The Art of Farming: Death Comes
for the Pacific Flathead Borer

By September 25, 2013The Art of Farming
During our last venture into the world of organic pest management, we saw that understanding and working with natural systems is an important step in the proactive steps organic farmers take to produce a successful crop. This week’s post introduces another trick organic farmers’ have up their sleeves: creative trial and error.

The Pacific Flathead borer is an inch long pest that creates a big problem for stone fruit farmers. It can kill an entire limb or even the whole tree if it bores in and starts burrowing low enough. Conventional farmers can take care of this pest with a chemical pesticide, but organic farmers have to take a more creative approach to defensive action.

Meet the Pacific Flathead borer and hear Uncle Vern explain the threat it brings to his peach orchard and how he’s dealing with it in the video below.

In between shooting the first video and the actual destruction of the borer infested branches, the Peterson family invested in a wood chipper as a more environmentally friendly method of fruit wood disposal. Erik shows us how it works in the video below and the flathead borer meets its end.

*We shot this video in fall of 2012, and as of September 2013, Uncle Vern reports that there are very few dead limbs in the Vista peaches. One point goes to the organic farmer!

Author Amy Beth

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