Out of the Orchard

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Cherry Institute

Winters seem to pass more quickly every year. As most know … winter is officially “meeting time” in the Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry. Cherry growers will have numerous opportunities to come in from the cold and focus on the challenges of producing the best sweet cherries in the [...]

New Year, New Congress

The year 2011 will be a challenge for our industry as we enter into an era of reduced spending and, obviously, program cutting. In most cases, defeated House members were ousted because, well, “change” didn’t come as promised, and what change did happen, came with a huge price tag!

New [...]

Thank You Growers

Recently growers received a mailing from the Washington Apple Commission outlining the need to have accurate and up-to-date addresses and acreages. We have had overwhelming response to this mailing and I want to thank all growers for their kind attention to this very important issue. Accurate grower information is [...]

Celebrate National Pear Month

Once again this year, at the behest of the Pear Bureau, the USDA has named December “National Pear Month”. We use this designation to create buzz among food editors, so they will write about pears and include pear recipes in their publications. Outreach to editors is an important and [...]

Colombia market vulnerable

Having just returned from Colombia, Washington’s largest South American apple market, I realized I was witnessing the deterioration of a very important partner of Washington’s apple growers.  Not only has Colombia exceeded 400,000 cartons of imports from Washington, the consumer preferences by variety and size enhance grower returns.  Galas [...]

Yes We Can…

In recent years, my wife Maggie and I have canned peaches, tomatoes, and asparagus. Maggie comes from a large family and we usually make our “canning day” a group family affair that includes many of her 8 brothers and sisters and extended family. We have great fun and end [...]

China, continued….

I would like to point out the labor-intensive methodology of harvest, to storage, to packing. The first packer asks the grower to presize and presort in the orchard, harvesting the product into the plastic bushel containers (15kg). Upon delivery and purchase, similar product is then put into wooden bins [...]

New York Congressional Delegation stands up for US Apples

After returning from the United Fresh Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., last month, I was inspired to take on yet another national issue that has serious implications for the apple industry: the Mexican cross border trucking problem, which has now drawn apples onto the tariff list! While visiting [...]

Governor’s Mission to China, Pt. 2

Monday Visit – We arrived in Yantai in the early afternoon on Monday and proceeded approximately 120km to a modern facility in Qixia.

Packing
The facility was modern and set up similarly to most Washington State packers. The packing line had a four-lane sizer with a water dump. The line [...]

Useful Web Sites

The 2010 pear season is starting out well and we have a lot of activities and programs to help ensure it continues that way. Working in a constantly changing marketplace, it is important to stay on top of things in order to create strategies and plans for tomorrow and [...]