G. Neilsen, J. Cossentine, T. Forge, C. Hampson, E. Hogue, G. Judd, D. Neilsen, P. Sholberg, H. Thistlewood
Certified organic fruit production in British Columbia has a long history and has recently expanded. In 2003, 614 hectares were in organic production in BC, including 5% of the area under apple production. Research over the past 20 years is described that is compatible to organic management practices which involves use of naturally derived products as defined by organic certification programs and excludes chemical inputs of pesticides and fertilizers. Conventional apple breeding efforts have focused on genetic resistance to apple scab, powdery mildew and fire blight. The increased use of organic amendments and mulches offers potential for improving soil quality by increasing biological activity and the retention capacity for nutrients and water. Tree row mulching and effective use of cover crops can provide weed control benefits. Organic-compatible insect control strategies were developed and implemented, including a sterile insect release program, pheramone-based mating disruption and conservation or release of biological control agents of major insect and mite pests. A range of natural plant products are under test to control pre- and post-harvest diseases. New research is needed to help overcome challenges facing organic orchard production. Particularly pertinent are rapid evaluation of organic-friendly cultivars, development of effective mulch and cover crop management and constant evaluation of organic products effective against disease and new and emerging insect pests.
Neilsen, G., Cossentine, J., Forge, T., Hampson, C., Hogue, E., Judd, G., Neilsen, D., Sholberg, P. and Thistlewood, H. (2007). ORGANIC APPLE PRODUCTION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: DISCOVERY TO APPLICATION. Acta Hortic. 737, 129-138
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.737.16
Malus × domestica (Borkh.), insect, disease, weed control, soil and nutrition management

Acta Horticulturae