organic cherries (fwd)

Kevin Topek ktopek at bellsouth.net
Tue Jun 16 18:29:36 EDT 1998


    Since you ask...Jack. I thought about this problem when it first
posted. Here's my two cents. This is for Birgit Ferran Eichmann and her
organic cherries under attack in Spain.

    The best resource for Integrated Pest Management information is the
IPM Practitioner, I think it is published in Davis, California. Ag
Access or someone out there will have the address.

    Chickens have been used historically to control ground dwelling
beetles and weevils, coleopterans. Dominique chickens from Europe are
the classic example used to control plum curculio (Conotrachelus
nenuphar). The larvae are scratched up and eaten during their dormant
life stage in the ground. I am not sure whether Dominick chickens
(Barred Plymouth Rocks) will do the same. My experience is that
Dominickers do not possess deep intellects and are subject to heat
stroke in very hot climates, due to the dark feather coloration. The
Rare Breeds Council may be of some assistance and Bob Randall in Houston
may have a file on said organization.

   I am not familiar with Capnodis tenebrionis, but chickens may be able
to root them out and destroy most if they have a ground dwelling stage.
Plums and cherries are both Prunus, so I will go out on a limb and
assume both coleopteran pests have similar lifestyles. My wife, Mindy,
says geese may also work.

    If the the pests are burrowing into the bark, then a toxic barrier
may be workable. I am not real comfortable with this recommendation, but
sulfur or copper solutions may do the trick. The key is repeated
application during the period of greatest host vulnerability. This
method only solves the immediate problem, but does not address the
imbalance at the root of the problem. It is also a bad idea to prescribe
solutions without observing the patients, their environment and history.

    If anybody out there has another answer, I would love to read it.
Best of luck Birgit!
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