Pacific Northwest Vegetable Extension Group

of Washington State University, Oregon State University, and University of Idaho

Newsletter Archives

August 2006 Newsletter

Lindsey du Toit and Debra Inglis, editors
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC
16650 State Rte 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4768
360-848-6140 (tel), 360-848-6159 (fax)

WSU Vegetable Pathology Team Newsletter



Welcome to the August 2006 newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Vegetable Extension Group (PNW VEG, formerly the WSU Vegetable Pathology Team). We hope your season is continuing productively and that you will have a bountiful and healthy harvest! The focus of this newsletter is on the wide array of regional resources now available to Pacific Northwest vegetable growers. We hope you can make use of these resources!



Field Days

The WSU Onion Cultivar Demonstration will be held at Brian Anderson’s farm on the eastern Royal Slope (Road D and Road 15.1 SE) in the northern Columbia Basin of WA on August 11, starting at 10 am. For further information, contact Mark Trent at or (509) 754-2011 ext. 413.

The OSU Malheur Experiment Station Onion Variety Day will be on August 29 starting at 9:00 a.m. Information on the field day can be obtained at (541) 889-2174.

The WSU Watermelon Field Day will take place at the WSU Vancouver REC on August 30. Contact Carol Miles at or (360) 576-6030 ext. 20 for further information.

The OSU Sweet Corn Field Day will take place at the OSU Hermiston HAREC on September 7. For further information contact Phil Hamm at or (541) 567-8321.

The Organic Seed Alliance field days remaining this season on Producing Organic Vegetable Seed include:

  • Organic Diverse Seed Production, Crop Improvement, & Seed Cleaning, August 22 at Eel River, Shively, CA.
  • Organic Green Bean Seed Production, Crop Improvement, Harvest & Seed Cleaning, September (date to be finalized) at Bryant Ranch in Shoshone, ID.
  • Organic Diverse Seed Production and Crop Improvement, September (date to be finalized) at Seven Seeds Farm in Williams, OR.

For more information about these field days, contact the Organic Seed Alliance at or (360) 385-7192, or visit the OSA website at Registration for any field day is $15 (lunch included).

2006 Vegetable Conferences

For the first time, the International Spinach Conference was held in La Conner in northwestern Washington, the primary spinach seed production region in the United States. Over 150 spinach growers, researchers, breeders, consultants, seed dealers, field representatives and extension educators traveled to La Conner for the conference on 13–14 July 2006, some from as far away as Denmark, England, Holland, Japan, and New Zealand. Presentations covered topics on general production, weed control, horticulture, and plant pathology in spinach and spinach seed production. Participants also toured local seed processing facilities and local vegetable seed fields (see attached photo). Lindsey du Toit, WSU vegetable seed pathologist, and Tim Miller, WSU weed scientist, coordinated the conference, which was sponsored by 13 seed companies and organizations.

Photo of registrants from the 2006 International Spinach Conference
Registrants from the 2006 International Spinach Conference visited a WSU spinach seed crop field trial in Skagit Co., in which lime amendments are being evaluated for control of Fusarium wilt in the acid soils of western Washington.


The World Potato Congress will take place in Boise, ID on August 20–26. For details, see the congress website at:

The Integrated Pest and Nutrient Management Options: Practices and Tools to Protect Water Quality and Crop Yields Workshop will be in Corvallis, OR on November 8–9. For details contact Silvia Rondon at or (541) 567-8321.

The 2006 WA Tilth Producers’ Conference will be at the Red Lion Quay in Vancouver, WA on November 10–12. Visit the conference website at: or contact Nancy Allen at (206) 442-7620 or

The 2006 Annual Convention and Trade Show of the Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association will be in Pasco, WA on November 15–16. For information, visit the PNVA website at: or contact Sheri Nolan at 509-585-5460.

The 2006 National Allium Research Conference will be in College Station, TX on December 7–8. View the NARC website at: for further information.

The Entomological Society of America will hold their annual meeting in Indianapolis, IN on December 10–13. Visit the ESA website for further details:



Oregon State University (OSU) Plant Clinic

The OSU Plant Clinic is located in Corvallis, Oregon and offers a variety of diagnostic services covering a wide array of horticultural crops. Clinic staff include chief diagnostician, Melodie Putnam; research & diagnostic associates, Kelly Collins, Marilyn Miller, Jennifer Kraus, Susan Jepson, and Gene Newcombe; and secretary Jenni Heinen. The typical Plant Disease Diagnosis Service ($40 per sample for Oregon clientele) includes an overall sample evaluation, which may involve microscopic examination, results from moist chamber incubation or isolations onto artificial media, and identification of fungi or bacteria to genus. Measurement of pH and total soluble salts will also be performed as necessary. Special services, such as bacterial species identification, as well as water assays for Phytophthora and Pythium, and soil assays for Verticillium wilt, can be arranged. Viral work may include assessment via electron microscope, ELISA assay, or viral inclusion analysis. Control recommendations are included in the diagnostic reports for samples submitted. Please see the OSU Plant Clinic website ( or contact the OSU laboratory (541-737-3472) directly for further information on fees and submission/sampling instructions.

WSU Puyallup Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory

The WSU Puyallup Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory has a long tradition of providing diagnostic services to Washington growers and crop advisors. Our specialty is the diagnosis of plant and insect problems occurring in western Washington, but we will also accept samples from eastern Washington and we support efforts to develop a diagnostic facility on the “sunny” side of the state. The laboratory is staffed by an entomologist, Dr. Art Antonelli, and a plant diagnostician, Jenny Glass – together Art and Jenny handle >1200 samples a year. Diagnostic techniques used include microscopic examination of samples, review of background information provided about the crop care and the onset and distribution of the problem, and investigation of resources related to the causes of crop damage. If required, methods to isolate pathogens (e.g., plating plant tissue onto sterile laboratory media to check for the presence of Verticillium, or incubating material in moist chamber to promote growth of fungal pathogens) will also be performed. Management recommendations are included with the diagnostic reports for samples submitted. The lab charges $25 for diagnoses or identifications associated with commercial plant samples.

For more information about the WSU Puyallup Plant and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory, see the website at If you have questions, please contact the diagnostician Jenny Glass at (253) 445-4582 or at

To submit plant samples for diagnosis, see:, and download the grower crop submission form at:

To submit insects for identification, see:, and download the insect identification submission form at:

Extension Plant Pathology at OSU HAREC

The plant pathology program at Oregon State University’s Hermiston Research & Extension Center (HAREC) was started in 1990 when Phil Hamm joined the staff. Nick David (research manager), Stacy Gieck (lab manager), and Casey Royer (field technician) have also become part of the program. The addition of new equipment and techniques has given the plant pathology lab the ability to provide a variety of services to growers in the Columbia Basin. Up-to-date equipment allows identification of plant pathogens by routine culture methods, ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and most recently PCR (polymerase chain reaction). The assays offered include silver scurf analysis of potato seed lots, soil analyses for Pythium spp., Fusarium spp., and Verticillium dahliae, as well as ELISA testing for many plant viruses. In 2005, 256 samples, either for diagnostic or research purposes, were submitted to HAREC, consisting of 14,508 subsamples of which over 10,400 were analyzed by ELISA, 615 by PCR, and 321 for soil pathogens.

The OSU HAREC plant pathology laboratory can currently test for the following viruses by ELISA:

Iris yellow spot virus
Impatiens necrotic spot virus
Leek yellow stripe virus
Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus
Wheat streak mosaic virus
Potato mop-top virus
Potato virus A
Potato virus S
Potato virus X
Cucumber mosaic virus
Pea leaf roll virus
Beet curly top virus
Watermelon mosaic virus-1
Pepper mottle virus
Squash mosaic virus


Tomato spotted wilt virus
Onion yellow dwarf virus
Garlic common latent virus
Barley yellow dwarf virus
Potato virus Y (including O & N)
Potato virus V
Potato virus M
Beet necrotic yellow vein virus
High plains virus
Potato leaf roll virus
Watermelon mosaic virus-2
Zucchini yellow mosaic virus
Alfalfa mosaic virus

The addition of standard and real-time PCR to support research efforts has allowed analysis of samples for additional pathogens of potato, such as Streptomyces spp. (common scab), Spongospora subterranean (powdery scab), and Tobacco rattle virus. The laboratory may have capabilities to perform additional testing not stated here, so enquiries can be made directly to the lab. There is no fee for general diagnosis of plant problems. However, for information on specialty testing and fees associated with virus testing and soil analysis contact:

OSU HAREC Plant Pathology
P.O. Box 105/2121 S. 1st
Hermiston, OR 97838
Tel: 541-567-8321

Nematology Testing Services

Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University perform nematode tests to help growers determine if nematode populations pose a problem to a crop, and whether they subsequently need to make decisions about crop maintenance and production. Nematodes in soils and plant tissue can be recovered and enumerated through specific testing. Care must be taken when collecting, storing, and shipping samples for nematode testing – refer to the August 2005 issue of the PNW VEG newsletter for a detailed article on nematode pests of vegetables, including resources on plant parasitic nematodes and diagnostic services in the PNW. Sampling and submission instructions can be found on the website for the diagnostic request form at: A fee is levied for each sample of soil or roots tested. Contact individual labs for details on specific fees. Attach a label or Nematode Test Form to the outside of the sample bag, and address the samples to:

Idaho –

Dr. Hafez Saad
SW Idaho Research & Extension Center
University of Idaho
29603 U of I Lane
Parma, ID 83660-9637
Tel: 208-722-6701, Email:

Washington –

Dr. Katerina Riga
Washington State University Prosser IAREC
24106 N. Bunn Road
Prosser, WA 99350-8694
Tel: 509-786-9256, Email:

Oregon –

Nematode Testing Service
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Oregon State University
1089 Cordley Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-2903
Tel: 541-737-5540

In addition, the nematology team at the OSU HAREC consists of professionals from both Corvallis (Dr. Russ Ingham, Kathy Merrifield, and Nadine Wade) and Hermiston (Phil Hamm and Nick David). One of the goals of the nematology program at HAREC is to provide local growers with timely information on Columbia root knot nematode (CRKN) management in potato. A management option for farmers is the use of VydateĈ, a non-fumigant nematicide, which requires multiple applications throughout the growing season. Over the last several years, the OSU team has developed and refined Vydate application guidelines based on a soil temperature degree day model for the nematode. Currently, raw temperature and degree-day information, as well as recommendations for initial Vydate applications for the lower Columbia basin are updated weekly and posted on the HAREC website at: under the Nematode Research link. For more information concerning the CRKN degree day model, including how to use this model, please contact Russ Ingham at (541) 737-5255 or Nick David at (541) 567-8321.

WSU ELISA Testing Laboratory

Control of plant diseases begins with accurate identification of the causal agent. Virus diseases can be particularly difficult to identify by symptoms alone. A service laboratory was created in 1980 at the Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research & Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser to provide virus identification. This service was initially established to provide information to cherry growers so they could make informed decisions about disease management in their orchards. The principle test used in the laboratory for virus identification is a serological procedure known as ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).

Services have since expanded to provide testing for many viruses that infect a wide range of fruit, vegetable, seed, forage and horticultural crops. This service is available for a fee to growers, field personnel, consultants, county agents, regulatory agencies, researchers or anyone else interested in virus diagnosis. The ELISA procedure can provide results quickly, and can be used for large quantities of samples at modest cost. Viruses for which we routinely test include:

Alfalfa: alfalfa latent virus, alfalfa mosaic virus

Apple trees: apple chlorotic leafspot virus, apple mosaic virus, tomato ringspot virus

Asparagus: asparagus virus 1, asparagus virus 2, tobacco streak virus

Beans: alfalfa mosaic virus, bean common mosaic virus, bean common necrosis virus, beet curly top virus, cucumber mosaic virus, peanut stunt virus, tobacco ringspot virus, tobacco streak virus, tomato ringspot virus

Cereals: barley yellow dwarf virus

Corn: High plains disease virus

Stone fruit trees: apple mosaic virus, cherry leafroll virus, prune dwarf virus, Prunus necrotic ringspot virus, tomato ringspot virus

Peas: pea enation mosaic virus, pea leafroll virus, pea seed-borne mosaic virus

Roses: apple mosaic virus, Prunus necrotic ringspot virus, tobacco streak virus

Small fruits and berries: tobacco streak virus, tomato ringspot virus

Vegetables: cucumber mosaic virus, squash mosaic virus, tobacco ringspot virus

For diseases and viruses not on this list, please contact the lab for more information. Many other tests are available upon special request. For the availability of tests not listed and for detailed information on pricing and how to send samples, please contact Carol McKinney at: Tel: (509) 786-9382 or (509) 786-2226; Fax: (509) 786-9370; Email:; or by regular mail at: ELISA LABORATORY, WSU – Prosser IAREC, 24106 N. Bunn Road, Prosser, WA 99350.

Seed Testing Services

Some important plant pathogens can be seedborne and/or seed transmitted, necessitating the testing of seed lots prior to planting a seed lot, or after harvest of a seed lot. A decision can then be made on whether the seed should be treated or alternative measures taken to deal with seedborne pathogens. In addition, seedborne pathogens can affect seed quality, so seed quality assays may also be needed to determine whether a seedborne pathogen(s) has had a negative effect on seed quality.

Some of the larger commercial seed companies have in-house seed testing resources. In addition, commercial seed testing labs provide independent seed health assays for seedborne pathogens, as well as general seed quality testing services. Contact the individual labs directly for details on the seed assays provided, fees for the assays, and seed sampling requirements to test for specific seedborne pathogens or seed quality traits. Two reputable commercial labs that provide extensive seed health and quality testing services include:

California Seed & Plant Lab, Inc.:

California Seed and Plant Lab, Inc. provides pathological and genetic testing to the vegetable seed industry as well as other agricultural industries. Further information can be found at:, or at 7877 Pleasant Grove Rd, Elverta, CA, 95626. Tel: (916) 655-1581; Fax: (916)655-1582.

STA Labs:

STA Labs has two facilities, one in Colorado and one in California, both of which provide seed testing services and other plant diagnostic services. Information on STA Labs can be found at: 1821 Vista View Drive, Longmont, CO 80504. Tel: 303.651.6417, Fax: 303.772.4003; Toll Free Customer Service: 1.800.426.9124. Email:
5653 Monterey Frontage Road, Gilroy CA 95020. Tel: 408.846.9964, Fax: 408.846.9954; California Customer Service: 888.782.5220. Email:

International Seed Health Initiative for Vegetables (ISHI-VEG)
ISHI-Veg is currently working on developing tests for pathogens in tomato, pepper, squash, melon, watermelon, celery and brassica, among others. ISHI-Veg reference methods can be found in the ISHI-Veg Seed Health Testing Methods Manual ( Test methods developed by ISHI-Veg for Alternaria dauci and Alternaria radicina in carrot, Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in brassicaa, and Xanthomonas campestris hortorum in carrot have been validated by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) in 2002, 2004 and 2005, respectively.

WSDA Seed Program
The WSDA Seed Program provides seed crop field inspections, seed analyses, phytosanitary services, and related seed certification services. Information on the program can be found at: A brochure on the range of services provided can be downloaded at:

Washington State Pest Management Resource Service (WSPRS)

The Washington State Pest Management Resource Service (WSPRS, located at serves as a hub for research-based information about pest management practices, including both chemical and alternative control methodologies. WSPRS evolved from the Washington State University Pesticide Information Center (PIC). The WSPRS serves Washington State agricultural producers, researchers, extension staff, and policy makers, making relevant and accurate information widely available in a timely and accessible manner.

Resources presented by the WSPRS include pesticide license applicator training; information on biological and cultural control of pests; Crop Profiles and Pest Management Strategic Plans; general information on plant diseases, pests, and weed control; resources for home owner pest control; IPM programs; organic programs and resources; general pesticide information and resources, including the Pesticide Information Center On-Line (PICOL) and the Pesticide Notification Network (PNN) (see below). Instructions on how to use the website most efficiently can be found at


Peter Piper Uses PICOL to Peruse a Peck of Pesticide Labels
…and You Should Try it Too

Jane Thomas, WSU

Washington State University’s PICOL (short for Pesticide Information Center On-Line and pronounced “pickle”) label database provides Oregon and Washington vegetable growers with searchable pesticide label information. PICOL is accessed through the Washington State Pest Management Resource Service web page at:, by clicking on the link in the upper middle circle (Fig. 1). PICOL contains information about all pesticides registered in Oregon and Washington, including Special Local Needs registrations or SLNs. What’s more, there is no registration required for PICOL users and it’s free.

PICOL contains the following information for each pesticide label:

  • product name
  • EPA number
  • ingredient and concentration
  • crops and pests
  • registrant
  • formulation
  • signal word (danger/poison, warning, danger, caution)
  • application method
  • intended users (commercial, homeowner, or both)
  • pesticide type
  • registration year, and
  • use category (general use, restricted use, or state restricted use)

PICOL has two search options: a menu-driven Simple Search and an Advanced Search. The Advanced Search feature allows you to type in part of the name of the item for which you are searching without having to enter an exact match – very useful for product name and ingredient searches. The Advanced Search is also useful in crop searches. For example the search:

Crop  LIKE  Swiss

will find labels containing use directions for both Swiss Chard and Swiss Chard Seed Crop. This saves search steps if you want to pull up all the labels associated with a crop. This is important, especially for vegetable seed crops, because WSDA agrees that any product labeled, for example, on Swiss chard may also be used on Swiss chard seed crops. To access the Advanced Search screen click on the blue button in the upper right portion of the main search screen (shown boxed in Fig. 2).

Sample Search

To run a Simple Search to find all the Washington-registered insecticides labeled for use on carrot seed crops for the control of lygus bugs, first open the PICOL label database to the main search screen (Fig. 2). Note that the search screen has four default settings:

  • The menu-driven Simple Search feature is active
  • Washington State is selected for the search
  • The radio button for current year only is selected
  • The default search criteria is crop

Set up the first part of the search:

Crop  EQ (equals)  Carrot Seed Crop

by simply picking carrot seed crop off the list that appears in the box marked Common Name, as shown on Fig. 3. Next, click the Submit Query button. As you can see from the search results summary shown on Fig. 4, as of this writing, PICOL contains 33 labels for products currently registered in Washington for use on carrot seed crops. Now, to get a list of just the products labeled for the control of lygus bugs, click on the Refine Query button. On the next screen set up the second part of the PICOL search:

AND Pest  EQ  Lygus Bug

then click Submit Query (Fig. 5). Seven labels were found (Fig. 6).

To view the search results, click on the button marked Format Labels. On the next screen (Fig. 7) are several options for viewing the search results. The default is the Standard output option which provides product name, EPA number, SLN number, ingredient, ingredient concentration, and registrant. In this example, if you choose the Standard output option the PICOL search results will be displayed as shown in Figure 8.

Other output options include listing the pests (Pest List) for each product, the crops (Crop List), the data in its entirety (All), a shorter version (Summary), and the Tabular option which allows you to customize the output by letting you select not only the items to be included in the output but also to establish the order in which they will be displayed. If the Tabular output option is selected, the data will be organized alphabetically or numerically by the first item selected.

Tips and Tidbits

Some things to know about the PICOL database:

  • It isn’t a good idea to use the Simple Search feature for product name or EPA number searches. Before the search can begin the database must first build a list all the choices and EPA number and name lists take a long time to load. To save time use the Advanced Search screen to run these types of searches.

  • Switching from Simple to Advanced Search in the middle of a multi-step search is allowed. If, for example, you want a list of all fungicides labeled for use on both summer and winter squash, run the following search:

    Simple Search: Pesticide Type EQ Fungicide
    Advanced Search: AND Crop LIKE Squash

  • When refining queries the OR logic operator searches the entire pool of PICOL information while the AND operator triggers a search within the pool of labels already collected. In general, if you are doing a multi-step search, group all the OR searches first followed by the AND searches. For example, to find all fungicides that can be used to control powdery mildew on pumpkin, squash, or cucumber, set up the search as follows:

    Advanced Search: Crop  LIKE  Squash
    Simple Search:  OR  Crop  EQ  Pumpkin
    Simple Search:  OR  Crop  EQ  Cucumber
    Simple Search:  AND  Pest  EQ  Powdery Mildew

  • In PICOL, for each label individual pests are linked to specific crops; however, when the database initiates a pest search it looks at all the pests on the label. If you have previously run a search for a specific crop and then refined your query with a pest search, PICOL find all the labels included in the first part of the search that contain directions for controlling the pest, not just those where the pest is linked to the specific crop. In the search example above PICOL would include a label that contained directions for powdery mildew control on hops, provided the label also carried use directions for squash, cucumber, or pumpkin. To view the pests listed on the label for a specific crop, use the output option All. (The 'All' feature won't function properly on searches with many results.)

  • PICOL does not contain information on Section 18s, REIs, PHIs, nor can you access electronic copies of labels from PICOL. (Electronic copies of Washington SLN and Section 18 labels are available on WSU’s Pesticide Notification Network web page at

  • Some pesticide labels contain both homeowner and commercial use directions thus in PICOL we have three choices for the search criteria Intended Users: Home, Both, and Commercial. To run a search that finds all labels that allow for commercial use, the best way to refine the query is to add the search step:

    AND Intended User NE (not equals) Home

If you have questions, several forms of help are available. The green band on the main PICOL search screen (Fig. 2), contains links to both dictionaries and Help With Queries information. The dictionaries describe how various terms are defined in PICOL. WSPRS staff are available at 509-372-7492 to answer questions or provide phone tutorials.


Image of Washington State Pest Management Resource Service home page

Fig. 1

Image of PICOL search page

Fig. 2

Image of Choosing a crop using PICOL

Fig. 3

Image showing search results using PICOL

Fig. 4

Image showing search query using PICOL

Fig. 5

Image showing search results using PICOL

Fig. 6

Image showing search results options using PICOL

Fig. 7

Image showing printed search results using PICOL

Fig. 8

Pesticide Notification Network: Pesticide Information Delivered to Your Door

Jane Thomas, WSU

A useful grower resource offered by WSU is the Pesticide Notification Network (PNN). The PNN helps keep Washington growers up to date by distributing notifications of pesticide label changes and relevant regulatory information. PNN notifications provide Washington-specific information, delivered by e-mail, directly to growers and others involved in agriculture.

Targeted Information

When folks sign up to receive information from the PNN (by the way, it’s free!) they customize their subscription by both crop and pesticide type. This way, someone growing melons and squash could receive all PNN notifications for these crops (but no others), while a plant pathologist working with these same crops could choose to receive only those melon and squash notifications related to fungicides.

It’s easy to subscribe to the PNN. Simply go to the PNN web page at, and click on the right-hand circle in the upper portion of the page. The subscriber link on the web page allows you either to change your PNN subscription or to unsubscribe at any time. Everyone who signs up on the PNN should include the option to receive “Regulatory Information” in their subscription.

What’s Covered

The PNN provides information about:

  • new product registrations
  • label changes
  • new or amended Section 18 exemptions
  • new, revised, or cancelled SLN registrations
  • re-registration eligibility decisions (REDs)
  • proposed product cancellations and use deletions, and
  • miscellaneous/regulatory information

Sample Notification

Each PNN notification is linked to one or more pesticide products and to one or more crops (Fig. 1, items 1 & 2). When the notification is ready to be sent, the computer program builds a distribution list, first based on the crop(s), and then on the type of pesticide(s) associated with the notification. Once the notification message has been composed (and sepll spell checked!) and the program has generated the distribution list, notifications are distributed directly to subscribers by e-mail.

As an example, take a look at PNN notification 2005-21 (Fig. 1). This notification discusses a revision to SLN WA-990021. This SLN provides for the use of Curzate 60DF for the control of downy mildew on vegetable seed crops (note item 3 in Fig. 1, a link to a copy of the revised SLN.) To build the distribution list for this notification, the PNN database first compiled a list of everyone who signed up to receive information about beet, cabbage, spinach, or Swiss chard seed crops. Next, the program eliminated anyone who did not request fungicide information. By using the PNN’s ability to generate targeted distribution lists, we hope to avoid flooding already overtaxed growers, Extension staff, and researchers with information not pertinent to their work.

The Numbers

To use the previous example, a person who subscribed to receive information about melons and squash would have received 62 PNN notifications in 2005. That is only a small portion of the total 355 PNN notifications that were distributed. Typically the PNN distributes between 300 and 350 notifications each year. Remember, the more crops in your subscription, the more notifications you will receive.

Beyond E-Mail

The PNN also provides useful information on our web page ( including:

  • search screens for PNN notifications, SLNs, and Section 18s
  • copies of all previously sent PNN notifications
  • electronic copies of most Oregon and Washington SLNs and Washington Section 18 labels
  • lists of both Oregon and Washington SLNs and Section 18s
  • postings of miscellaneous information, and
  • subscriber links

Image of Pesticide Notification Network screen

Fig. 1.  An example of a PNN notification

Rapid Delivery of Regional Pest Alerts Using and, an Interactive Internet Site

Jeffrey S. Miller, Jerry D. Neufeld, Steve J. Reddy, Clinton C. Shock, Lynn Jensen, Nora L. Olsen, William Bohl, and Bryan Hopkins

One of the largest contiguous irrigated agricultural production regions in the Pacific Northwest is the Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon. This valley supports the production, processing and marketing of many crops. The farm gate value of crop production in the Treasure Valley is approximately $772 million annually. Adding the value of farm gate potato sales from all of Idaho to the total crop production sales in the Treasure Valley totals >$1.33 billion annually.

Delivery of timely crop production information to growers and field representatives in the Treasure Valley is difficult because of distinct geographical divisions, political boundaries, and the wide diversity of crops and cropping systems. Although effective newsletters are published regularly by Extension Educators for vegetables and other crops, growers and field representatives did not previously have timely access to pest outbreak information. It is impossible for industry field representatives or Extension Educators to have knowledge of all the pest conditions that exist over all the crops produced throughout this area. Therefore, the objective of this extension program was to create an internet website whereby growers, field representatives, and university personnel could rapidly disseminate information to the production agriculture community regarding pest outbreaks.

Beginning in the 1990’s, internet websites and email distribution lists were seen as tools that could be used by extension faculty to disseminate information about agricultural pests. Websites like the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center ( contain a great deal of production information about crops and a list of pest alerts. However, you must actively seek the information to use it. Another website,, uses a process whereby pest updates are compiled and distributed via email on a weekly basis (Malone, et. al., 2005). Again, users must actively access the website to get pest information or wait for the weekly email to see if information of interest has been posted. was designed to be a passive system (very little effort required by the user), informing the user about pest outbreaks immediately as information becomes available. The desired outcome of this effort was to increase communication and provide educational information to growers and field representatives for managing pests. The success of was such that crop producers across southern Idaho asked for the service to be expanded to that region. The URL (for the Pacific Northwest) was added to the site in 2004 to encourage subscribers outside the Treasure Valley to join. TV/ is a collaborative effort between Extension Educators, Specialists and Researchers at the University of Idaho and Oregon State University (hereafter referred to as the “administrative” team). Currently, TV/ services the Treasure Valley and the potato producing areas of southern Idaho.

New website users subscribe to TV/ without cost by choosing the “Join Mail Lists” feature on the home webpage. New users enter their name and email address, and then select crops of interest to them. Subscribers will automatically be sent an email notice whenever alerts have been posted concerning a crop of interest to the user. Only then do they need to visit the website. The pest alert process begins when a message about a pest is received by phone, fax, or email at the Idaho or Oregon Cooperative Extension office of an administrative team member. The message is then routed to the administrative team member responsible for the crop mentioned in the message. Next, the information contained in the message is verified, and if needed, more information is gathered. Following verification, an alert is written and uploaded to the homepage of the website, and email notices are automatically generated and sent to appropriate subscribers. The alert provides basic information on the pest and may provide short, concise management recommendations. For additional management information, the user is referred to reference pages that have been developed for that particular pest. Reference pages contain educational information such as the pest’s common name, scientific name, life cycle, identification and research-based control measures. Reference pages are updated annually by the administrative team to ensure the pages contain the latest management information and links to additional web pages containing science-based information on pest management.

Alerts can confirm verified pest problems (Fig. 1) or provide forecast information on anticipated pest problems (Fig. 2). Confirmation alerts list the crop affected, the pest, the general location, and information about the pest problem. Forecasting alerts, based on growing degree day models inform growers about pest problems that are predicted to occur in the near future.

During the course of the 2001 growing season there were 5,899 site visits and 114"#993399" website subscribers. At the conclusion of 2005, there were 411 subscribers and nearly 31,000 website visits. Approximately 71% of the website subscribers are either commodity growers or involved in the allied agricultural industry (Fig. 3).

Fig. 1.

Alert Confirming a Pest Outbreak.

Image of pest alert page confirming an outbreak


Fig. 2.

Alert Forecassting a Pest Outbreak.

Image of Pest Alert page showing a pest alert forcast


Fig. 3.

Percentage of TV/ Subscribers by Occupational Category.

Pie chart of percentage of TV/ subscribers by occupational category


Following the 2003 and subsequent growing seasons, we distributed an electronic via through the website, asking subscribers to describe the impact the website had on their pest management decisions. An average 10.6% of website subscribers were able to reduce the number of sprays applied to their crops (Table 1). In addition, 54.0% of website subscribers increased their use of field scouting to document pest levels before implementing control measures. These evaluation numbers indicate TV/ is increasing the number of growers in Idaho and Oregon that employ IPM practices in their agricultural operations.

Table 3.  Crop Management Actions Taken by TV/ Subscribers after Receiving Pest Alert Information.

Response 2003 2004 2005 Average
I was able to reduce the number of sprays applied to my crops. 10% 10% 11% 10%
A spray I applied was more effective due to the timeliness of the application. 33% 23% 28% 28%
I was able to eliminate a spray application. 6% 7% 10% 8%
I increased my field scouting to document the pest level in my fields. 51% 60% 51% 54%

Timely awareness of pest outbreaks creates more opportunities for growers to explore available resources available for pest control. From an environmental, worker safety and production standpoint, TV/ is creating more judicious use of crop protection chemicals. Overall, website subscribers are using more IPM practices and pesticide stewardship is being enhanced by the implementation of this project.

Reference: Malone, S., Herbert, D.A., and Kuhar, T. 2005. An Online Survey Process for Assessing Impact of an Email-Delivered Pest Advisory. Journal of Extension [Online], 43(5) Article 5RIB2.

PAWS (Public Agricultural Weather Service) = AgWeatherNet

Tim Waters, WSU

PAWS is a web-based agricultural weather network in Washington State that offers near real-time weather based data to growers, researchers, extension educators, consultants, and others. The PAWS system was recently upgraded and renamed as AgWeatherNet.

AgWeatherNet is maintained by personnel at the WSU Prosser IAREC. Currently, there are >60 weather stations statewide that provide data on:

  • Current weather conditions, including air and soil temperature, growing degree days, precipitation, leaf wetness, wind speed, wind chill, forecasts, heat index, climate maps, air stability, etc.
  • Frost protection
  • Pest and disease models, including

    Fire blight
    Apple scab
    Grape powdery mildew
    Codling moth
    Cherry fruit fly

  • Reference evapotranspiration/daily crop water use for 40+ crops
  • Interactive irrigation scheduling: Washington Irrigation Scheduling Expert (WISE)
  • Tree fruit model summaries

The data can be obtained as 15 minute averages, hourly averages, or daily or monthly averages/totals. Obtaining data from AgWeatherNet is simple. Users must register, but subscriptions are free of charge. Follow the website link at and click on the map of Washington State. Choose the type of data that you wish to obtain, including raw data, summary reports, or other models and reports. You will be prompted to choose one of the 60 PAWS weather stations, and the date and time for which you want data. You can choose to have the data displayed on the screen or outputted to a file. A graphical output of the data will be displayed. For further information on what AgWeatherNet offers, visit the webpage or send an e-mail inquiry to:

Trapping Potato Pests in Oregon: Leafhopper, Potato Tuberworm, and Aphids

Silvia I. Rondon and Philip B. Hamm, OSU HAREC

Potato growers in the Columbia Basin need access to information on occurrences of important pests like leafhoppers, potato tuberworm, and aphids. Many new resources are becoming available for this purpose. In 2006, results of potato insect traps maintained by OSU HAREC staff indicate that numbers of all insect pests were on the rise in July. Information on the OSU trap results, including weekly posting of the numbers of insects trapped, can be found at:, or by contacting the Umatilla County Extension Service, PO Box 105, Hermiston, OR 97838; Tel: 541-567-8321, Fax: 541-567-2240.

The OSU Potato Pest homepage at: also provides extensive resources in identification and management of potato pests in the Pacific Northwest. See the website for tips on trap use and placement.

Photo of beet leafhopper
Fig. 1. Beet leafhopper (2.3 mm long) (photo courtesy of A. Jensen, WA State Potato Commission).

Leafhoppers: A wide variety of leafhoppers can be found in potato fields ( The beet leafhopper (Fig. 1) is one of the species that transmits a phytoplasma in potatoes that causes “purple top”. Use a 3” X 5” yellow sticky trap (Olson products Inc., tel: 330-723-3210) (Fig. 2). To trap leafhoppers, place the traps at the edge of fields, and hang them no higher than 12” above the crop canopy or bare ground. The area around traps should be free of weeds. Deploy traps from May 1 through September 15. Check traps and change the sticky cards once a week. One trap is generally recommended per growing area. Control of this pest is extremely important in mid-May through June, but the importance of insecticide treatments in July and August is still unknown.

Photo of yellow sticky trap
Fig. 2. Yellow sticky card (photo by S.I. Rondon, OSU).

The WA State Potato Commission Potato Tuber Moth Trap/Count Grid can be viewed at, where you can find updates on the numbers of tuber moths trapped in regions of the Columbia Basin in OR and WA.

Photo of tubermoth female and potato tuberworm
Fig. 3. Potato tubermoth female (above) & potato tuberworm (below) (photo by O.Zegarra, ICP, Peru).

Potato tuberworm or tubermoth: Larvae mine potato leaves, stems, and petioles, and bore into potato tubers. It is a relatively new, but damaging pest in Oregon and eastern Washington, and is considered one of the most important constraints to potato production worldwide (Fig. 3). Delta traps (Trece Pherocon VI) with quick change sticky inserts are recommended for monitoring (Fig. 4). Traps should be located at the edge of the field, and hang no higher than 12” above the crop canopy or bare ground. The area around the traps needs to be kept free of weeds. The trap stand used by OSU HAREC staff is a high-strength conduit pipe with a heavy aluminum wire 30” in length. Delta traps (but not holders) and pheromones (International lures) can be purchased from Trece Inc. (918-785-3061 or Trapping should start on July 1 and run at least to October 15. Check traps regularly. Change the insert weekly, and the lure monthly. Place 1 trap per area and at least 4 traps per 125 acre field.

Photo of delta trap
Fig. 4. Delta trap (photo by S.I. Rondon, OSU)

The Washington State University “Hotline for Aphids on Potatoes” at: provides information on aphids in potatoes, as well as pest management information and other resources on potato pests.

Aphids: Many species of aphids can be found in the Pacific Northwest. To detect aphids, use yellow pan traps plus a surfactant (e.g., soap) (Fig. 5). Surfactants increase aphid capture. Place the traps on a dark background (e.g., bare soil vs. vegetation) to increase aphid capture. The most important aphids in the Columbia Basin are the green peach aphid (Fig. 6) and the potato aphid.

Photo of yellow pan used to collect aphids
Fig. 5. Yellow pan used to collect aphids.

Photo of green peach aphid
Fig. 6. Green peach aphid (photo courtesy of K. Pike, WSU).

Our pages provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. WSU Extension does not manage these external sites, nor does Extension review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these sites. These external sites do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.

WSU Mount Vernon NWREC, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4768, 360-848-6120
Contact Us: Lindsey du Toit and Carol Miles