Vegetable growers are reminded as we prepare to transition into another growing season to watch for not only well know pests, but new threat that have moved into the area. Washington State University’s Dr. Tim Waters says with international travel so easy theses days, and so many high value crops grown on the Columbia Basin, growers must be vigilant.
“So, you think about Seattle and Portland, or go to the East Cost and those ports of entry are trypically where we see those pests come in first, so, we hear reports from those areas, and we start watching more closely. So, it’s really nice the way that information is so quickly available today, we can track those things and know about them before they show up in our backyards.”
Waters said many of these non-native pests will enjoy years of success at the expense of local crops, because of a lack of natural predators. He said if you come across an unfamiliar pest, you’re asked to get samples, take photos, and contact your local Extension office.
“The Washington state Department of Agriculture, and USDA APHIS, they are supposed to help us mitigate these types of thigs, but really, they are very limited in the responses and the number of people that they have, and as growers and consultants, there’s a lot more boots on the ground seeing crops, and we need to as an industry be proactive in identifying these things, because there are so many more of us that can make these detections sooner.”
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org