- Fruits: apples, cherries, general tree fruits
- Crop Production: application rate management, tissue analysis
- Education and Training: technical assistance, decision support system, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, study circle, workshop
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, risk management, value added
- Natural Resources/Environment: indicators, wildlife
- Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, chemical control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mating disruption, weather monitoring
- Production Systems: transitioning to organic, agroecosystems
- Soil Management: composting, soil analysis
- Sustainable Communities: social networks, sustainability measures
With the end of our eighth and final training in April 2007, we celebrate the culmination of the Eco-Apple Project’s SARE Professional Development Program (PDP). More than 100 Extension educators, NRCS field and state office staff, conservation employees, and private consultants participated in the workshops and field days. We began this project in 2005 in hopes that the project would produce more Eco-Apple grower networks, more professional support for growers learning IPM, and robust EQIP involvement. The project resulted in considerably more support for fruit growers in the state.
The purpose of our work was to engage agricultural service providers on pest management issues faced by modest-scale commercial fruit growers. Protecting local sources of apples is key to maintaining food crop diversity and supporting a local food economy. Without assistance in reducing reliance on high-risk pesticides, these growers face an uncertain future as pesticide regulations are strenghtened in response to real risks to human health and the environment.