Enhancing Sustainability of Small Fruit Production in the Pacific Northwest Through Educating Producers on Consensus-derived Scouting and Decision-making Parameters
Small fruits are a high value commodity in Oregon and Washington with a production value of $160 million. Our project would create a Scouting Toolbox for small fruits that would include consensus derived decision-making parameters to guide and reduce risk. The toolbox will be widely disseminated to producers through the region’s commodity commissions and at various educational events. The short-term outcome is the adoption of consensus based IPM scouting and decision-making thresholds by 20 percent of the acreage of small fruits in Oregon and Washington. Long-term impact would be a majority of small fruits producers using IPM based decision thresholds.
Conduct consensus workshop: (Year 2 – 2008)
Gathering a wide range of approximately 60 producers, researchers, and industry professionals, including the producers and cooperators identified in proposal sections F & G, in a total of two (caneberries, blueberries) one to two-day facilitated discussions of scouting and decision-making parameters will ensure that those closest to the subject (producers) are heard and that their concerns, opinions, and suggestions are incorporated into the project results. The inclusion of researchers and industry professional will add to and balance the workshop discussions. This approach will produce a Scouting Toolbox centered on practicality as well as science.
Finalize document and produce results: (Year 2 – 2008)
The names of the producers, researchers, and industry professionals involved in the workshops will be noted in the final product. This inclusive endorsement will maximize the Scouting Toolbox’s acceptance among small fruit producers throughout the Pacific Northwest. The end product, given its broad backing will increase the probability of producers using scouting as a tool in transitioning toward sustainable farming operations. The creation of the Scouting Toolbox follows the successful methods of Pest Management Strategic Plans. In 2003, Peerbolt Crop Management created the draft Caneberry PMSP document and helped researchers at Oregon State University produce the final document. Project proposal producers & cooperators (Sections F. & G.) will review draft products before production.
Accomplishments – Create a draft document: (Year 1 – 2007)
A literature review and draft document was created in year 1. This included individual profile sheets for insects and diseases, including for each: a crop stage calendar corresponding to scouting activity, reasons for concern, identification, life cycle, scouting/monitoring protocols, and the threshold for making a control decision. In caneberries 37 profile sheets have been developed for raspberries and 35 profile sheets have been developed for blackberries. In blueberries 27 profile pages have been developed. This document was reviewed by cooperators and responses were incorporated into the document in time for use at the consensus workshop.
Accomplishments – Conduct consensus workshop: (Year 2 – 2008)
The consensus workshop was held February 5-7, 2008, in Portland, Oregon. The first two days were focused on blackberries and raspberries and the third day was focused on blueberries.
Invitations were been sent to 50 regional experts and industry leaders (7 Washington growers/industry personnel; 16 Oregon growers/industry personnel; 7 Washington State University researchers; 7 Oregon State University researchers; 5 USDA/ARS researchers; 3 organic growers; 5 Canadian researchers).
Attendees included 20 participants for the caneberry workshops (3 Washington growers/industry personnel; 9 Oregon growers/industry personnel; 2 Washington State University researchers; 3 Oregon State University researchers; 4 USDA/ARS researchers; 1 organic grower; three representatives from Peerbolt Crop Management) and 22 participants for the blueberry workshop (2 Washington growers/industry personnel; 13 Oregon growers/industry personnel; 3 Washington State University researchers; 4 Oregon State University researchers; 2 USDA/ARS researchers; 1 organic grower; 3 Canadian researchers; three representatives from Peerbolt Crop Management).
During these workshops, the draft document was reviewed and revised. Pests were ranked at the beginning of each session with those that are more of an issue in a crop being ranked higher. These pests were reviewed first to ensure that the most time was spent on the pests that are the most concern. Scouting techniques for each pest were discussed and consensus was reached for most pests; for some pests, multiple scouting techniques were decided as relevant and included in the document. Consensus was reached on monitoring techniques and thresholds for most pests; some pest thresholds were dependent on processing type, method of marketing, or price of crop. A typist was present to make real-time changes to the document during the session; the work was projected onto a screen for all participants to see.
Accomplishments – Finalize document and produce results: (Year 2 – 2008)
Following the workshop, all comments and revisions were incorporated into the draft document. The document was emailed to all participants and cooperators for review and comments. These comments were incorporated into the document and the written portion of the document was completed. Photos of pests have been compiled to be included in the document.
Left to do – Print and distribute document: (Year 2 – 2008)
Due to time constraints by growers and researchers during the busy summer and fall, comments to the document were not received in time to produce print and CD copies of the document. This will be completed in the fall of 2008.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Current and comprehensive literature review of small fruit pest management for raspberry, blackberry and blueberry
Development of draft pest fact sheets for all major PNW small fruit pests of raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry to be used to facilitate expert consensus based economic pest thresholds for raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry.
Consensus workshop consisting of a total of 34 participants was held which brought together individuals from the whole Pacific Northwest region to discuss scouting and thresholds for key pests of blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry. Agreement on practical measures of treatment thresholds and scouting techniques for these pests were made and recorded in a document. This document will be used as part of a scouting toolbox to be available to producers, researchers, and industry professionals. Presentations of the toolbox will be made at workshops, short courses, and field days.
Peerbolt Crop Management
5261 North Princeton St.
Portland, OR 97203
Office Phone: 5032897287