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Out of the Orchard

Agency directors from Washington, Oregon, Michigan, and New York give their take on the world of tree fruit. View blog

The Wind Machine

Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry. View blog

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All Good Fruit Grower blog posts:

Schlect: The Serbian scallywag

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●  Sarah Bittleman, who was the senior agricultural counselor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,  is now on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s staff as legislative

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How we got that stunning March 1 cover

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Pest management, the theme for Good Fruit Grower’s March 1 issue, is often a challenge to illustrate.

This year, we were fortunate in that Phil Hull

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Good Fruit Grower improves service to growers

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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

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Locke out

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● Two non-browning Arctic Apples have cleared an important regulatory hurdle, with USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service announcing on November 8 that the two

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Mr. Foley

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● Initiative-522, on labeling genetically-engineered foods, failed this week (55.83% to 45.17%) in Washington state. I thought it would pass, but apparently the well-funded anti-I-522

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The Big Easy

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● On Wednesday, I travel to New Orleans for the annual convention and trade show of the Produce Marketing Association. Along with absorbing information at 

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Shut Down

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Last week I attended, along with about 500 others, the United Fresh Produce Association’s annual Washington Public Policy Conference. The partial shut-down that occurred with

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That fellow behind the tree

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Earlier this week I attended a legal education seminar on estate planning as part of my obligation to keep my law license current. While the

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The Big Apple

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●  I was in New York City for three days on a family visit, before returning home on Tuesday, September 10. What struck me first

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The Fickle Nature of Earned Media

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With the industry running full tilt into apple harvest … the team at the Northwest Cherry Growers is putting together the post season pieces of

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Cuba Still Defying the Law of Gravitation

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● Syria has managed to generate headaches not only for Middle East policy experts, but also for all those desiring quick Capitol Hill action in

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The Windy City

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●  Last Wednesday and Thursday the United States Apple Association held its 2013 Apple Crop & Marketing Conference in Chicago. I attended this annual conference

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Safe at the Plate

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● FDA took to the highway this week for an informational tour of the fruit and vegetable  industry of the Pacific Northwest. Starting in Boise

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SAHCODHA — Bureaucratic acronyms run amok

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● Newly proposed safety rules aimed at food imports contain one of the better examples of bureaucratic acronyms run amok that I have recently seen:

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Do I dare to eat a peach?

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●  Last Friday the Food and Drug Administration rolled out two more of its proposed rules implementing FSMA, the Food Safety and Modernization Act. They

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Unlevel Fields

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● A new Farm Bill is still a far ways from a Rose Garden bill-signing.  With the costly nutrition title stripped out of the House-passed version

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Farm Bill Brouhaha

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● Today, in a surprisingly quick move, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 216 to 208 a revised Farm Bill (H.R. 2642),

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The Friendly Skies

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● Immigration reform legislation has passed the U.S. Senate, but now faces tough times in the House. Unlike in the Senate, there is no clear

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Farm Bill In Flames

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● Today the House of Representatives failed to pass a new five-year Farm Bill by a vote of 195-234. This surprise defeat throws the future

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DC Shufflings

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●  USDA has shuffled its leadership deck, especially as related to international trade policy. Sue Heinen, leader of the Foreign Agricultural Service, has moved across

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The Art, Science…and Luck of Cherry Crop Estimation

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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

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The Apple Cart

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●  A new group is being formed to help American agricultural interests better understand and interact with the international trade policy structure in Beijing. It

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Boughs Loaded With Fruit

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●  I attended United Fresh 2013 last week in San Diego, the annual convention and trade show of the United Fresh Produce Association.  Over the

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To The Midway

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Immigration Reform and the Farm Bill are both moving, however haltingly, on Capitol Hill. We will soon see if either–or both–of  these controversial measures has

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Reporting from Asia

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TOKYO, Japan — As the Northwest Cherry Season quickly approaches I am spending two weeks meeting with importers in Korea and Japan.   Our Director of

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Stern Truths

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● Last Friday, I attended a breakfast meeting in Yakima hosted by the William D. Ruckelshaus Center’s advisory board. (The center is a joint effort

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STAX

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● Max Baucus (D/Montana) announced on Tuesday he will not run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. Senator Baucus is chairman of the

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A Week Awhirl

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● This week provided a spike of activity on three major agricultural policy fronts: food safety, immigration reform, and the Farm Bill.  The time to

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Priority No. 2

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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

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

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As the Northwest Cherry season draws closer by the day … for the first time in six or seven years I am thinking that the

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Food Safety

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● The May 16 deadline looms for public comments on two of the proposed rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. Given the complexity of these

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Snap, crackle, pop

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Our tree fruits often find themselves featured in the logos designed for special events. Some current examples: peach for this weekend’s NCAA Final Four in

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In Times of Plenty

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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

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Merry Gone

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One of the federal sequestration cuts is the suspension by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service of several reports, including the first NASS estimate of the

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Return from Barcelona

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● This past Sunday I arrived back from Barcelona, Spain. There, I had attended the 2013 Global Food Safety Conference, the main annual gathering for

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Sasquatch

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● Sequestration is set to go into effect on March 1. I do not see this action being averted, so large automatic budget cuts in

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Optimistic about pears

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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

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Recess

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●  A powerful court decision handed down this past Friday involving Noel Canning and the National Labor Relations Board made page-one headlines in The New

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Plan ahead

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This week, I had the pleasure of giving presentations at apple meetings in Chelan and Wenatchee focusing on the good fortune Washington apple growers are

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Potomac Views

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● The Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agricultural Service of the House Agriculture Committee is now led by Austin Scott (R/Georgia). This week,

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Hudson Valley Apple Pie

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● If the apple industry of Washington state would like to address some of its trade access problems with the People’s Republic of China, now

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Drugged Media

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●  Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration released two of its proposed regulations implementing FSMA, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. They deal with

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Potomac Precipice

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● The fiscal cliff legislation, H.R. 8, that passed the House last night, did so by a vote of 257 to 167. The Pacific Northwest’s

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Activist Agenda

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● Over the past few years there has been a minor boom in publishing books critical of conventional systems of agricultural production. I try to

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A Glimpse of Washington State’s Future

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In the third week of July 2012, at the Washington Apple Commission’s board of directors meeting, I decided to have a little fun. Around the

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Lame Duck

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● The 112th Congress continues to lumber towards its eventual close, with a raft of policy decisions still awaiting resolution. Most of my agricultural lobbyist

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My Apple Cup Runneth Over

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● Randy Green, a former Deputy Undersecretary of USDA and chief of staff to the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, soon will be joining a Washington, D.C.,

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A Peach of a Part

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● A bill to improve trade relations with Russia, H.R. 6156, was passed by the House of Representatives last Friday by a vote of 365-43.

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Post Election

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● At a news conference this week, President Barack Obama expressed optimism about moving comprehensive immigration legislation next year. Notably, in this context, he included

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The Election

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● It’s over.  President Obama will have four more years to fashion policy and lead the nation. The Senate will remain under the majority leadership

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