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Posted on March 5, 2008 with No Comments
Hogs Help Battle Beetles in Apple Orchard
“CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (March 5) – Jim Koan has gone hog-wild in his battle against a beetle that threatens his 120-acre organic apple orchard”
“As part of a research experiment believed to be among the first of its kind, Koan is using pigs to help protect his fruit from the plum curculio, a tiny insect that is among the most destructive apple pests.”
“More than two dozen porkers patrol his orchard, gobbling down fallen, immature apples containing the beetle’s larvae”
“Adult female curculios cut crescent-shaped flaps in the skin of newly formed apples and lay their eggs inside, where they hatch. The beetle larvae burrow into the center of the young fruit, making it drop prematurely in late June or early July.”
The avenue of possibility is endless when you think outside the box. I don’t know if this will work better than the conventional method of treatment, but I would say kudos to Mr. Koan for being inventive. My only concern would be are the hogs at risk for getting any type of disease after they eat a multitude of apples with these insects inside. If they do get ill do the farmers know whay symptoms to look for? Would any potential diseases be passed on to us if the hogs are sent off to the slaughter house once there field days are over?
To read more on this article go to http://news.aol.com/story/_a/hogs-help-battle-beetles-in-apple/20080305082209990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001