Fruit fly to emerge Sunday

Fruit fly to emerge next week

The Oregon State University Extension Office issued an alert Tuesday to cherry tree owners in Union County for the emergence of the western cherry fruit fly. The pests could begin emerging Sunday for the first time this year.

LA GRANDE — Cherry trees owners be aware — the first adult western cherry fruit flies are coming soon.

The Oregon State University Extension Service announced the pest should emerge Sunday in the La Grande area, with 50% of adult files emerging from the ground June 28.

The western cherry fruit fly poses a major threat to cherry crops. The adult flies lay eggs under the skin of cherries, resulting in an infestation of larvae. Those cherries cannot go to market.

Pesticides can keep the flies at bay. Darrin Walenta, agronomist for the OSU Extension Service office for Union, Wallowa and Baker counties, in a press release explained cherry trees owners should make an initial spray applications within the first week after emergence and then follow-up spray applications to control the pest until harvest.

Walenta stressed one spray application does not provide season-long cherry fruit fly control, and the adult flies will continue to emerge through late June and lay eggs until July.

The insecticide product label will provide recommendations for spray application frequency and preharvest interval requirements.

While the western cherry fruit fly poses a threat to commercial cherry growers, everyone with cherry trees can help prevent the spread of the insect. Homeowners with cherry trees can spray or remove their blossoms and fruit or cut down their trees.

Homeowners may consider spraying their own fruit trees due to limited availability of licensed pest control companies.

The window of opportunity has passed for managing many fruit tree diseases, but insect pest management needs are ramping up, according to Walenta. People who do their own spraying need to spray their entire canopy and the tops and bottoms of leaves. Individuals must use a sprayer strong enough to reach the top of the tree canopy. Walenta advised it is not a safe practice to stand on a ladder to make any application.

Walenta also recommended the use of a back-flow device with hose-end sprayers to prevent back siphoning of pesticides into their home water system.

For information on western cherry fruit fly management and products for control of the insect, call the Union County Extension Office, 541-963-1010.

La Grande operations land $10K grants

LA GRANDE — The Eastern Oregon Visitors Association, Union County Chamber of Commerce and Grande Hot Springs RV Resort each received a $10,000 grant through Travel Oregon’s new COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant Program.

Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism commission, recently announced in a press release it awarded $800,225 to local Oregon businesses to support job retention and stabilization. The agency redirected its standard scheduled competitive medium grant cycle and reallocated this funding to help support operational costs for local, small tourism businesses with the goal of maintaining jobs and the ability to keep doors open when travel resumes. 

Eligible applicants included lodging properties, tour operators, guides and outfitters, federally recognized tribes and destination marketing organizations.

Travel Oregon received 332 applications and awarded 121 grants, according to the press release, with more than 90% of the funds going to businesses in Oregon communities with fewer than 35,000 residents. More than 70% of the funds help cover some portion of payroll expenses.  

Three Wallowa County operations also benefitted from the grants: The Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce received a $2,500 grant, and the Mountain Getaway Lodging, also in Enterprise, and the Winding Waters River Expeditions, Joseph, each received a $10,000 grant.

Travel Baker County in Baker City received a $10,000 grant, and the iconic Geiser Grand Hotel there received a $5,000 grant, as did Baker County Unlimited.

BLM names farmer and ag policy pro to oversee Oregon and Washington

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management has announced the appointment of Barry Bushue as the state director for Oregon and Washington.

Bushue is state executive director of the Oregon Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a family farmer. He will join the BLM in the coming weeks.

Bushue is the owner of a retail and agritourism business east of Portland, according to the press release announcement from the bureau, and for more than 25 years has been a leader and advocate for natural resource communities.

Oregon U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, gave his support for the selection of Bushue.

"I have worked with Barry over the years and have benefited from his commonsense and wise counsel,” according to Walden’s statement. “Barry has a longstanding record of strong management experience and knowledge of the state’s natural resources. He is well known throughout both the state and nation for his work on behalf of farmers and ranchers.”

In addition to operating the family farm, Bushue was the president of the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation for nearly 20 years and vice president of the American Farm Bureau. As state director for Oregon and Washington, Bushue will lead the BLM in its management of 16.1 million acres of public lands across diverse landscapes, starting where the Columbia River crosses into northeastern Washington from Canada and ending at the headwaters of the Chetco River near California.

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