Out of the Orchard

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Grim: Washington’s industry consolidation has reached the bell lap

Two and one-half years have passed since West Mathison broached the idea of industry consolidation in Washington State at the December, 2011 Annual Meeting in Wenatchee of the Washington State Horticultural Association (WSHA).

Thurlby: Northwest cherry team on the go through first crop estimate

The promotion staff at the Northwest Cherry Growers has been all over the globe over the past several months.

Likewise, the phone continues to ring with queries from media, retailers and importers asking how big the crop is going to be and from growers informing me that there is “great [...]

Good Fruit Grower improves service to growers

As the Northwest Tree Fruit Industry races toward 2014, the team at the Washington State Fruit Commission has been racing to meet the new year head on with powerful promotion programs for stone fruit and a new approach to content at WSFC’s flagship grower educational vehicle … Good Fruit [...]

The Fickle Nature of Earned Media

With the industry running full tilt into apple harvest … the team at the Northwest Cherry Growers is putting together the post season pieces of this year’s sweet cherry harvest.  Final numbers are still being compiled but it looks like the 2013 crop is going to come at the [...]

The Art, Science…and Luck of Cherry Crop Estimation

It’s June 12th 2013 and the Northwest Cherry harvest for this season is officially underway. We saw our first shipments leave the industry on June 7th.   Volume over the next week or so is expected to be very limited. We have shipped just over 300,000 boxes to date and [...]

Reporting from Asia

TOKYO, Japan — As the Northwest Cherry Season quickly approaches I am spending two weeks meeting with importers in Korea and Japan.   Our Director of international business, Keith Hu, and I had some great meetings last week in Korea.  It’s been several years since I have seen Asian importers [...]

Priority No. 2

As the Washington apple production increases and U.S. apple consumption remains flat (if not arguably declining), we all agree increasing fresh apple consumption is priority No. 1.  True as this statement is, another potentially devastating issue looms even larger on the immediate horizon—market access.  Washington isn’t the only state [...]

A New Cherry Season Brings Hope, Opportunity and Plenty of Challenges

As the Northwest Cherry season draws closer by the day … for the first time in six or seven years I am thinking that the 2013 crop has the potential to begin harvest during the first days of June.

In this business, what appears to be “so” in April might [...]

In Times of Plenty

I think we can all agree the record Washington apple crop of 2012 couldn’t have happened at a better time. Severely reduced crop volumes in Michigan and New York created unprecedented domestic demand, pushing movement and prices to new heights.

However, if our other U.S. apple producing brethren had normal [...]

Optimistic about pears

Recently, I had the pleasure to address a large number of growers at North Central Washington Pear Day in Wenatchee. The title of my talk was “Why I am optimistic about pears,” and I examined some of the trends that lead me to believe the future of the pear [...]