The Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MCAREC) conducts research that directly addresses and supports the needs of cherry producers.

Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MCAREC) is comprised of two assistant professors in the Department of Horticulture, Dr. Christopher Adams and Dr. Kelsey Galimba. In addition, the station is supported by the efforts of Dr. Ashley Thompson, an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and a member of the Wasco and Hood River County Extension Service. Collectively, the team conducts research that directly addresses and supports the needs of cherry producers.

The team conducts research to monitor, trap, and control pests of cherry, such as the seasonal spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Efforts have resulted in new trapping technology foundational to improved pest monitoring. It has also made real-time data available to growers to help them better understand and manage active pest pressure. Novel pest management techniques, such as decoy baits and feeding stimulants, have been tested to improve pest control efficacy and to diversify pest management options. Ongoing pest control research has resulted in publication of outreach documents that help guide growers on what new pesticides and biological controls are safe and effective. Meanwhile, variety trials have been conducted to identify which cherry varieties are susceptible to infestation to assist with cultivar selection.

Lastly, the team at MCAREC is working to protect cherries from weather related challenges, such as fruit cracking. To accomplish this, the team examined application of skin protectants to help prevent cracking and spoilage of fruit resulting from late season rains. Collectively, the team conducts, publishes, and disseminates research findings that are critically important to the continued success of cherry producers in Oregon and beyond. So, the next time you enjoy a delicious cherry, be sure to remember the rewarding and impactful science that goes into every delectable bite.

spotted wing drosophila on a cherry