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 


All Good Fruit Grower blog posts:

Merry Gone

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 new season’s national apple crop, normally released in August. The apple marketers from our area of the country that I have talked with see [...]

Return from Barcelona

● This past Sunday I arrived back from Barcelona, Spain. There, I had attended the 2013 Global Food Safety Conference, the main annual gathering for GFSI, the Global Food Safety Initiative. About 780 delegates from some 53 countries were present. It was clear to me that this private organization [...]


● Sequestration is set to go into effect on March 1. I do not see this action being averted, so large automatic budget cuts in most federal programs and services will likely kick in. The only question is how quickly after March 1 before House Republicans and the White [...]

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 [...]


●  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 York Times and The Wall Street Journal over the weekend. The United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia Circuit) decided that an NLRB [...]

Plan ahead

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 enjoying this season.
Crop failures in New York, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada, have provided unprecedented domestic demand and price support. The 2012-13 Washington apple [...]

Potomac Views

● 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, the ranking member of the minority party for it was named: Kurt Schrader (D/Oregon). First-term Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D/Washington) also has joined this subcommittee, [...]

Hudson Valley Apple Pie

● 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 is not a bad time. The United States ambassador to China is Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington, while Washington’s new governor, Jay [...]

Drugged Media

●  Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration released two of its proposed regulations implementing FSMA, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. They deal with the safety of produce and food facilities. Setting aside the merits of the proposals, what was interesting to me was the choreographed release. FDA [...]

Potomac Precipice

● 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 delegation was in favor by 11 to 5, with “No” votes being cast by four Democrats (Blumenauer/Oregon, DeFazio/Oregon, Schrader/Oregon, Smith/Washington) and one Republican (Labrador/Idaho).

● [...]