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Cherry growers from the Pacific Northwest will converge in Yakima, Washington, on January 13 for the annual Cherry Institute. Program highlights include pest management, horticulture, research, and marketing.

The annual meeting, bringing together cherry industry growers and representatives to learn about best practices and innovation, has been an industry tradition for 62 years.

Two grower panels will share their experiences in managing crop load on high density plantings through chemical thinning, as well as thoughts on the future of cherry production.

Lynn Long, Oregon State University, and Greg Johnson, cherry grower from The Dalles, Oregon, will present data and observations on new cherry varieties and rootstocks.

Scientists from Washington State University and OSU, Drs. Matthew Whiting and Anita Azarenko, respectively, will discuss findings from horticultural and pollination and fruit set research projects.

Dr. Wee Yee, U.S. Department of Agriculture, will share management strategies of controlling cherry fruit fly with insecticides and bait sprays, while Jim Olmstead will present an update of the ongoing cherry breeding and genetics research at WSU’s Prosser research station.

For those interested in marketing, Dr. Desmond O’Rourke of Belrose, Inc., will share his insight on the global cherry market. B.J. Thurlby, Northwest Cherry Growers, will provide an overview of the 2005 cherry season.

Nominations will be held for producer positions 5 and 6 on the board of the Washington State Fruit Commission, as well as elections for the Cherry Marketing Committee.

For registration and meeting information, call (509) 453-4837.