|organic farming, fruit production, apple
Organic pome and stone fruit production in both North and South America expanded dramatically during the 1990s in response to growing consumer demand for certified organic foods.
Nearly all production is located in the semi-arid regions where disease and insect problems tend to be significantly less.
Tree fruit producers and researchers in more humid regions are attempting to develop viable organic systems for their climates.
Key challenges for producers in all regions include crop load management (fruit thinning), effective and economical weed control, fertility management, and control of replant disease.
Insect pest problems vary by region, with some pests such as codling moth being a nearly universal problem.
Advances in insect pest IPM for conventional production have directly helped organic producers.
Researchers are focusing more attention on ecological design concepts and techniques to minimize pests and provide other benefits to the system.
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