Sweet, bright and juicy, fresh cherries are practically nature’s candy. Perhaps just as important as their flavor is their visual appeal – ruby-red and ripe, cherries just beg to be plucked from the produce case. For fresh cherry producers looking to entice consumers, there is zero tolerance for damage, and that made the western cherry fruit fly a major problem for growers in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The flies would deposit eggs into ripe cherries, and when the eggs hatched, fruit – and profits – were destroyed. For organic growers, there was no option to control these pests, and the result was a lot of wasted fruit, higher cherry prices and less organic cherry acres.
The introduction of Qalcova™ active (spinosad) proved to be a game-changer for the industry, when new product options were approved for organic use. These products did not have to be applied as foliar spray, eliminating concerns about maximum residue limits and expanding export and marketability options. Cherry growers could expand their operations with confidence and lose less of their harvests to pests. With Qalcova, organic cherry farmers found an affordable solution that worked to increase profits, improve fruit quality and raise availability for consumers.