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Bob Larson Little Cherry Disease Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: August 21, 2019

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With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Smaller, bitter, and unmarketable ... That's what Little Cherry Disease does to a crop and it's here at "epidemic levels" according to Washington State University virologists.

Northwest Cherry Growers president, BJ Thurlby says it's here in more than one form...

THURLBY ... "Well, we've been paying attention to Little Cherry Virus and it's also, there's another one that's very similar, but a virologist can look at it actually determine the separation between the two diseases, but there's another one called Western X."

And, Thurlby says the diseases appear to be territorial ...

THURLBY ... "It's interesting. It appears that Western X is much more prevalent south of I-90 so, you know, down through the Columbia River so that would be the Yakima Valley and lower, and then Little Cherry Virus is very prevalent north towards the border and Canada."

But, Thurlby says these diseases are not exactly new ...

THURLBY ... "It's been around for, I think we've been tracking it probably for ten years and it's a virus that's been around tree fruit. It appeared in Pennsylvania about 20-years ago and literally had a huge decimation of their particular crops back there. So, we're seeing it here and it seems to be just effecting cherries."

Thurlby says it's a serious problem that can be very costly ...

THURLBY ... "You know, we're thinking that there's probably been a thousand acres in the last five years taken out to these diseases of Little Cherry Virus and Western X and that's significant."

Listen tomorrow for more on Little Cherry Disease and Western X in Northwest cherry orchards.

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