The CPCNW’s predecessors led the way in the fight against viruses. In the 1940s viruses hit fruit orchards in the Pacific Northwest hard. Bulldozers pushed thousands of trees out of the ground in order to control the spread of the viruses. When it came time to re-plant, the fruit industry knew it needed a source of virus-free trees. The crisis led to the creation of Inter-Regional Project 2 (IR-2) in 1955. IR-2 centralized the costly activities associated with the testing and production of virus tested trees, to minimize duplication of efforts in multiple states.
IR-2 evolved into the National Research Support Project 5. This program continued to test for viruses and maintain “clean” planting material, but added virus eradication to its virus-fighting arsenal. Similar programs were created for grapevines in 1960 and hop plants in 1964.
Today, these programs have converged under the National Clean Plant Network and the CPCNW is grateful to be a part of this network. We continue to battle the viruses that impact crop yield and quality.