For many, cold temperatures mean staying indoors. But for fruit growers, winter is a time to attend trade shows, especially The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo in Michigan and the annual meeting of the Washington State Horticultural Association in Washington, both held in December.
Good Fruit Grower will attend both shows to report on research and news on best growing practices. In Washington State, there will be an enhanced sense of change as the 110th meeting of the hort association marks its demise as it merges with other trade groups—the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association, the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association, and the Washington
Growers Clearing House—into the new Washington Tree Fruit Association, led by Jon DeVaney as president. Let me thank the staff of all four organizations for service to growers and for their years of valued partnerships with this magazine.
This November issue of Good Fruit Grower is packed with important features on technology in the fruit industry. Like many of you, I’m following the fast developments with drones. Perhaps some day we’ll get Amazon package deliveries by drone, but even sooner we’ll see drones assisting growers with mapping and management of orchards.
This issue also reports on research with using robots for harvesting and other tasks. And we have another installment in our popular Young Growers series, this time on Alex Chinciolo, who grows apples and cherries in northern California. (Watch a video of Alex talking about raising organic fruit, visit www.goodfruit.com/yg.)
Looking ahead to our issue in December, at our home office in Yakima we are finalizing the package on our magazine’s annual Grower of the Year, one of the industry’s highest honors.
Each year our Advisory Board selects from a strong pool of nominees a grower with standout contributions to the industry. I’m grateful for the board’s work. They always select an inspiring individual or family whom we honor at the hort show in December.
You’ll have to wait till then to learn the identity, but I can tell you it’s a story of relentless dedication to innovative growing practices and a passion for sharing best practices with orchardists. See previous growers of the year.
Also in December, we’re partnering with our friends at the hort association on something new. In addition to our in-depth coverage in the print magazine and online, and in the traditional event program guide, we are providing content and assistance to the hort association for its new app for mobile phones and tablets.
The app for both Apple and Android devices will provide event details, updates and content generated by the hort association staff and Good Fruit Grower’s editors. The hort association expects that the app will be ready by early November. Look for it at www.guidebook.com/app/wahort14.
Doing the app is a first for the hort association and for us. I’m curious to see how many growers download it and find it useful. I don’t see an app replacing a printed program for the foreseeable future, but we support what works best for different readers.
Good Fruit Grower is always looking for ways to make it easier for growers and others to access and share our editorial or advertising content, whether it’s in print, on our mobile-friendly website, on Twitter or Facebook, or via our popular eFlash electronic newsletter. That’s part of our mission of providing an essential resource to readers. •