Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.

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  • Cold is hot topic at Expo

Cold is hot topic at Expo

  • November 1st, 2012

Great Lakes region fruit growers won’t soon forget 2012, the year that Mother Nature, for the first time in the lifetimes of all but a few, froze them out of the fruit business. But the effects of this forced vacation from fruit production will linger on into 2013—something that [...]

  • Planning for continued success

Planning for continued success

  • November 1st, 2012

Those are among the reasons why the main theme of the association’s annual meeting, December 3 to 5, will be succession planning, says David Douglas, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association and part of the family-owned Douglas Fruit Company in Pasco, Washington.

Douglas said his family’s company was [...]

  • Grape growers to visit Capitol Hill

Grape growers to visit Capitol Hill

  • November 1st, 2012

Washington State diversified farmer Brenton Roy wants to see more of the state’s wine grape industry attend a national grape policy conference held annually in Washington, D.C. He believes so strongly in the value of the conference that he ­hasn’t missed attending any the last five years.

Roy, of Oasis [...]

  • Looking for a bipartisan solution

Looking for a bipartisan solution

  • October 1st, 2012

Apple harvest season last year brought home to Dale Foreman just how important a reliable labor force was to his apple-growing operation. Some of his apples went unpicked because of a labor shortage in Washington State, and some were picked too late for best quality and ended up going [...]

Good Point: Proving safe produce is safe

  • September 1st, 2012

Safe food is an unobjectionable term. No one wants unsafe food.

To assure the safety of the produce sold to consumers, private grocery store chains have already imposed ever greater contractual standards on their suppliers of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is poised [...]

Land-grant mission still relevant

  • June 1st, 2012

Dan Bernardo

Washington State apple, pear, and grape growers have agreed to tax themselves assessments to raise nearly $35 million to support future research and extension at Washington State University. Is that a sign of lack of vitality at their land-grant ­university?

It’s just the opposite, says Dr. Dan Bernardo, dean [...]

Pillars of agriculture

  • June 1st, 2012

American farmers can call up images from two very different historical threads when describing themselves.

Farmers are rugged individualists, pioneers who tackled the unfriendly frontier, rifle in one hand, guiding the plow with the other, spouse and children all pitching in to convert the hostile landscape into productive fields that [...]

Later and later cherries

  • May 15th, 2012

Sweetheart, a late-season cultivar developed at the Summerland research center in British Columbia, Canada, is the second-most planted variety in Washington State.
Photo courtesy of Willow Drive Nursery

Last year’s record volume of Northwest cherries shipped in August and September was partly due to the year’s cool weather and lateness [...]

Future of IR-4 in question

  • May 15th, 2012

More than a hundred specialty crops producers and their organizations have signed on to an effort to convince Congress not to change the IR-4 program. Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has mustered the financial and scientific resources to register crop protection chemicals for specialty crops—the so-called minor uses.

Richard Bonanno, [...]

Neonicotinoids and bees

  • May 15th, 2012

A spate of new studies came out this spring, all of them seeking to link neonicotinoid insecticides to mortality in honeybees, bumblebees, and several kinds of native bees, and all of the studies getting wide publicity.

Reaction among agricultural entomologists varied. Some criticized the studies as being scientifically flawed. None [...]

Good Stuff

  • May 15th, 2012

Stickers link to grower videos
Thanks to new data bar technology, shoppers anywhere in the world can use smartphones to scan stickers on apples supplied by Chelan Fresh, one of ­Washington’s top tree fruit suppliers, and see videos of the growers.

The new technology, greenscans, was developed to allow companies [...]

  • Head of the class

Head of the class

  • May 1st, 2012

The Young Apple Leaders of 2012 are, back row left to right, Sarah Dressell, Sara Shanteau, Casey Collins, Adam Peters, Mark Boyer, Dave Gargasz, Jeff Armock, Mark Stennes, and Andy Ferguson; front row, Holly Rogers-Rios, Stephanie Shoemaker, Valerie Ramsburg, Congressman Bill Huizenga, Daniel Rock, Chris Willett, and Justin Finkler.
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