[NAFEX] Organic vs Standard Spray Programs
scott at cs.jhu.edu
Tue Apr 15 09:48:08 EDT 2008
The Washington state fruit growers have made organics a big success
story: acreage increases every year, and they are getting around
double the price for their fruit. I don't think that is going to work
for commercial growers in my area (mid-atlantic) for some time
however, due to the much greater pest and disease pressure. This also
goes with why most of the fruit is now grown in the west: for any
growing method you will get more flawless fruit in that climate.
Fortunately more and more people in my area are realizing its better
to buy the locally grown fruit than to get that 100% organic apple
shipped all the way from Washington.
Re: University research, they were doing nothing but poo-pooing the
organic movement up until about ten years ago, so its not hard to see
why the organic-committed farmers don't trust them. Now the tables
have turned and organics are "hot" for both researchers and mainstream
growers out west now.
I think the backyard grower nearly anywhere can grow fruit mostly
organically without much extra work, as long as they don't mind a few
more flaws in their fruit. Recently Don Yellman posted his spray
program and I noticed that he was primarily relying on bagging and
copper and oil, all organic methods. He was using only Imidan for
curculio and Ferbam for CAR. I have found Surround to work well enough
on curculio, and my chain saw has been able to relieve the CAR
pressure so I am almost completely organic and am not doing things too
differently than Don is. My one exception now is I need malathion for
the persimmon psylla, nothing else seems to work (this year I am going
to try more regular oil sprays, hopefully getting them before the
leaves start to curl and it is too late).
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