using newer seed hybrids and gardening methods. (see also MSN)

New Oregon Snowflake shrub is related to currants and gooseberries (Oregonian)

New Oregon Snowflake shrub is related to currants and gooseberries (Oregonian)

If you don’t have much space to plant shrubs, you’ll want to keep an eye out for Oregon Snowflake, a new flowering currant developed by Oregon State University that is smaller than other currants.

 

Indigo Rose tomatoes keep growing all season

Anthocyanins have been linked to allergy relief, improved vision, weight loss, heart health and attacks by unicorns. OK, not everything, but as a naturally occurring chemical in dark fruits such as blueberries, anothocyanins seem to be a good thing.

Now there is a tomato specially bred by Dr. Jim Myers at Oregon State University. He used wild tomatoes from Peru and the Galapagos Islands to breed a dark purple tomato called Indigo Rose.

Read more at CapeGazette.com »

Pointers for growing persnickety peppers

If you've become exasperated trying to make peppers thrive in Oregon's short-lived growing season, don't give up hope just yet.

Brooke Edmunds, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, has a few pointers on cultivating those persnickety peppers.

Your first decision involves choosing which varieties to plant. With peppers, you can select from a veritable cornucopia of options, Edmunds said. The bell pepper group, for example, includes about 200 varieties. Before getting overwhelmed, consider your end result, she advised.

Read more in the Portland Tribune »

Fewer bees dying, study finds

Fewer bees dying, study finds (Bend Bulletin)
Ideally, only 10 percent of colonies would die off during a given winter, said Ramesh Sagili, an apiculturist, or bee expert, with Oregon State University. But the large die-offs of recent years have caused beekeepers to adjust their expectations upwards in terms of mortality, he said. Compared to 30 percent, a die-off rate of 22 percent, which is where Oregon’s colony mortality rate has hovered in recent years, seems reasonable, he said.

Gardeners’ gems: Designer crops that will wow the neighbors

Gardeners’ gems: Designer crops that will wow the neighbors (NPR)
Jim Myers, a professor in Oregon State University’s horticulture department, started working on indigo varieties more than a decade ago with genetic material from wild tomatoes from Chile and the Galapagos Islands.

Attract bees, butterflies

Attract bees, butterflies (Bend Bulletin)
“The importance of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths and other pollinators has become more prominent as honey bee hives are affected by ‘colony collapse disorder’ and other ailments,” according to Gail Langellotto, Oregon State University horticulturist and statewide coordinator of the Master Gardener program.

March 2014 Garden Time: OSU Berry Crop Specialist, Bernadine Strik

Berry Crop Specialist----This job title brings to mind a person whose job it is to know ALL about Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Cranberries and Hardy Kiwi. Whew! Doesn’t that sound like an intense career? click here for article

EM 9066-P, Azalea Lace Bug – Chinche de encaie de la azalea

EM 9066-P, Azalea Lace Bug – Chinche de encaie de la azalea
Author: Robin Rosetta, Luisa Santamaria, Gilbert Uribe
New April 2014, 1 page, $35.00
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/abstract.php?seriesno=EM+9066-P

 

EC 1644, Living on The Land: Backyard Chicken Coop Design

EC 1644, Living on The Land: Backyard Chicken Coop Design
Authors: Dani Annala, Brian Tuck, Susan Kerr, Ellen Hammond, Shilah Olson
New April 2014, 2 pages, NC
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1644/

Pumpkins need space to grow to be monsters: Gardening basics

Halloween may be months away but if you are hoping to grow monster pumpkins, now is the time to start planting.

The world record monster pumpkin of 2013 weighed in at 2,032 pounds, according to the New York Botanical Garden. Maybe you won't achieve quite that size of a pumpkin, but choose the variety ‘Dill's Atlantic Giant’ and you, too, can grow the great pumpkin of Charlie Brown's dreams, said Jim Myers, a vegetable breeder for Oregon State University.

Read more in the Oregonian »

EM 9092, Distribution and monitoring of grape mealybug: A key vector of grapevine leaf roll disease in Oregon

EM 9092, Distribution and monitoring of grape mealybug: A key vector of grapevine leaf roll disease in Oregon
Authors: Daniel Dalton, Vaughn Walton, Kent Daane, Clive Kaiser, Rick Hilton, and Linda Brewer
New April 2014, 4 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/47545/em9092.pdf

Power up on purple

Incorporating fruits and vegetables in a range of colors into your daily diet is an excellent way to boost nutrition and enjoy some great flavors.

Depending on time of year, it’s pretty easy to put green, orange or red foods on a plate. But what about purple? Other than blueberries, eggplant and the occasional purple potato, most people haven’t seen a lot of choices for violet-hued foods.

Read more in the Register-Guard »

Pay attention to the soil

Pay attention to the soil (Good Fruit Grower)
Omeg hopes to collaborate with Lynn Long, Oregon State University extension educator in The Dalles, on a trial to look at the benefits to tilling the cover crop biomass into the soil versus leaving it on top. He uses a rotary spader to incorporate the green manure, rather than a rotary tiller, to avoid soil compaction.

Changing pear palates

Changing pear palates (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Visiting American pomologist Dr Todd Einhorn from Oregon State University says consumers are looking for different tastes from pears and new varieties might be the answer.

Prepare for the luscious taste of homegrown blueberries: Gardening basics

Put blueberry plants in now for a great crop of sweet, healthful fruit in the future.

Three categories of blueberry plants are best-suited for Oregon climates: Northern highbush varieties, rabbiteye varieties and half-high varieties, according to Bernadine Strik, a berry specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Plant sweet berries for summertime flavor

From strawberry jam to fruit salad, nothing says summer quite like the succulent strawberry.

What’s more, these sweet berries are also packed with vitamin C, fiber and potassium. So think about enhancing your edible landscape with healthful strawberries this spring. It’s best to plant them in late March through April after the threat of hard frost has passed in western Oregon, said Bernadine Strik, a berry specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

“The key thing to remember about strawberries is that there are three main types grown in Oregon,” Strik said.

Read more in the Hillsboro Tribune »

Jim Myers, vegetable breeder in the Department of Horticulture, explains participatory plant breeding

Professor and vegetable breeder Jim Myers talks about participatory plant breeding to the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Cooperative Extension Service.

Augusta Masters likely play on Oregon ryegrass

The legendary course at Augusta National Golf Club is so lush, it’s no wonder they give the Masters Tournament winner a green jacket.

The Georgia club is an exclusive place, with membership limited to the high and mighty — not to mention wealthy — of American business, political and celebrity circles. But as the Masters unfolds on television this week, Oregon grass seed growers and turf management students can feel a connection to the proceedings.

The incredible green of Augusta’s fairways comes from being overseeded each fall with perennial ryegrass grown in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

At least, that’s what everyone says. Augusta National is private with a capital P, even secretive, and its media handlers didn’t respond to emails asking about its groundskeeping practices. The Augusta Chronicle newspaper reported as recently as 2012 that Augusta overseeds with perennial ryegrass, however, and it’s a matter of faith in Oregon that the seed comes from the state that leads the world in production.

Augusta’s Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass, and goes dormant during the winter, explains Alec Kowalewski, director of the turfgrass program at Oregon State University. Perennial ryegrass, on the other hand, is a cool-season variety that does just fine in winter.

Read more at Capital Press »

The dirt on Gen Y: They do not garden but that may change

When 30somethings Mandy Valencia and Ryan Conner moved into their first house together in Medford last year, they faced a backyard lined with garden beds in need of attention. On top of that, neighbors shared stories about the previous homeowner leaving bags of fresh picked vegetables on their doorstep.

Talk about pressure. The couple – garden novices – found the idea of growing their own produce and continuing the neighborly tradition of sharing the excess both appealing and daunting.

Read more in the Oregonian »

2014 Blueberry Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley

EM 8538, 2014 Blueberry Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Authors: Joe DeFrancesco, Jay W. Pscheidt, and Wei Yang
Revised April 2014, 20 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46871/em8...

2014 Pacific Northwest Weed Management, Insect Management, and Plant Disease Management Handbooks

WEED, 2014 Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook
Editor: E. Peachey
Revised March 2014, 592 pages, $60.00
http://pnwhandbooks.org/weed

INSECT, 2014 Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook
Editor: C. Hollingsworth
Revised March 2014, 728 pages, $60.00
http://pnwhandbooks.org/insect

PLANT, 2014 Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook
Senior Editors: J. Pscheidt, and C. Ocamb
Revised March 2014, 788 pages, $60.00
http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease

Pomologist excited about the future of the pear

Consumption and production in both the US and Australia is said to be in decline.

Visiting American academic, Dr Todd Einhorn is a Pomologist with Oregon State University and says new varieties of pear are the key to attracting new consumers.

"The data I am familiar with is 70% of the US consumers will not purchase pears."

Read more at abc.net.au »

Updated pest management guides for hazelnuts, walnuts, cherries, prune, plum, apple, peach, and pear available

EM 8328, 2014 hazelnut pest management guide for the Willamette Valley
Authors: Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Vaughn Walton
Revised March 2014, 16 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46564/em8328.pdf

EM 8329, 2014 cherry pest management guide for the Willamette Valley
Authors: Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Steve Castagnoli
Revised March 2014, 15 ages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46566/em8329.pdf

EM 8421, 2104 walnut pest management guide for the Willamette Valley
Authors: Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Vaughn Walton
Revised March 2014, 7 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46565/em8421.pdf

EM 8362, Prune and Plum: 2014 Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Steve Castagnoli
Revised March 2014, 11 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46750/em8...

EM 8418, Apple: 2014 Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Steve Castagnoli
Revised March 2014, 14 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46752/em8...

EM 8419, Peach: 2014 Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Steve Castagnoli
Revised March 2014, 15 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46751/em8...

EM 8420, Pear: 2014 Pest Management Guide for the Willamette Valley
Jay W. Pscheidt, Ed Peachey, and Steve Castagnoli
Revised March 2014, 17 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/46774/em8...
 

OSU ranked in top 10 for ag, forestry

Oregon State University’s agriculture and forestry programs are ranked seventh best in the world in a new survey of institutions.

Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings each year lists the top universities in 30 subject areas, choosing from among 3,000 universities worldwide. The rankings are based on such things as surveys that measure an institution’s reputation among academics and employers. Also considered are the number of articles that university professors and researchers publish in academic journals and the amount of citations generated by the publications. The ag and forestry programs ranked eighth best in 2013.

Dan Arp, dean of OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, said the rise in ranking was a “testament to the continued great work of our faculty and researchers,” according to an OSU news release.

Read more at Capital Press »

Sprout seeds indoors or in the greenhouse: Gardening basics

When the first daffodils bloom to let us know that spring is around the corner, it is time to start vegetable seeds indoors or in the greenhouse.

It's best to start cool-season crops such as lettuce, cabbage, kale and chard in late February to early March in western Oregon, said Weston Miller, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Warm-season crops such as tomatoes and peppers should be started in late March to early April. Tomatoes should be "stepped up" from flats into a four-inch pot and then potentially into a gallon-size pot prior to transplanting, Miller advised.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Clive Kaiser named 2013 Milton Freewater Ag Businessman of the Year

Associate Professor Clive Kaiser has been named the 2013 Milton Freewater's Ag Businessman of the year.

New Berry Extension Resources Available Online


EC 1618, Strawberry cultivars for western Oregon and Washington
Authors: Chad E. Finn, Bernadine C. Strik, and Patrick P. Moore
Revised February 2014, 8 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/45878/ec1...

PNW 655, Raspberry cultivars for the Pacific Northwest
Authors: Chad E. Finn, Bernadine C. Strik, and Patrick P. Moore
New February 2014, 11 pages, NC
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/45870/pnw...
This replaces EC 1310, Raspberry Cultivars for Oregon

PNW 656, Blueberry cultivars for the Pacific Northwest
Authors: Bernadine C. Strik, Chad E. Finn, and Patrick P. Moore
New February 2014, 13 pages, NC
http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/45871/pnw6...
This replaces EC 1308, Blueberry Cultivars for Oregon

Blackberries: The aromatic, flavorful cultivated variety

When you're planning this year's garden, don't overlook one of the unsung heroes of the fruit world – the blackberry.

"Many people don't want to plant blackberries in their yard because they think it's an invasive weed," said Bernadine Strik, a berry crops specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “But they're actually thinking of the Himalaya blackberry, which is an invasive weed introduced to Oregon in the late 1800s that is very difficult to kill.”

Read more in the Oregonian »

New Organic Agriculture Courses Offered Spring Term 2014

HORT 260 Organic Farming and Gardening (3)
Organic farming and gardening methods are discussed in class and practiced in the field. The philosophical background of organic farming as well as the biological, environmental and social factors involved in organic food production are covered. Emphasis is on hands-on application of scientific principles to create sustainable food production systems. Lec/lab. Download flyer now »

HORT 499/599 or CROP 499/599 Organic and Third Party Certifications (2)
Spring Term 2014 - Tuesday 3:00-4:20 & Thursday 3:00-3:50, ALS 3096
Certification and labeling of the production and processing of agricultural products are some of the only ways that consumers can assure that the food they consume aligns with their values. There is a growing need to determine and understand what many of these food labels mean. In this course, students will learn the standards, procedures and processes necessary to certify land, production and processing as USDA organic, and correctly label products for the organic market as well as listing agricultural inputs for use in organic agriculture. In addition to Organic Certification, other important Third Party Certifications will be presented and discussed with the assistance of invited speakers. Download course flyer »

HORT 499/599 or CROP 499/599 Advanced Organic Farming (2)
Spring Term 2014 - Tuesday 1:00-2:20, ALS 3096
Peer-reviewed research on a broad range of topics related to Organic Agriculture has been ongoing for well over a decade and continues to increase.  This course will focus on this body of knowledge to reveal the techniques, advances as well as needs and concerns in what is now one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture.  The course places high expectations on participants to read, present, and discuss the published literature.  Students must be highly motivated to fulfill the requirements and expectations of this demanding subject.  Additionally, credit-seeking participants must have senior status, some course work, or equivalent experience on the subject of Organic Agriculture (or consent of instructors). Download course flyer »

 

PNW Fruit Growers Keeping Tabs On Stink Bug

For the past five years or so, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys) has been a major concern for fruit growers in the Eastern U.S., particularly those in the Mid-Atlantic region. While it was first detected in the U.S. in the late 1990s, BMSB really began making headlines around 2008 when it devastated peach and apple orchards, causing as much as 80% or more fruit loss in some areas.

Read more in Growing Produce »

Jeff Olsen, Professor and Extension Orchard Crops Specialist based in Yamhill County, had died

Jeff Olsen, Professor and Extension Orchard Crops Specialist based in Yamhill County, passed away on Friday, January 31, 2014. Details about his funeral and memorial are pending.

Braunworth cites need to balance industry support, academic independence

Bill Braunworth, recently appointed the head of Oregon State University’s Horticulture Department, knows what he’s getting into.

The university’s College of Agricultural Sciences is a critical partner for the state’s farmers and ranchers, and the horticulture department in particular works at the high end of crop production: blueberries, hazelnuts, wine grapes, ornamental plants and more. Big dollars, international trade, thousands of jobs and economic spinoffs ride on agriculture’s success.

Read more in the Capital Press »

OSU announces new hazelnut variety

A new variety of disease-resistant hazelnut aimed at the kernel market has been released by Oregon State University.

The cultivar, McDonald, was found to be “consistently productive with consistent quality” by a farmers’ advisory committee that evaluated the trees.

OSU breeder Shawn Mehlenbacher announced the new variety at the annual meeting of the Nut Growers’ Society in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 29.

Read more in the Capital Press »

The Seed of an Idea

What gardener, cook, or shopper at the farmers’ market hasn’t dreamed of being able to order up a vegetable to her own specifications? Say, a lovely ivory-colored carrot that actually has flavor, or a purple string bean that doesn’t wash out to gray-green when boiled, or a celery root that doesn’t have a dozen knobbly outcroppings that mean you waste a quarter of it as you pare? You fill in the blank. Every cook has a wish list.

So does every chef—and for the first time, chefs are realizing that they can make their dreams come true. The future has begun to take shape on both sides of the country with two groups that for the past few years were working in parallel and recently joined forces: the Culinary Breeding Network, in and around Portland, Oregon; and, near New York City, cooks, growers, and researchers associated with Dan Barber, who has become the country’s best-known chef who wants to advance farming techniques.

Read more in Organic Gardening »

Oregon's Agricultural Experiment Stations are featured in the latest issue of Oregon's Agricultural Progress

Photo by Lynn Ketchum

OSU tree fruit specialist Todd Einhorn experiments with pear rootstock to improve fruit quality and harvest efficiency. Photo by Lynn Ketchum.

Department of Horticulture faculty are featured in OAP, working on issues such as invasive pests and better fruit production at agricultural experiment stations around the state. 

Visit Oregon's Agricultural Progress »

Download the OAP app »

Braunworth named as head of OSU Department of Horticulture

Bill Braunworth has been selected to head the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, following a national search.

Since 1992, Braunworth has served OSU as the program leader of the Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Extension Program. As program leader, he developed greater budget capacity and flexibility and worked to preserve the Extension horticulture program in Multnomah, Lane, Linn and Lincoln counties.

Read more at OSU Extension Services »

Prevent a Garden Slugfest With Baits, Upkeep

Effective snail and slug management calls for a combination of garden upkeep and trapping. As for the most commonly used homemade baits, however, put away the saltshakers and leave the beer in a cooler, said Robin Rosetta, an entomologist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

"Table salt can dry up the mollusks but it also can build in the soil over time, damaging plants," she said. "Fermented sugar water and yeast is cheaper than beer-baited traps and just as functional for drowning slugs."

Read more at ABC News.com »

Beekeeper program buzzing at OSU

OSU master beekeeper program promotes innovation, collaboration on honeybee education.

We have never asked bees to do more work than we are asking them to do now for society, according to Joe Taylor, an undergraduate researcher in the Oregon State University Honey Bee Lab.

This is why bees are a crucial part of our world.

Taylor, a senior in natural resources in the Department of Forestry, has a passion for bees. This passion has inspired Taylor’s research on the nutrition of bees.

Read more at Capital Press »

Creating Tastier and Healthier Fruits and Veggies with a Modern Alternative to GMOs

Plant breeders have, of course, always used the best tools available to them. But in the last 10 years or so they have been able to approach their work in completely new ways in part because genetic sequencing technology is becoming so fast and cheap. “There’s been a radical change in the tools we use,” says Jim Myers of Oregon State University, who has been a plant breeder for more than 20 years and recently created an eggplant-purple tomato. “What is most exciting to me, and what I never thought I would be doing, is going in and looking at candidate genes for traits. As the price of sequencing continues to drop, it will become more and more routine to do sequences for every individual population of plants you’re working with.”

Read more in Scientific American »

Blackberry Cultivars for Oregon

EC 1617, Blackberry Cultivars for Oregon

Authors: Chad E. Finn and Bernadine C. Strik

New January 2014, 10 pages, NC

https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/44998/ec1...

Rooftop gardens are the future of farming

So many of our horticulture students at Oregon State University are enthralled with the thought of becoming organic farmers despite the fact there seems to be an overabundance in the Willamette Valley already.

I encourage them to look at the new urban environment, you know the one that covers only 2 to 3 percent of the earth’s surface but consumes nearly 70 percent of its resources. This particular model also predicts that the urban environment is poised to house and accommodate the needs of seven out of every 10 inhabitants by 2050. I recently examined a rooftop gardening operation on the east coast and was simply amazed at what they are doing.

Read more at Statesman Journal »

Finding the right rootstock for balanced cherry production

As some of the newest options on the market, the Russian-developed Krymsk rootstocks have created a buzz with fruit growers looking to better regulate production.cherries_square

For cherry producers, Krymsk 5 and Krymsk 6 offer promising alternatives to achieve ideal output and quality, explained Oregon State University Extension professor Lynn Long.

Read more at FreshFruitPortal.com »

Gardening basics: Control moss that invades Pacific Northwest lawns

With the rainy season in full swing, it's time to count yourself in one of two camps: You either love or hate the moss that invades Pacific Northwest lawns.

But if moss is your nemesis every winter, there are actions you can take to combat this ancient plant, according to Alec Kowalewski, turfgrass specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service. Moss is a sign of too much shade and wet soil conditions, he said.

Read more in the Oregonian »

Gardening basics: Protect your garden from ice and cold

The Arctic blast that recently chilled much of Oregon might make you worried about your plants.

Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, says there are several ways to protect your landscape from frigid conditions.

"Insulation is the key," said Penhallegon, a horticulture professor in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences. "The biggest issue is that it's only December. This is the first of many cold spells." 

Read more in the Oregonian »

OSU ag college enrollment growing

He’s been on the job less than two years, but Dean Dan Arp is working up a good story to tell about the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.

As Arp told the state Board of Agriculture this month, enrollment at the college set a record this year, with 2,381 undergrads and 450 graduate students.

The rush of students comes at a time when Oregon’s farmers, ranchers and processors are gaining recognition as an economic driver, and drone and robotics experts increasingly see the state’s vineyards, fields and orchards as proving grounds for new technology.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Online access to spotted wing drosophila genome could accelerate research

Oregon State University hopes to aid research on the fruit-damaging spotted wing drosophila by providing online access to the fly's newly sequenced genome.

OSU anticipates that scientists will use its new SpottedWingFlyBase website to develop ways to combat the invasive pest. Since its launch in November, spottedwingflybase.oregonstate.edu has been used by researchers in dozens of countries, said Vaughn Walton, an entomologist with the OSU Extension Service.

Read more at OSU Extension Services »

Oregon vineyards ponder impact of 2013’s record downpour

Oregon's wine grape harvest was marked by a record downpour, but this is an industry where bad conditions often result in good quality.

In the world of wine making, it’s a matter of faith that bad conditions produce good wine. Rocky soil? Makes the vines work harder to produce grapes, which in turn are like successful kids rising above their hardscrabble beginnings.

If that truism holds, the heavy rain that pelted Oregon’s vineyards in late September could make 2013 a fine vintage. Maybe.

Read more at Capital Press »

Blueberry tree research could help growers branch out

Wei Qiang Yang, blueberry agent for the Oregon State University Extension Service, has tested a grafted blueberry "tree" that grows on a single stem on a research plot at OSU's North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora every year since 2009. Yang is collaborating with researchers who are testing other blueberry varieties grafted onto rootstocks at land-grant universities in California and Florida as part of a multi-state effort.

Read more at FreshPlaza »

How to pick the right mulch

Compost or mulch? People often confuse the two, although each fulfills a different function in gardening.

Which one you want depends on your needs.

"Compost is used to feed crops; mulch is used to suppress weeds," said Daniel McGrath, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension. "Compost is decomposed organic matter that is generally higher in nutrients and relatively low in carbon compared to mulch. Mulch is raw, un-decomposed organic matter."

Read more at ABC News »

Spread of Asian Stink Bug Threatens US Crops

 A smelly invasive bug continues to spread across the United States, alarming both farmers and scientists.

The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug. Native to East Asia, the insect is causing crop losses from coast to coast in America.  Researchers are working on control measures, but some of those come with their own worries. 

One way scientists are following the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug is by setting traps. There are four traps at the edge of a blueberry field at Oregon State University's North Willamette research farm.

Read more at Voice of America »

Spread Of Stink Bugs Alarms Growers, Scientists

A malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest farmers and gardeners. The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug.

Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home.

Read more on OPB »

Understanding Ecosystems in Landscaping

 

Even while Signe Danler was working as a real estate agent in Corvallis, her heart was always with plants, gardening, and sustainable landscaping.

A Master Gardener since 1995, Danler spent much of her free time working in her own garden and volunteering in gardens around Oregon. She began studying botany at Linn Benton Community College over 20 years ago, but life got in the way, so she made do as a graphic designer, and and she later moved into a real estate career.

But opportunity arose in 2011 -- Danler was now eligible for grants to assist in paying for her education. With additional scholarships, savings, and some loans, she was able to go back to school full time, finishing her B.S in Horticulture with a focus in Ecological Landscapes and Urban Forestry in the spring of 2013. She complemented her degree with a minor in Soil Science.

As an undergrad, Danler worked on riparian restoration at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture. (Read more about this project). Her undergraduate thesis project involved writing a grant for the Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District. Danler took an inventory of trees and a small spot vegetation survey. Invasive plant species, like Himalayan blackberry, were cleared in the late summer of 2013, and native and nonnative beneficial plants will be planted soon.

Danler recently gave a tour of the cleared area to representatives from the Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District. On the tour, she pointed out that the area will be monitored and maintained, according to the grant stipulations, to keep the invasive plant species from spreading again.

In addition, Danler has undertaken a new challenge: a Masters of Agriculture in Horticulture. She's working in three distinct areas to learn about ways to incorporate working ecosystems into urban landscapes: Environmental Science, Horticulture, and Forestry.

"Often landscaping is an afterthought, especially when it comes to new construction," she explained. She's trying to figure out the best ways for developers and landscapers to understand a site and how it fits into the surrounding ecosystem. "Not just thrown in at the end," she added.

Twenty years ago when she started studying plants, the main focuses of the Horticulture program were turf and agriculture. "Now, there are plenty of opportunities to study ways to improve local environments and increase sustainability across landscapes," she said.

Gardening basics: Quick ways to diagnose a plant problem

You may immediately want to know "What's wrong with my plant?" when your tomatoes or azaleas appear wan. But don't stop there. Ask a series of systematic questions to diagnose and effectively address the cause of the malady, advises Neil Bell, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

"The principles of diagnosing a plant problem are very similar to going to a doctor or an auto mechanic," Bell said. "The doctor and the auto mechanic are looking for evidence of the root of the issue."

Read more in the Oregonian »

Women fill ranks of ag research and management positions

In addition to stepping into leadership roles at family farms, more women are filling the ranks of agricultural researchers and agency managers.

Katy Coba, who was the first female wheat truck driver on the family farm near Pendleton, has been director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture for the past 10 years. Celia Gould holds that position in Idaho and Karen Ross is secretary of California’s Department of Food and Agriculture.

Two of Coba’s upper level staff members are women: Deputy Director Lisa Hanson and Stephanie Page, who is special assistant to the director.

Female researchers are deeply engaged in agricultural issues. At Oregon State University, weed scientist Carol Mallory-Smith ran the initial tests this spring that determined volunteer wheat plants found growing in an eastern Oregon field carried an unapproved “Roundup Ready” gene.

Also at OSU, entomologist Amy Dreves works to thwart the spotted wing drosophila, an invasive fruit fly that causes severe damage to ripening fruit and berries. Patty Skinkis, a viticulturist, is researching ways to increase wine grape yields without decreasing quality. Sujaya Rao, another entomologist, is involved in a project to learn more about the health of native pollinators by tracking bumblebees’ movements using tiny sensors. Many more women hold teaching positions on campus or work at OSU’s Food Innovation Center or other Extension Service programs.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Saving The Bee A Major Issue At Oregon State

Oregon State University is hot on the trail of improving the lot of honeybees, an interest triggered by declining populations of the insect vital to agriculture.

OSU has a new tool for the industry in the Pacific Northwest to reduce the impact of pesticides on bees.

A revised publication is available in the wake of an estimated loss of 50,000 bees in a Wilsonville parking lot in mid-2013. The Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed that the deaths were related to an application of a pesticide to city trees to prevent aphids, a problem not linked to agriculture.

However, the episode has resulted in ODA slapping a six-month restriction on use of 18 insecticides containing dinotefuran.

Read more in Western Farmer-Stockman »

'Perfect storm' of factors blamed for colony collapse

An Oregon State University bee expert said that it is wrong to blame colony collapse disorder on neonicotinoid insecticides.

Ramesh Sagili, an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture at OSU, said that exposure to neonicotinoids and other pesticides is just one of many factors contributing to the recent decline in bee populations.

Read more in the Capital Press »

OSU updates resources for protecting bees from pesticides

 As the worldwide population of honey bees continues to decline, the Oregon State University Extension Service and partners have updated a tool for Pacific Northwest growers and beekeepers to reduce the impacts of pesticides on bees.

The revision of OSU Extension's publication appears after an estimated 50,000 bumble bees died in a Wilsonville parking lot in June. The Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed in a June 21 statement that the bee deaths were directly related to a pesticide application on linden trees conducted to control aphids. The episode prompted the ODA to issue a six-month restriction on 18 insecticides containing the active ingredient dinotefuran.

OSU researchers are investigating the effects of broad-spectrum neonicotinoids, such as dinotefuran, on native bees. The work is in progress, according to Ramesh Sagili, an OSU honeybee specialist.

Read more at OSU Extension Services »

Stink bug emerges as new invasive to Columbia County

A new insect to Oregon is affecting fruits and vegetables in Columbia County, and its numbers are growing.

After first being detected in Oregon in 2004, the exotic brown marmorated stink bug has established itself as an invasive pest in the state.

“They are showing some definite, severe problems on some apples, pears and quite a few other fruits,” said Chip Bubl, Oregon State University’s Agricultural Extension agent based in St. Helens. “This is probably our first year of visible, significant injury. It’s going to be a problem.”

Read more in the South County Spotlight »

Meeting Announcement & Call for Papers: 73rd Annual PNW Insect Management Conference

January 6 & 7, 2014

Hilton Hotel
921 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97204-1296
503-226-1611 or 800-445-8667

AttachmentSize
CallforPapers2014PNWIMC.pdf114.26 KB

Trees, shrubs can cut winter blues

Fall is a good time to plant shrubs and trees that will cheer up western Oregon’s often gloomy winter days.

“Fall is often a better time of year to plant trees and shrubs because the soil is still warm and plantings can get their roots established,” said Barb Fick, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “It’s also a forgiving time of year if you forget to water your plantings because of seasonal rainfall.”

Read more at the Forest Grove News-Times »

Stink bugs threaten Pacific Northwest crops

PORTLAND -- A destructive stink bug is invading the Pacific Northwest and could cause billions of dollars in damage to crops.

The brown marmorated stink bug is an almost indestructible pest originally from Asia. Experts say it’s not only hard to kill, but it also eats almost any crop and is immune to most pesticides.

“It's spreading like wildfire in the Willamette Valley,” said Oregon State University entomology professor Peter Shearer. “We're finding it in hazelnuts, grapes and berry crops.”

Read more from NBC News »

Southern Oregon winemakers are picking grapes, one of the earliest harvests in years

Winemakers in southern Oregon are celebrating one of their earliest harvests in years with harvest parties and grape stomps. 

The early harvest has vintners working for weeks straight, from the amateur hobbyist with a couple acres to the owner of the full-blown, staffed industrial operation, the Roseburg News-Review reported (http://bit.ly/19olXLV ). 

"It's one of the earliest harvests we've seen in a while," said Steve Renquist, horticulture agent with the Oregon State University Extension Service of Douglas County. "And the quality of the wine grapes is really outstanding."  

Read more in the Oregonian »

DIY 'insect hotel' attracts bees

by Al Shay, Instructor in the Department of Horticulture

Many of us have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder that is affecting the European honey bee.

The honey bee is responsible for more widespread pollination of agricultural crops than any other pollinator. For every third bite of food you take, it is said you can thank a honeybee.

Read more in the Statesman Journal »

Growing populations of brown marmorated stink bug could harm late-season crops

Oregon State University researchers warn of an increased risk of damage to late-ripening crops this year after discovering record levels of the brown marmorated stink bug, a newly established invasive pest in Oregon.

The alert comes at a critical time with harvest looming for many crops, including blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears, hazelnuts, grapes, sweet corn, peppers, and edible beans. The pest has shown an appetite for more than 100 different crops.

Late-season feeding and contamination by adult stink bugs and nymphs can result in discoloration of fruit, vegetables and nuts – ultimately sullying the crops' value at the marketplace. While no economic damage from the pest has been documented thus far in Oregon, OSU researchers worry that could change after this summer.

Read more from Oregon State University Extension Service »

Horticulture Members Recognized by College of Agricultural Sciences and the Agricultural Research Foundation

2013 Agricultural Research Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award: Shawn Mehlenbacher

2013 Savery Outstanding Young Faculty Award: Ryan Contreras

2013 James and Mildred Oldfield/ER Jackman Team Award: the Spotted Wing Drosophila Project.
Linda Brewer, Preston Brown (MCAREC), Flaxen Conway (Sociology), Daniel Dalton, Joseph DeFrancesco (IPPC), Amy Dreves, Amanda Ohrn (Crop & Soil Science), Dan Hilburn (ODA), Joe Kleiber, Jimmy Klick, Gail Langellotto, Jana Lee (ARS), John McQueen, Betsey Miller, Jeffrey Miller, Tom Peerbolt (Peerbolt Crop Management), Peter Shearer (MCAREC), Bernadine Strik, Sam Tochen, Vaughn Walton, Wei Yang (NWREC). 

2013 Agricultural Research Foundation  Faculty Research Assistant Award: Carolyn Breece

2013 College of Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Extension Education Award: Steve Renquist

Non-native stink bugs could hurt agriculture

Insect researchers are finding alarmingly high numbers of non-native stink bugs in Ashland and elsewhere in the Bear Creek Valley, and warn of a potential infestation that could foul homes and damage orchards and vineyards.

After a handful of brown marmorated stink bugs surfaced last year, they're popping up regularly this summer in Phoenix, Talent and Ashland. In Medford, the first of these bugs, commonly called Asian stink bugs, was discovered last week under a tree along East Jackson Street.

Read more in the Medford Mail Tribune »

Robot pesticide sprayer: future of farming?

It just may be the future of farming. A robot-like contraption that dramatically cuts down on the amount of pesticides going into rivers is being tested in Oregon.

The Hans Nelson and Sons Nursery in Boring has been testing out the contraption since May with help from Oregon State University researchers.

Read more and watch a video on KGW »

Local Youths Learn About Horticultural Career Opportunities from Pi Alpha Xi

Pi Alpha Xi Faculty Advisor Ryan Contreras explains his ornamental plant breeding research to CSC Youth Garden members.

In the Tissue Culture Lab in the Agricultural and Life Sciences Building on OSU's campus, six members of the Community Service Consortium's Youth Garden program carefully inspect slices of plant matter that are being coaxed into plantlets in the lab's controlled environment. Brooke Getty, one of the tour's leaders, Pi Alpha Xi's volunteer coordinator, and a junior focusing on Ecological and Sustainable Horticultural Production, encourages the students to look more closely.

"There are so many interesting experiments going on in each of these Petri dishes and test tubes," she explained.

Community Service Consortium (CSC) serves Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties by educating and advocating for those in need in the Willamette Valley. The youths serving in the Youth Garden Program are responsible for caring for over 40 raised beds of herbs and vegetables without the use of herbicides or pesticides. They also sell what they grow and produce at local farmers markets, and donate the excess to the Linn Benton Food Share. Members of the the program are extremely interested in horticultural production and growing crops in a sustainable way.

Brooke Getty, along with horticulture graduate students Jason Lattier and Jimmy Klick, took the reigns on showing the youths the numbers of career options open to those interested in horticulture. As members of Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, the OSU students are trying to make the community aware of what's going on in horticulture at Oregon State. Ryan Contreras, assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and ornamental plant breeder, is the faculty advisor for PAX. He also presented a brief presentation to the CSC members on the importance of ornamental plant breeding to Oregon's economy, and its prospect as a career.

"Nursery plants are Oregon's top agricultural crop," Contreras said. "And every homeowner is looking for a beautiful plant that flowers 52 weeks a year, requires no water, and won't spread to other parts of a garden. There's a lot of demand in the ornamental plant world."

The youths visited the ARS-USDA Hops Yard on Electric Road in Corvallis, as well as the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture near campus, where they explored the Center's organic garden. On campus, the youths were shown some of Contreras's research in the Ornamental Greenhouse, and they explored the science side of horticulture in the Cytology Lab and Tissue Culture Lab.

"We're trying to spark an interest in youths planning to enroll in college in the near future, " explained Getty. "There are lots of career options out there for people fascinated by plants." 

Using water wisely could save your plants and wallet this summer

"If you're willing to accept your lawn going brown during the summer, it works to not water it at all," said Weston Miller, community and urban horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. "The downside is that it doesn't look as good, but you'll have less competition with weeds."

Read more in the Oregonian »

Fruit Flies Infesting Crops

A pesky foreign fruit fly has been wreaking havoc for local berry and cherry farmers in the past few years. And this year may be worse than last, which was the worst on record, according to the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Known as the spotted wing drosophila, or Drosophila suzukii, the fruit fly attacks ripening fruit by laying eggs under the fruit’s surface. Within days, the fruit’s structure collapses, becoming a haven for maggots.

The insect is native to Southeast Asia and first appeared in California in 2008. It made its way to Oregon in 2009 and has since spread all over the state, including the southern Willamette Valley.

Read more at OPB »

Six Exotic Vegetables For Oregon Gardeners To Try

Bring a taste of South America, Europe or Asia to your garden this year by adding a diverse array of exotic vegetables.

A varied collection of plants can also reduce the potential for pests and diseases in a garden, said Jim Myers, a vegetable breeder with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

“There’s a lot of natural, biological control that goes on in a garden that we’re not even aware of when we have biodiversity,” Myers said.

Read more in the Albany Tribune »

Wish Oregon strawberry season was longer?

Oregon strawberries — everyone gets excited when they come into season because they are so fragrant and have amazing flavor.

Those in the know say we are in for an early harvest thanks to the warm spring weather we experienced. But, alas, the season is short. It generally lasts through the month of June. But Oregon State University and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service are putting their heads together to see how the Oregon strawberry season can be extended.

Read more in the Portland Tribune »

Berry bliss; early, abundant

Lane County strawberries are making up for arriving about two weeks late last year: They arrived about two weeks early this year, said Ross Penhallegon, longtime agent with the Oregon State University extension service.

Although not every grower’s berries ripen at the same time, the season generally starts around June 15 in Lane County, Penhallegon said, and normally lasts four to eight weeks, although not all farms have berries throughout that period. This year’s mild spring accounts for the earlier start.

Read more in the Register-Guard »

New online tool helps growers manage insects

Growers can now easily identify and manage insects while in the field using smart phones and tablets with a new online tool developed by Oregon State University and partners.

Last year, if a grower found a glob of frothy, white foam smeared on a patch of young alfalfa hay, one option was to comb through 600-plus pages in a three-ring binder to identify the culprit as a meadow spittlebug.

Now, growers can check the revamped Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook website.

Read more at OSU Extension Service » 

Drosophila pressure up this year, scientists warn

The spotted wing drosophila fruit fly could pose a greater threat to berry and cherry producers in Oregon and Washington this season, scientists are warning.

Populations were high last season and more flies likely made it through a mild winter, said Vaughn Walton, an Oregon State University Extension entomologist in Corvallis. Early blueberries and cane berries may be more susceptible this season, he said.

"A relatively warm spring enhanced their survivability and ability to lay eggs. Modeling shows there will be pressure, no question. Timing will be the key thing," Walton said.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Lean and serene

To be an instructor - check that - to be THE instructor in Oregon State University's turfgrass program it helps to have a background in wrestling. And if that's the case, Alec Kowalewski, Ph.D., should be just fine as he completes his first six months on the job as the program's only professor.

Read more in TurfNet News »

Portlanders add bee crisis to area's honey-do list

You’ve heard of eco-roofs and rooftop gardens, but the latest twist to hit Portland comes with a sweeter payout: Rooftop honeybee hives.

New Seasons Market recently installed a honeybee hive atop its store in Happy Valley, a picturesque suburb 15 minutes east of Clackamas that’s a mix of newer homes and farmland.

“They’ll go to all these neighborhoods, start pollinating everyone’s gardens and yards, the fruit trees and farms,” says Portland beekeeper Damian Magista, surveying the skyline from the grocery store’s roof. “It’s a great environment here. There’s plenty of food.”

In other words: Happy bees make lots of honey.

Read more at KOIN »

Fruit fly prediction has farmers anxious

For berry and stone fruit farmers, nature has conspired to create perfect conditions for an explosion of a crop-damaging fruit fly known formally as drosophila suzukii and informally as the spotted wing drosophila.

Researchers at Oregon State University are predicting record levels of the invasive pest, which wreaks havoc on blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, prunes and other popular fruits.

“The climate is absolutely perfect in many ways, at this stage,” said horticultural entomologist Vaughn Walton.

Read more in the Spokesman-Review »

Trapping the spotted wing drosophila

Entomologists who are working with the spotted wing drosophila are trying to refine their monitoring techniques so they can correlate number of flies trapped to number of flies that are actually in the orchards and to give greater meaning to the results.

Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) is a tiny fruit-feeding insect that appeared in the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 2009. Unlike its relative, the common fruit or vinegar fly, which attacks only mature fruit, the spotted wing drosophila attacks fruit on the tree.

Read more in the Good Fruit Grower »

Researchers study unleashing wasp to crush stink bug invasion

A team of researchers at Oregon State University is trying to make sure a species of stink bug doesn't overtake Oregon.

They say all signs are there that the pest is poised to make farmlands its next frontier. That could lead to an economic catastrophe.

Read more at KATU.com »

Azaleas, rhododendrons face severe threat from lace bugs

Azaleas and rhododendrons, two of the Northwest's most iconic plants, are under threat from an insect expected to cause serious damage. Experts say homeowners will have to come to terms with difficult and perhaps unsuccessful attempts at control, or remove plants from the landscape.

Read more in the Oregonian »

May is prime time to dethatch and aerate lawns

May is an optimum time to aerate and dethatch your lawn. 

If your lawn is made up of perennial ryegrass or tall fescue, you likely don't have to worry about thatch, said Alec Kowalewski, a turfgrass expert for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

But if it's Kentucky bluegrass or creeping bentgrass, Kowalewski advised dethatching or aerating your lawn once or twice a year in the spring and fall.

Thatch is a layer of decaying roots and stems that build up between grass and the soil. If you can see thatch on the surface of the soil, you've likely got too much, he said.

"The best way to tell if your lawn needs dethatching is to take a shovel and dig out a little piece of soil and look at whether there is thatch layer accumulation," Kowalewski said.

Read more from OSU Extension »

'Fruit fly' becoming more prevalent in Rogue Valley

Wet springs, warm-but-not-too-hot summers and an abundance of wild blackberries have led to an infestation of the spotted wing drosophila locally.

Damage caused by the fly, which can ruin berry and cherry crops, "has gotten worse every year and certainly is not going to get better," said Rick Hilton, an entomologist with the Oregon State University Extension Service in Jackson County.

The fly came from Asia four years ago and has infested the entire United States, preferring to lay its larvae on cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, making them unfit to eat or market, Hilton said.

"They're still increasing in numbers and they have no problem living in the Rogue Valley," says Hilton, noting the wet springs of 2010 and 2011 aided in the spread. "A lot of small growers are having to spray (insecticides) a lot more than they used to."

Read more in the Ashland Daily Tidings »

Fruit-damaging fly could hit record population in Northwest this year

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The spotted wing drosophila fly, which lays its eggs in fruit and makes it unmarketable, could reach record population levels in the Pacific Northwest this year, according to Oregon State University researchers.

"All indications estimate this season will be similar or worse than 2012, which was the worst on record," said Vaughn Walton, an entomologist with the OSU Extension Service. “Winter and spring temperatures in the Pacific Northwest have been warmer than last year, and heat equals larger populations of spotted wing drosophila.”

Read more at OSU Extension Service »

The new edibles are nutritious, delicious and gorgeous

WITH BACKYARD farming going strong, new varieties of fruits and vegetables are as eagerly awaited as the latest heuchera or hellebore. Especially if they're a nutrient-dense tomato, smaller-scale kale, bigger-than-life raspberry — or corn petite enough to grow in a container.

If you choose varieties well-suited to our climate, you'll be rewarded by fresh taste and the peace of mind that comes with growing your own.

'Indigo Rose' is more than a pretty cherry tomato. It's the darkest tomato ever, as deeply hued as an eggplant. Along with a flavor described as "plummy," it delivers a dose of healthful anthocyanins, the same antioxidants found in blueberries. Bred by horticulture professor Jim Myers of Oregon State University in Corvallis, 'Indigo Rose' starts out green, turns purple in the sun and ripens to burgundy. The compact plant is moderately vigorous and prolific.

Read more in the Seattle Times »

Six raised beds to try if you have bad soil

Afraid gardening and your soil are not compatible? Raised beds can come to the rescue.

“By building raised beds, you instantaneously can have good garden loam,” said Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Raised beds answer the question of how we garden in inhospitable areas that are too sandy, too wet or have too much clay.

Read more in the Democrat-Herald »

Recent Graduate Profile

Aaron McLaughlin

B.S. in Horticulture with an option in Ecological and Sustainable Horticultural Production. Graduated Winter 2013.

In his new position as Propagation Grower at Bailey Nurseries in Yamhill, Oregon, Aaron McLaughlin's main job is "to make the plants happy," he says.

As one of the crew in charge of rooting four million trees and shrubs per year, McLaughlin works in many different facets of horticultural production, including pest and nutrient management. "We produce more than 1,000 varieties of trees and shrubs - everything from maples, cherries, and conifers to roses, hydrangea, and barberry. My group works to make sure every one of these delicate plants is rooted and stabilized," he explains.

"Each of the varieties that Bailey Nurseries produces has different crop requirements and must be cared for in a unique way. This keeps the job interesting because even if you know everything in the world about a single crop, there are 100 more that you will continue to struggle with. In my opinion, this diversity makes working at a nursery much more satisfying and challenging than on a conventional farm."

McLaughlin completed an internship at Bailey Nurseries prior to graduating. He cycled through an 11 week program, taking his turn job-shadowing people working in propagation, plant health, fieldwork, and more. He also worked at Bailey last summer in a fulltime position.

"I got to see each cog in the nursery production wheel," he said.

McLaughlin admits he's always been interested in plants, so he really wanted to find a career that would let him work in the field. He's thrilled with his current position and hopes one day to move up to a managerial role. In addition to majoring in Horticulture, he also minored in Business and Entrepreneurship.

While at OSU, McLaughlin's favorite class was Plant Nursery Systems, taught by Rich Regan. "As someone really interested in production, this is a broad class that gets you working in the lab and in the greenhouse. You get to grow!"

He encourages current and incoming Horticulture undergraduates to be aware of all the classes offered at OSU and to focus more on what may be helpful in achieving your career goals, rather than just fulfilling the major requirements.

OSU Interdisciplinary Team Paper is Named ASHS Outstanding Extension Publication for 2012

An interdisciplinary paper, written by a team comprised of Research Associate Julian James from Agricultural & Resource Economics, Professor Bernadine Strik and Courtesy Faculty David Bryla from Horticulture, and Associate Professor Dan Sullivan from Crop and Soil Science has been awarded the 2012 American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Publication Award.

The paper, "Costs of Establishing Organic Northern Highbush Blueberry: Impacts of Planting Method, Fertilization, and Mulch Type" will be on display at the 110th ASHS Annual Conference in Palm Springs, CA, from July 22 - July 25, 2013. The team will be honored at an awards ceremony during the conference, as well. 

Three Minutes to Change the World

“Today,” Morgan Curtis told his audience, “I have the difficult task of convincing you that a subject literally as dry as mulch is interesting and important to our industry.”

A difficult task indeed. As conversational fodder goes, mulch would appear to be as dry as dirt.

But in just three minutes, the Oregon State University horticulture student managed to convey that planting cover crops in vineyards and turning them into mulch can conserve soil moisture, improve vine growth and deliver other benefits for Oregon wine producers.

Read more in the Gazette Times »

Gardeners, be on the lookout for pest

Gardeners and nurseries should be on the lookout this spring for a relatively new pest in Oregon that damages azaleas and rhododendrons, according to experts with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

The azalea lace bug was first confirmed in Oregon in 2009 by OSU researchers after it was found in Washington in 2008.

"On the East Coast, it's caused significant damage, and since it's been here ... I've seen a lot of damage," said Weston Miller, an OSU Extension horticulturist.

Read more in the Mail Tribune »

Grafted tomatoes become super producers (Reno Gazette-Journal)

Tomatoes, the kings of U.S. home gardens, are undergoing a revolutionary change, according to breeders and growers.

Producers are grafting disease-resistant and insect-resistant roots onto familiar heirloom and hybrids, and seed catalogs are featuring a varied selection of grafted plants for the first time this year. Tests in the U.S. have shown that even notoriously stingy but good-tasting tomato plants become super producers when grafted to more vigorous roots.

Read more in the Reno Gazette-Journal »

Choose disease-resistant roses for your yard

Roses have such fanciful names and alluring colors, so how do you choose which ones to plant?

“If I’m going to grow roses I tend to grow roses that have fragrance,” said Barb Fick, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “Some people go for color. I also go for disease-resistance.”

Read more in the Chronicle »

Tiny wasp could stop stink bug

As the brown marmorated stink bug spreads across the state, Oregon State University is studying how to use bug-on-bug warfare to stop this crop-damaging pest.

The insect arrived in the eastern United States in the late 1990s and has since spread to more than 30 states. The non-native bug was found in Portland in 2004 and has since shown up in 13 Oregon counties, including all of the Willamette Valley.

Read more in the Western Farm Press »

'Zombie bees': Government says it's still hype

Last year alarms sounded around the world when a university study reported a “deadly fly parasite” could threaten the honey bees, making them act “zombie-like” and saying it was “consistent” with the deadly Colony Collapse Disorder.

The Associated Press, and other news agencies quickly broadcast the questioned discovery without checking reliable sources beyond those who produced the study.

Read more in the Washington Times »

Growing Resistance, Oregon Hazelnuts Battle Blight

Although Oregon is known for many exports — from timber to hipster irony — few people are aware that it's actually the country's leading source of hazelnuts.

Growers estimate that 99 percent of the United States' crop comes from Oregon's Willamette Valley. Just a few years ago, the industry was on the verge of collapse due to a disease called Eastern filbert blight. Now, years of research have brought blight-resistant breeds to fruition.

Read more at NPR »

Grafted tomatoes become super producers

Tomatoes, the kings of U.S. home gardens, are undergoing a revolutionary change, according to breeders and growers.

Producers are grafting disease-resistant and insect-resistant roots onto familiar heirloom and hybrids, and seed catalogs are featuring a varied selection of grafted plants for the first time this year. Tests in the U.S. have shown that even notoriously stingy but good-tasting tomato plants become super producers when grafted to more vigorous roots.

Read more in the USA Today »

Horticulture Students Recognized During Pi Alpha Xi Initiation Ceremony and Charter Presentation

Horticulture undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty were inducted into the Alpha Rho chapter of Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, during a charter presentation and celebration held on February 13, 2012, in the Memorial Union. In attendance to present Oregon State University with the charter was past PAX National President John Peterson.

Oregon State University's PAX chapter faculty advisor, Ryan Contreras, Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture, started the proceedings, followed by remarks from past College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Sonny Ramaswamy and Anita Azarenko, the Department of Horticulture's past Head. OSU was presented with the charter, and the new initiates took their oath. The ceremony was followed by a networking mixer.

"It's great for undergrads to mix with faculty and graduate students in an organization like this," explains Contreras. "They get to learn about graduate school and the types of projects being done. It gives the students an opportunity to plan their trajectory, whether it be a research project or graduate school."

The following undergraduates from Horticulture were inducted into PAX: Mary Kohl, Alex Moeller, Rose Potter, Mary Morey, Ranann Blatter, David Benjamin, Jessica Pulliam, Wayne Hitt, Katy Echauri, Amanda Irish, and Signe Danler.

In addition, Horticulture graduate students Christina Hagerty, Brooke Peterschmidt, Todd Lemein, Alison Reeve, Renee Harkins, Megan Mathey, Joseph Rothleutner, Richard Martinson, Morgan Curtis, Ty Patton, Laurie McKenzie, Kristen Pool and Jimmy Klick were initiated into PAX.

Over the past year, PAX events have included quarterly social events, including a heirloom apple orchard tour and tasting at 2 Towns Ciderhouse. Contreras' goal is to add service projects to the mix, like renovating the landscape at the southeast entrance of the Agricultural Life Sciences building.

"PAX initiates should be very proud," said Contreras. "They're being recognized for being our highest achieving students."

Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and have junior standing to be eligible.

The following Horticulture faculty were also inducted into PAX: Anita Azarenko, Patty Skinkis, Gail Langellotto, Mara Friddle, and Rob Golembiewski, who left OSU in April 2012.

View 2012 Initiation Ceremony Photos »

Say hello to Oregon's newest nut tree

From Oregon State University's renowned hazelnut-breeding program, here's the latest scoop: Welcome Wepster, a new, high-yielding, blight-resistant hazelnut tree bred to fulfill the wishes of the chocolate industry.

In a competitive marketplace where bigger usually is better, Wepster is being hailed for its petite nut — a suitable trait for some of the world's most famous chocolatiers with persnickety specs. Indeed, to fit into their precisely engineered candy-making processes (think tender, little morsel centered in a Ferrero Rocher chocolate truffle), only hazelnuts with a diameter of 11 to 13 millimeters will do.

Read more in the Medford Mail Tribune »

Shawn Mehlenbacher wins 2012 Wilder Medal from American Pomological Society

Professor Shawn Mehlenbacher was presented the award for his contributions to hazelnut genetics and cultivar development.

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The Great Stink Bug

Oregon State University is studying how to use bug-on-bug warfare to stop this crop-damaging pest. The insect arrived in the eastern United States in the late 1990s and has since spread to more than 30 states. This non-native bug was found in Portland in 2004 and has since shown up in 13 Oregon counties, including all of the Willamette Valley. The pest has caused major commercial crop damage in many eastern states but so far it has had minimal impact on Northwest crops.

Read more in the Environmental News Network »

OSU creates small-kerneled hazelnut for confection market

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has developed a new high-yielding, blight-resistant hazelnut for the baking and chocolate industries.

Known as Wepster, or OSU 894.030, it was bred to be shelled, blanched and sold as kernels as an alternative to the OSU-bred varieties called Lewis, Clark, Sacajawea and Yamhill, said OSU's hazelnut breeder, Shawn Mehlenbacher. He announced the release today in Portland at the annual meeting of the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

Read more from Oregon State University Extension »

 

Georgia turf expert heads to OSU for greener grass


Article and photos by Tiffany Woods, OSU Extension.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Alec Kowalewski, Oregon State University's new turf specialist, jokes that two requirements for the job were to have a Polish-sounding last name and to be a graduate of Michigan State University.

That's because he replaces fellow MSU alumnus Rob Golembiewski, who left in March to work for Bayer Environmental Science after coming to OSU in 2008.

Kowalewski, formerly an assistant professor of turf management at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Georgia, began work at OSU on Dec. 31.

He'll divide his time between teaching, researching and working as a specialist with OSU's Extension Service to help the turf grass industry. As the N.B. and Jacqueline Giustina Professor in Turf Management, he is funded in part by an endowment created by the family of OSU alumnus Nat Giustina.

He'll carry out his research on the plots and putting greens at OSU's Lewis-Brown Farm and the Trysting Tree Golf Club near campus. He'll be aided by OSU's Brian McDonald, a research assistant who maintained the turf program after Golembiewski's departure. With golf courses, schools and city park departments tightening their belts, Kowalewski plans to conduct experiments that aim to help them maintain acceptable turf conditions on a budget.

At the same time, he intends for his research to also help them reduce their impact on the environment. For example, he's thinking of testing different varieties of grass that require less irrigation and fertilizer to see which performs the best. Or he might take a look at how naturally derived products like corn gluten meal or soybean meal work as alternatives to pesticides, he said.

"Turf management is really entering what I'd call an environmentally conscious era," he said. "There are a lot of concerns about available resources and the effect management is having on the environment."

Kowalewski (pronounced cove-a-less-key) will also oversee graduate students' research, including a project to control Microdochium patch without chemicals. Caused by a fungus, the disease is associated with rainy, cool conditions and forms spots of discolored, damaged grass.

"Microdochium is a very big problem throughout the Pacific Northwest about eight months out of the year," he said. "Golf course superintendents often lose their jobs over problems like this. It's like being a doctor that can't take care of a patient properly."

The disease is costly to golf courses because they have to buy fungicides and replant the grass. But pesticide regulations are expected to become increasingly restrictive, Kowalewski said, so other options are necessary. As a result, graduate student Clint Mattox will explore a variety of treatment methods, which Kowalewski said could include acidifying the soil, drying the turf with a blower, flattening it with a roller, or applying bicarbonates, sodium borate or mineral oil.

Over the next few months, Kowalewski plans to meet with superintendents, athletic turf managers, landscapers and Extension's Master Gardeners to identify other turf problems in the Pacific Northwest they'd like OSU to address.

Kowalewski brings to the position experience as a professor and researcher. In Georgia, he taught during the school year and conducted field trials in the summer. He tested new cultivars of bermudagrass to see how they grew with limited water, infrequent mowing and minimal fertilizer. He also studied how grasses stood up to heavy foot traffic on athletic fields.

In 2007 and 2008, his job took him to Beijing, China, where he literally watched the grass grow for almost five months. He was serving as an adviser to the company that built the portable athletic field used in the Bird's Nest stadium for the track and field events and the men's soccer final during the Olympics. In a parking lot a few miles from the stadium, a crew grew grass on 4-foot by 4-foot trays filled with 8 inches of soil. Every morning at 6 a.m., he inspected the grass for disease and made sure it had the right amounts of fertilizer and water. Then in August after the opening ceremony, his work paid off when the panels were trucked to the stadium and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle.

As for his own grassy yard at his former home in Georgia, Kowalewski wasn't as attentive.

"It's the worst one on the block. I mowed it probably three to four times a year," he said, assuring that it's no reflection on his professional life. "I think of it as trying to leave work at work."

That, and the fact he's also a busy guy. He hasn't even hit the links in about two years, an irony for someone dedicated to helping the golf industry.

"Two years ago I was at 10 courses visiting interns in the Hilton Head area of South Carolina and didn't get a chance to golf because I was so busy," he said. "People ask me what my hobby is. I say, 'I have a 2 ½-year-old daughter. That's my hobby.' It's hard to go golfing when you spend so much time at work and then to convince the wife that you want to go golfing on Saturday. That's usually not an argument you win."

Actually, turf sports aren't Kowalewski's forte. The Michigan native spent his college years locking opponents in half nelsons on a wrestling mat at MSU. Initially pursuing and later earning an undergraduate degree in studio art, it wasn't until he got a summer job at MSU's turfgrass research center that he decided there were greener pastures outside the studio. He went on to earn a doctorate at MSU in crop and soil sciences with an emphasis on turf management.

"Turf management is a great career," he said. "Young people think of college degrees as business and psychology, but you can make a great living taking care of golf courses, athletic fields, city parks or the grounds on a campus. One of my objectives is to get to high school students and tell them this is a great career to go into."

Information on OSU's turf management program is at BeaverTurf.com. Learn more about Alec Kowalewski's research in his faculty profile.

Seeding new ground

It was during the summer of 2002 that Alec Kowalewski discovered his true calling. He was an undergraduate student in studio art (graphic design) at Michigan State University, and he was thinking about a career in website design after graduation.

Kowalewski had worked summers before then at MSU’s turfgrass research center, where he mowed lawns and performed other chores. But in 2002, he got to help replace the football field at Spartan Stadium, where the Michigan State University football team plays its home games.

Read more in the Gazette Times »

OSU faculty helping farmers in other countries

THE DALLES, Ore. -- Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences faculty are helping feed the world through an international program that helps foreign farmers improve crop production.

And, in the process, they are learning a little something about themselves.

Brian Tuck and Ross Penhallegon are among several OSU extension faculty who have been participating in a U.S. Agency for International Development program that is helping improve crop production around the world.

"It's fun, exciting, and the main thing is being able to help people grow food," said Penhallegon, a Lane County extension agent who has participated in more than two dozen USAID-backed farmer-to-farmer excursions.

Read more in the Capital Press »

Mastering Bee Knowledge

The buzz around the Oregon Master Beekeeper program is growing louder.

Offered through the Oregon State University Extension Service, the program just wrapped up its first year. Its main goals are to educate people about honeybees and to teach them how to be responsible beekeepers.
 

Read more in the Gazette Times »

The Shell Shock: Saving Oregon's Hazelnuts

As the hazelnut (also known as a filbert) has enjoyed a new prominence—nationally as a protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin E–rich addition to everything from salads to cereal, and regionally as a delicate, cholesterol-free condiment to encrust fresh trout, sprinkle over ice cream, or blend into rich tortes—the blight striking my family’s orchard has been wreaking havoc across the entire industry. For decades what little notice the media took of the growing disaster was mostly in the trade press and the occasional down-page story in the newspaper. Then early this year a slate of articles heralded a hero in the fight against the blight: Shawn Mehlenbacher, an Oregon State University researcher, and the new strain of tree he developed, dubbed Jefferson, after the US president. 

Read more in the Portland Monthly »

Riparian Restoration

Oak Creek at Oregon State University is a 13 square mile stream that meanders through farmland and pastures on the southern side of campus. Before leaving campus and meeting up with Marys River, Oak Creek flows through the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture, a research facility where students learn sustainable landscaping practices, organic vegetable gardening, and more.

For years, the Oak Creek watershed has housed a number of research projects for students from various departments on campus, on topics such as aquatic entomology, sediment transport, and wildlife restoration. Now, it's time for Oak Creek itself to become a project for students interested in learning about watershed stewardship, riparian restoration, and the benefits of landscaping with native plants.Al Shay at Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture

Al Shay, the site manager for the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture (OCCUH), points out that the area of Oak Creek running alongside 35th Street hasn't been cared for in many years.

"It's an eyesore," he stated, pointing out the invasive blackberry bushes and English Ivy that have creeped into the basin. Luckily, the official owner of this section of Oak Creek, the city of Corvallis, is partnering with OSU to revitalize the area.

The first step, said Shay, was to tear out the invasive plants and brush growing in the creek's basin, which a group of 12 students working in the chilly, early morning rain on November 17 did. The students, working on a course objective for SOIL 205 Soil Science, also removed an old fence.

The debris generated from this cleanup will be used to build a berm near the Oak Creek Center, to prevent the neighboring meadow from draining mud and other detritus into the creek. A bioswale will also be constructed, providing a better way for water to drain into the creek.

Next, the plan is to plant native species that are better suited to Oak Creek's unique ecosystem. Plants will be selected that help exclude light (to help fight off invasive grasses) and that limit competition among one another.

"The plantings will be drought tolerant, sustainable, and will enrich the soil," explained Shay. "The vision for this area is functional first, attractive second. This is a great example of the new urban horticulture."

The City of Corvallis donated a $400 planting allowance to this project, and Sevenoaks Native Nursery  in Albany will provide the group with a number of native plants to enhance the area.

"This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in learning more sustainable landscaping practices," said Shay. "As well as collaboration with a city to restore an area."
 

Oregon fireflies only glow when young

According to Mike Burgett, Oregon State University Extension emeritus professor of entomology, there are two species of fireflies in Oregon.

Actually, fireflies are species of beetles rather than flies. And neither of the species found in our state glows as an adult.

Read more in the Statesman Journal »

Ancient Cultures Offer Food for Thought

written by Al Shay, Instructor in the Department of Horticulture

I teach several classes at Oregon State University — landscape design, landscape maintenance and landscape construction — and I always start at the same point: examining the history of landscape design.

As is typical of any historical perspective, examining the past reveals concepts and practices that might be helpful in today’s techno-oriented world.

Much of our vision has been inherited from the gardening styles of Europe. Throw in the gardens of Egypt or Islam, and you have more than enough food for thought.

Read more in the Statesman Journal »

Growing Rogue: Medford’s Porter Lombard makes wine unlike anyone

Porter Lombard’s laboratory is dim and cluttered, its shelves packed with mismatched bottles of purple and red fluid surrounded by knives, beakers, notebooks, plastic tubing and one giant wooden spoon. Even if you go to the smallest of the 150 Willamette Valley wineries open for tours Thanksgiving weekend, you’re unlikely see anything quite like this. And there’s no chance you’ll taste anything like what’s in the bottles stacked in Lombard’s musty “wine room.” This is wine you cannot buy; wine that, to the best of his knowledge, no one else has even tried making. He calls it Takelma noir, and it’s bottled biodiversity.

Read more in the Willamette Week »

Workshop offered for new orchardists

Choosing a proper site for a hazelnut orchard is the most important step a grower can take in establishing a successful operation, according to an Oregon State University extension agent.

"Pick the best site, because it's hard to turn a poor site into a productive orchard," said Jeff Olsen, orchard crops extension agent for the north Willamette Valley.

Read more in the Capital Press »

It's brown, it's marmorated, it's a stinkbug

StinkbugOregon agriculture entomologists say one of the state's worst pests, the crop-eating brown marmorated stinkbug, moves indoors this time of year. You may see them clinging to walls, climbing up curtains or snuggled into couch cushions.

Brown marmorated stinkbugs can heavily damage fruit and vegetables, and tend to move indoors for the winter.
They let off a gnarly smell when agitated but aren't dangerous to people or pets. They don't harm structures and won't chew on your houseplants. Give them a warm place for the winter, however, and it's more likely their offspring will graze on your peppers, tomatoes or flowers next spring and summer. 

Read more in the Oregonian »

Scientists Work to Enhance Pear Flavor

Oregon State University professor David Sugar is working with University of California-Davis scientists on enhancing the flavors of pears by stimulating ripening.

The result could be better pears earlier.

Sugar has found that subjecting pears to ethylene treatment and then storing them at 50 degrees Fahrenheit for three or four days "really brings out the aromas," he said.

Read more in the Capital Press >

Breeding Better Stock: Hardy Hazelnuts

Among the treasures of Oregon’s fabulous Willamette Valley are orchards producing more than 99 percent of the domestic hazelnut crop. And even though, by world standards, we’re ranked as number three in production, behind Turkey and Italy, Oregon hazelnuts are considered the best.

Of course, the industry is always trying to find ways to improve. And it’s thanks to forward thinking growers and researchers that the Oregon Hazelnut Industry so progressive.

Read more in the Corvallis Gazette Times >

Interactive Technologies Enhance Fruit Fly Research Presentation

When an invasive fruit fly was found in Mexico's important agricultural states, the Mexican government reached out to the experts at OSU's Spotted Wing Drosophila Project to help them deal with this new threat to fruit exports. In turn, SWD Project staff consulted the experts at Technology Across the Curriculum, a unit of Information Services, to help the Project optimize a Spanish-language research review and protect agricultural interests across North America.

Read more from OSU's Information Services >

Governor's bees abandon hive

“If the population of varroa mites was beyond what we call an economic threshold level then it definitely affects the health and survival of the bees,” said Ramesh Sagili, an assistant professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Horticulture and honeybee researcher.

Read more in the Statesman Journal >

Read the latest issue of The Source, news from the College of Agricultural Sciences

The Sourse

Featuring stories, videos and blogs about the work and experiences of Horticulture faculty, staff, and students.

Exploring the Versatile and Colorful World of Tomatoes

One of the most popular end-of-growing season contests are the tomato taste contests held around the country.

The folks at Earthly Delights farm in Northwest Boise added a twist to their tomato contest, designating certain categories for their recent competition: sweetest, tangiest, prettiest, weirdest and overall best. Tomatoes grow differently in different parts of the world, even different parts of the Valley, and of course tastes differ. Popularity of tomato varieties changes, too, but many winners and losers appear so regularly that they’re no surprise.

Read more at the Idaho Statesman>

New Plant Breeding and Genetics Program Created, Offers Undergraduate Option

plant breeding
Oregon State University's vast network of plant breeders has been working quietly (and, in most cases, independently) for years, improving horticultural, food and animal feed crops, forestry products, ornamental plants, and more. Individual researchers collaborated and the creation of a formal program was discussed many times before, but there never was a united, university-wide effort focused on plant breeding—until now.

"We finally just said, 'we've got to do this!'" explained Patrick Hayes, professor, barley breeder and director of the new Plant Breeding and Genetics Program at Oregon State.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

barley rootsNow for the first time, many faculty across campus in groups such as Botany and Plant Pathology, the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, Crop and Soil Science and Horticulture are focusing their research on five primary challenges related to plant breeding for adaptation to change.

Through a USDA NIFA collaborative megaproject, plant breeding faculty are looking at ways in which they can collaborate to solve problems by improving plants. Three challenge areas were identified: plant problems posed by climate change, ways plants can aid in obesity management and human nutrition, and food safety through better plants. In addition, faculty will explore secondary challenges in animal nutrition and health and energy production.

Plant Breeding with a Purpose

The group plans to work on improving a variety of crops and plants, including grains such as wheat and barley, vegetables and fruits like grapes, tomatoes and crucifers and plants whose seeds can be used to create biofuel, like flax. 

Ryan Contreras, assistant professor, ornamental plant breeder and associate director of the program, plans to work on increasing spider mite resistance in arborvitae, which are small coniferous trees commonly used in landscapes. He also is focusing on breeding a lilac suitable for growing in the Willamette Valley.

"The cold, wet spring provides a perfect opportunity for for Lilac Blight, caused by Pseudomonas syringae, to flourish in lilacs," he explained. Creating a lilac that's resistant to pseudomonas can lead to a new, popular product for Oregon's nursery industry.

The result of all his research, Contreras hopes, is more resilient plants, including economically important nursery crops grown here in Oregon.

Collaboration with Students

In addition, a Plant Breeding and Genetics degree option has been approved, so undergraduates can now elect to focus their degree on plant breeding and genetic analysis, through either a B.S. in Horticulture or a B.S. in Crop and Soil Science. Through the Plant Breeding and Genetics degree option, students gain practical experience from the field or greenhouse to the lab.

The first Plant Breeding and Genetics-designated (PBG) classes are being taught this fall, including the popular PBG 620 DNA Fingerprinting, which teaches students how to find the differences in DNA in a single plant variety.

"Even if the DNA sequence of plant species is 99.9% identical," said Alfonso Cuesta-Marcos, an assistant professor who is currently teaching DNA Fingerprinting, "there are some plants that are tall, some that have a better agronomic yield and some that have more resistance to a disease. We assume that these qualities are found in the slight variation in DNA sequence. These variations are a plant's DNA fingerprints."

DNA Fingerprinting is part of a three-class module that includes PBG 621 Genetic Mapping and PBG 622 Mapping of Quantitative Trait Loci. This class series trains students to extract information from DNA sequences and apply that information to improving the plant. Cuesta-Marcos considers the class module essential for those interested in graduate study in plant breeding.

In the future, graduate students seeking an M.S. or a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics will be able to elect this option. Hayes anticipates the graduate program to be approved and faculty to be ready to accept students into their research programs by fall 2014.

By combining a new research program with a degree-visible option, the Plant Breeding and Genetics program hopes to capitalize on the increased efficiencies and the collegiality of students and faculty working closely together to solve problems. Also industries such as seed production, biotech firms and nurseries actively recruit recently graduates with experience breeding plants and performing genetic analysis, creating a demand for graduates with fundamental knowledge and skills in breeding plants.

"Students will come out of the PBG program having experience in DNA extraction, running gels, making crosses, developing field plans, and more," says Contreras. "There's no shortage of opportunities for hands-on learning."

When 'Zombees' Attack

The latest threat to the beleaguered honeybee? A parasitic fly that turns its prey into a flying zombie.

Read more on the Daily Beast >

Umpqua Vineyards Seeing Bountiful Harvest

ROSEBURG — The Umpqua Valley wine grape harvest has been busy, noisy and productive — far different than last year’s low output.

“Last year was a practical disaster,” said Greg Cramer, owner of MarshAnne Landing outside Oakland. “I’m very pleased with the fruit that came in this year. We’re about three weeks ahead of last year.”

Read more in the Register-Guard >

Researcher Recommends Mixing Herbicide Strategies

Northwest researchers advise farmers to alternate weed management strategies to avoid herbicide tolerance in weeds. 

Read more in the Capital Press >

'Zombie' Bees Popping Up in Portland

It sounds like a bad horror movie, but "zombie" bees are real.

Oregon State University assistant professor Dr. Ramesh Sagili is studying the parasitic fly, which is actually native to our area.

Read more at NWCN.com >

Patty Skinkis Wins 2012 OSU Outreach and Engagement Award

Success through collaboration was the key to this year’s University Day 2012 celebration, which took place on campus Sept. 18. Skinkis was recognized for her work in viticulture and her outstanding outreach to the grape growers in the state's rapidly expanding grape-growing industry

Read more in Life@OSU >

OSU finds Oregon's first honeybee infected by 'zombie' fly

A researcher at Oregon State University has reported Oregon's first documented case of a "zombie" fly infecting a honeybee, but he doubts that the parasite at the moment poses a threat to the already beleaguered bee, which is a vital pollinator of some of the state's key crops.

Ramesh Sagili, a honeybee specialist with the OSU Extension Service, stumbled upon a belly-up bee on a sidewalk under a street light on campus in Corvallis one morning in late July. He placed it in a vial in his lab, and four days later seven maggots crawled out of the bee's neck. Almost three weeks after that, one matured into an Apocephalus borealis fly, commonly called a zombie fly because of the disoriented behavior it is suspected of causing the bees to exhibit at night.

Read more from OSU's Extension Service >

Growing Organic Vegetables for All

Oregon State Universities' Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture (OCCUH), a research and teaching facility focused on sustainable landscaping, riparian restoration and organic vegetable gardening, is home to a number of interdisciplinary initiatives. Helping those in need of food is another worthy effort, stretching beyond campus to the Corvallis community.

In 2011, the HORT 260 Organic Farming and Gardening class in the Department of Horticulture decided to participate in Plant a Row for the Hungry, a campaign championed by the Garden Writers Association, where food generated by the extra row is donated to hunger-relief agencies. The class donated over 2,000 lbs of fresh vegetables to the Linn Benton Food Share, South Corvallis Food Bank and other food donation agencies in the Willamette Valley.

Vegetables donated include tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, potatoes, lettuce, chard, green beans and peas.

While some seeds for the large organic garden are purchased from the class's budget, other seeds and plant starts have been donated by several local businesses including Peoria Gardens, a nursery wholesaler, and Nichols Garden Nursery, both in Albany, OR. Ball Horticulture Company, who runs trials on annual flowers at OCCUH, also donated seeds for new varieties of summer squash and cucumbers. Log House Plants in Cottage Grove, OR, which sells grafted vegetables, donated plants as well. And the OSU Potato Breeding Project provided new varieties of seed potatoes for planting.

Buckman next to some organic eggplant

In 2012, the donation plan is less formal. The Organic Grower's Club has been selling produce at the Wednesday Growers' Market in Corvallis; after the market has ended for the day, Cody Buckman, OCCUH's seasonal employee, delivers about 100 pounds of vegetables to the South Corvallis Food Bank. Once the semester begins, Buckman hopes to connect with OSU's Emergency Food Pantry, a resource for needy students.

For the time being, the organic garden at Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture will be maintained by members of the student Organic Grower's Club, students taking the Organic Farming and Gardening class, by various student interns and by Buckman himself.

After harvest, students will be recruited for the garden's fall cleanup. In addition, students working on their service learning project for CSS 205 Soil Science and GEO 300 Sustainability for the Common Good will be put to work getting the garden ready for winter.

Buckman hopes to one day see the care of the Center's organic vegetable garden to be spread to the local high school.

"4H, high schoolers from the area - we'd love to reach outside the college pool and connect with prospective students," he explained.

Master Gardener Program Growing

OSU Master Gardener Program harvests more participants

These are good times for Oregon State University’s Master Gardener Program, as Oregon residents dig into gardening and the local food movement.

Statewide, the number of Master Gardeners has topped 4,000, the highest level of participation in the program since 2008, according to statistics from OSU Extension Services, which sponsors the Master Gardener program.

Read article at Corvallis Gazette Times >

Ode to the Indigo Rose Tomato

Indigo Rose TomatoesOde to the Indigo Rose

Purple-hued beauties
full of anthocyanins
add flavor and life

Read more on the Epi-log > 

Indigo Rose, a Dark-Skinned Tomato, Comes to Farmers Markets

Of the dozen tomato varieties displayed at Vang Thao's stand last Saturday, one, with purplish black skin over a flaming orange ground color, stood out spectacularly. It's a new variety, Indigo Rose, pigmented by anthocyanins, the same compounds responsible for the dark color in cherries, blood oranges and red cabbages, but not previously significant in cultivated tomatoes.

Read more in the LA Times >

Oregon Hazelnut Industry Sidesteps Blight and Rebounds to a Promising Market

HazelnutsEastern filbert blight is an aggressive, deadly fungus, and the bare, dead branches jutting from the top of Ben Mitchell's older hazelnut trees is its calling card.

Orchardists such as Mitchell could only hope to hold it off by amputating diseased limbs and applying clouds of fungicide. Just a few years ago, it looked like one of the state's signature niche crops would disappear. Oregon produces 99 percent of U.S. hazelnuts, roughly 37,000 tons a year, and a $40 million annual harvest was slipping away.

Read more in The Oregonian >

 


 

Jim Myers Co-Edits First Organic Crop Breeding Textbook

Organic Crop Breeding, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., provides a review of the latest efforts by breeders to develop improved crop varieties for organic production systems and is co-edited by Jim Myers, Department of Horticulture professor and vegetable breeder.

The opening chapters of Organic Crop Breeding look at breeding efforts focused on valuable traits, such as quality, pest, and disease resistance, and assess the impacts improved breeding efforts have on organic production. The second part of the book provides case studies from around the globe on a variety of crops, from carrots to corn.

For more information or to order the book, visit the Wiley Online Library.

Read the latest issue of The Source, news from the College of Agricultural Sciences

The Sourse

Featuring stories, videos and blog about the work and experiences of Horticulture faculty, staff, and students.

Tracking the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

H halys brown marmorated stink bug
Department of Horticulture entomologists Peter Shearer, Vaughn Walton, and Jeffery Miller are part of a collaborative team at OSU that includes faculty from the Department of Crop and Soil Science and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service dedicated to tracking the brown marmorated stink bug effect's on Oregon's agricultural production.

Working with a group  of 11 institutions and more than 52 investigators based out of the Northeastern IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Center in New York and Pennsylvania, the OSU Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Project assists the national study by adding to the research efforts conducted across the United States.

The group recently rolled out a website dedicated to tracking BMSB sightings across Oregon. So far, sightings in Oregon are few, compared to the relative infestations in the Northeast and the eastern BMSB population explosion in 2010 that resulted in $40 million in damage to the mid-Atlantic apple industry.

However, some researchers believe it's just a matter of time before BMSB becomes an problem in Oregon, impacting its multi-million dollar agriculture industry. A pest with wide ranging tastes, BMSB feasts on tree fruits, wine grapes, hazelnuts and even ornamental plants.

The new Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Project site features Extension information about the pest organized by commodity, photos and videos to assist in identifying the insect, and a pocket guide designed to make it easy for growers to identify the stink bug in the field.

The group is asking for the public's help in identifying this pest across Oregon. Sightings can be submitted to OSU researchers to assist with tracking this possible threat.

Photos by Peter Shearer

In the News

'Stink' Is in the Air (Hood River News)

OSU Researchers Find Ag Pest Gaining Ground (OPB)

Crop Destroying Bug Found in Gorge, Southern Oregon (Bend Bulletin)

OSU Researchers Find Ag Pest Gaining Ground

Brown Marmorated Stink bugResearchers say they're concerned that an aggressive agricultural pest may pose a threat to some of Oregon's most productive agricultural lands.

Read more from OPB >

Visit the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug website >

Miriam Hawk ('12) Wins ASHS 2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Horticulture Student Award

The ASHS Outstanding Undergraduate Horticulture Student Award officially recognizes exceptional undergraduate horticulture students in baccalaureate programs who are enrolled in horticulture (including pomology, olericulture, floriculture, and landscape or ornamental horticulture) or in a plant science/crop science department with an emphasis or major.

Read the latest issue of Oregon's Agricultural Progress magazine

Featuring Jeff Miller, a Horticulture Department faculty member who created a novel way to identify Lepidoptora online by wing patterns and colors, and an article about the Small Farms program at OSU.

Read Oregon's Agricultural Progress >

Erath Funds Oregon State-Trained Taste Testers To Evaluate Experimental Wines

 

Oregon's wine industry will now be able to better understand how what it's doing in its vineyards and vats affects the quality of its final product thanks to a new cadre of tasting experts trained by Oregon State University.

Read more.

War on Weeds Loses Ground

Although Dow will include a set of recommended management practices with its products, “there are no enforcement regulations”, says Carol Mallory-Smith, a weed scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

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With the Advent of Spring, Honeybee Populations Begin to Swell

 

People can expect a lot of swarms in Oregon this summer, said Oregon State University honeybee researcher Ramesh Sagili, because a lot of hives came through winter looking particularly big and strong to start 2012.

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Umpqua Grape Day Seminars - June 7, 2012

OSU Speakers
Session Description
Jay Pscheidt Pre-packaged mixes of 2 or more fungicides and the potential for chemical resistance
Patty Skinkis Crop load reserarch and the statewide crop load project
Laurent Deluc Grape berry synchronization, the mechanisms that prevent uneven berry ripening
Gabriel Balint Review of water issues
Steve Renquist Understanding climate and physical features of your site to enhance grape quality
12:30 - 1:30 PM LUNCH

When:   Event will be held from 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Lang Center of Southern Oregon Wine Institute located on the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, OR. Click here for directions.

To register:  Pre-registration is required by June 5, 2012. Call the OSU Extension Servece at 541-672-4461 to reserve your spot

 

OSU to Host Field Days

Growers can tour Oregon State University research plots and hear research updates this month at Hyslop farm in Corvallis

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Recent Graduate Profile

Brian Kreft and Sylvan Pritchett

Read about the exciting work being done at OSU by Horticulture graduates Brian Kreft and Sylvan Pritchett. With the help of our Environmental Landscape Instructor, Al Shay, they’ve created “food forests” on campus which are being used to provide nutritious food for students in the dorms and which will also provide the produce for a new eatery on campus.

http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2015/jul/organic-gardens-transform-osu-landscapes-provide-local-food-source

 

Josh Lewis 2010 Graduate

Josh Lewis

B.S. in Horticulture with an option in Turf Management.
Graduated 2010.

Before I started attending OSU, I worked for 6 years at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, as part of the construction crew on the Bandon Trails course - I also worked as an irrigation technician. The superintendent of the course encouraged me to go back to school, to really make a career of the turf industry.

While I was a student, I interned at Eugene Country Club, where I helped get the club ready for the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. I worked closely with representatives from USGA and the club's foreman to set up the specific layout for the holes that would be used during the Championship. I also got firsthand experience dealing with budgeting issues resulting from all these changes.

After I graduated from OSU, I accepted an assistant supervisor position at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, CA, where I worked on a 30 acre grass restoration project. Another project was 11 acres of brush removal, where we found that the best approach was to let 135 goats eat away at what we needed to remove. I really value my experience at Pasatiempo, because of the innovative methods we used to restore and refresh the Alister MacKenzie-designed course.

Now I'm working at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Tacoma, WA, helping manage a renovation project. Chambers Bay is the site of the 2015 U. S. Open, so there is a lot we need to do to get the course ready for the competition, not to mention the 50,000 spectators a day we can expect. We're rebuilding greens and bunkers and widening corridors, as well as working on innovative ways of refreshing the turfgrass.

I value my time at OSU - and the intimacy and quality of the turf management program. It truly was a quality-over-quantity situation, with expert faculty leading the way. Along with my education, I also got the opportunity to build relationships with those in the industry, which was very helpful once I graduated!

 

OSU Ag Day Shows Off College's Best

 Organizers of Oregon State University’s Agricultural Awareness Day 2012 asked participants fair to help answer one question: How is OSU contributing to feeding the future?

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Student Spotlight

Mary Kohl, Senior

When Mary Kohl was selected to work as a Garden Assistant at Lincoln Elementary School in Corvallis through the Healthy Youth Program at the Linus Pauling Institute, she was excited about the opportunity to work with students to help them learn about the benefits and the challenges of growing food.

It's a great opportunity for Kohl, a senior graduating in Spring 2013 with a B.S. in Horticulture, with an option in Environmental Landscapes (now called Ecological Landscapes and Urban Forestry), to teach children the basics of nutrition through fresh grown fruits and vegetables.

Helping people achieve a healthier life through research is the Linus Pauling Institute's mission, and the Healthy Youth program began as a way to promote better eating and nutrition among school aged children. This fall, the Healthy Youth Program acquired the Lincoln Elementary School garden, and Kohl, who had interned with the Healthy Youth Program over the summer designing and implementing their new summer camp, was selected for the position.

"I create lessons for the kids, and we get them out and in the dirt, teaching them the basics of gardening. Our garden also provides the school cafeteria with fruits and vegetables such as raspberries, peppers and tomatoes," explains Kohl. She works 10 hours a week, which includes maintaining the garden.

Through the Healthy Youth Program, Kohl has also been able to run an after school gardening club that is part of the Lion's Den Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis.

Kohl has enjoyed working with youth so much that she's branched out her efforts into volunteering for College Hill High School's horticulture class, which is offered as part of the local alternative school's curriculum.

Kohl credits her time at OSU, in particular, her work in the Department of Horticulture and its requirement for all students to complete an internship for her interest in bringing gardening and the outdoors to children. In fact, after graduation Kohl wants to explore careers that bring together working with youth, gardening, and making healthy choices.

"I really liked having classes with like-minded people," said Kohl. "Everyone in the Department of Horticulture is excited about growing and using plants. I also appreciated the variety of people and interests in the Environmental Landscapes program and the diversity in age and backgrounds of the students." 

 

Oregon's Bees Holding Their Own Against Colony Collapse Disorder (The Oregonian)

Jan Lohman points out the yellow smudge circling the entrance hole of a wooden beehive. Foraging bees returning to the hive bump clumsily against the entrance, staining it with pollen packed onto their legs.

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Organic Farming for the Future

 

 

Kale is on the minds of Laurie McKenzie, Christina Hagerty and Kara Young.

The three Oregon State University horticulture students spent a rainy recent Thursday morning harvesting rabe — clusters of green buds — from of kale planted on a one-quarter acre plot at Lewis-Brown Horticulture Research Farm, located on Peoria Road.

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Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture Undergraduates Awarded Agricultural Honors Scholarships

Strand Agricultural Hall
Douglas Cook, freshman majoring in horticulture, received the $1,000 Ursula Bolt Knaus Scholarship and the $1,000 Paul & Frances Montecucco Beginning Venture Scholarship.

Kenny Smith, freshman majoring in crop and soil science, received the $750 Walter J. and Florence J. Jaeger Undergraduate Scholarship and the $1,000 Johnny R. and Helen H. Thomas Scholarship.

Neysa Daquilante, freshman majoring in crop and soil science, received the $1,000 Loren J. Smith Memorial Agricultural Honors Scholarship.

Dylan Larkin, freshman majoring in crop and soil science, received the $1,000 Johnny R. and Helen H. Thomas Scholarship and the $1,000 Loren J. Smith Memorial Agricultural Honors Scholarship.

Jesse Dodge, junior majoring in horticulture and fisheries and wildlife science, received the $1,000 Savery Agricultural Honors Scholarship and the $1,000 Ursula Bolt Knaus Scholarship.

Korinda Wallace, junior majoring in horticulture, received the $1,000 Charles E. and Clara Marie Eckelman Scholarship.