Growers asked to tax themselves

Michigan growers to vote in February on proposed Tree Fruit Commission.

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  • Picker and sorter

Picker and sorter

  • November 1st, 2011

Miguel Geronimo found himself testing the new harvester during his first season as an apple picker. He previously worked in restaurants but was enjoying orchard work.

A new mobile harvesting system from Picker Technologies has the potential not just to speed up apple picking, but to enhance the value of [...]

Good Point

  • November 1st, 2011

It is time for the federal government to act. It’s not as if Congress doesn’t know there is a need, and it’s not as if there isn’t a solution. After 15 years of effort and conflict over immigration reform, labor-intensive agricultural producers in the United States still face harvest [...]

  • Safety regulations nix customized platforms

Safety regulations nix customized platforms

  • November 1st, 2011

A worker uses a Girette to prune trees.
Courtesy Flathead Cherry Growers, Montana

Regulators in British Columbia, Canada, have developed safety documentation for the elevated, mobile work platforms widely used in the province’s orchards—but have sidelined locally designed equipment that reflected local farming conditions.

WorkSafeBC, the organization that regulates workplace safety [...]

SweeTango lawsuit settled

  • November 1st, 2011

An out-of-court settlement of the lawsuit challenging the exclusive marketing arrangement for the SweeTango apple has been reached.

The lawsuit ended in victory for the University of Minnesota, which bred the apple, and Pepin Heights Orchard, which bought rights to the apple and organized Next Big Thing, a 64-grower cooperative, [...]

  • Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

  • September 1st, 2011

H-2A workers in the Titan Farms packing plant cheered when they found their peaches were going to their home country.
Richard Lehnert

For the first time since 1994, peaches from the southeastern United States moved into stores in Mexico in June this year.

The breakthrough came after about five years of [...]

Single audit standard on the books

  • September 1st, 2011

Produce growers are getting closer to being able to follow one standard set of food safety rules and undergo a single auditing procedure that assures their compliance.

Following meetings in Chicago late in July, United Fresh Produce Association changed the status of the proposed ­harmonized GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) standards [...]

Put us to work for you

  • August 1st, 2011

I am fortunate to travel the country meeting with apple growers, packers, and other USApple members, and hear firsthand the issues and challenges they are facing daily. I am often asked, “What are the important issues?” and I want to provide an inside look at the challenges your staff [...]

  • Buy local gets a boost

Buy local gets a boost

  • August 1st, 2011

Many growers have children in school and have been frustrated that their taxes have been paying for apples from competitors for school lunch programs.

The “buy local” movement got a shot in the arm this spring when the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented a new rule allowing some buyers—especially schools—to [...]

  • In the box

In the box

  • August 1st, 2011

Dawson Moore loves apples.

Apple fan
Dawson Moore, pictured on his first birthday last fall, just couldn’t wait until the day when he had enough teeth to bite into a delicious whole apple.

He was photographed at an orchard in Utah by a friend of his parents, Lance and Lynell Moore, [...]

  • Malaysian labeling will be required

Malaysian labeling will be required

  • July 1st, 2011

Mark Powers is vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council.
Jim Black

Fruit exporters should gear up to label cartons destined for Malaysia in the Bahasa Malaysia language starting August 1, says Mark Powers, vice president with the Northwest Horticultural Council.

Initially, the government of Malaysia announced a January 1, 2011, [...]

  • The end of earmarks?

The end of earmarks?

  • July 1st, 2011

Earmarks are often considered equivalent to pork barrel legislation, but the two are not necessarily the same.

Over the years, agriculture—including the fruit industry—has benefited from funding gained by commodity organizations appealing to their senator or representative in Congress, who responded by providing them with special funding called an earmark.

Some [...]

Good point

  • July 1st, 2011

This spring, the Social Security Administration reinstituted its annual reality check for employers, “SSN No-Match letters,” after a three-year hiatus.

I immediately received a call from a leader in the tree fruit community, and the conversation went something like this: “Dan, I have an excellent personal relationship with Doc Hastings, [...]