Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.

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  • H-2A basics

H-2A basics

  • April 1st, 2012

Lucio Machado picks Golden Delicious in a Wenatchee, Washington, orchard.

Fear of a repeat of last fall’s labor shortage in the Pacific Northwest has many growers thinking about the H-2A program, the only legal means of bringing temporary agricultural foreign workers into the United States. While many agricultural employers across [...]

Underground drip irrigation serves two purposes

  • April 1st, 2012

Water is plentiful in the fruit-growing area along Lake Michigan’s eastern shore, so it’s not scarcity that’s an issue. The problem is with some water that’s been made slightly dirty but is perfectly useful if ­handled right.

That’s led some fruit growers and fruit processors to make double use of [...]

Three keys to successful pollination

  • March 15th, 2012

Queen bees lay eggs singly in cells of the honeycomb. After the eggs hatch, worker bees feed the larvae in the cells and cap them when the larvae pupate. A drone is pictured emerging from a cell.
PHOTOS BY KATHY KEATLEY GARVEY, UC, DAVIS.

The three major considerations in tree [...]

EU regulations stifle fruit exports

  • March 15th, 2012

Pacific Northwest apple and pear exports to Europe have dropped dramatically since pesticide ­regulations were harmonized among members of the European Union. Restrictive pesticide residue limits of the European Union have required U.S. producers to adopt chemical use practices and compliance systems unique to the EU market, and that’s [...]

  • Easier access to MRLs

Easier access to MRLs

  • March 15th, 2012

Growers using Washington State University’s online Decision Aid System this season will be able to consider pesticide maximum residue limits (MRLs) of top foreign markets when they make their crop protection chemical decisions.

In recent years, producing fruit for export markets has become more complicated because pesticide registration and setting [...]

  • Tackle food safety one step at a time

Tackle food safety one step at a time

  • March 15th, 2012

Implementing a food safety program for an orchard might seem overwhelming. But with forethought, planning, and willingness to seek assistance, growers can implement a workable program, agreed a panel of Washington State tree fruit food safety experts during the Northwest Cherry Institute meeting in January.

Since the Food Safety Modernization [...]

New pesticide safety guide released

  • March 1st, 2012

Many practical ideas to solve everyday problems with pesticide handling have been invented and used by growers throughout Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, known as PNASH, studied these farm-bred and tested ideas and put them together in a new guide called Practical ­Solutions for [...]

Reduced risk?

  • March 1st, 2012

A three-year study just completed in Michigan apple orchards showed that reduced-risk pesticides—which growers are now adopting—are more damaging to the functional ecology of the orchards than the products they are replacing.

Orchards using these reduced-risk pesticides have fewer beneficial organisms to help control pests, so growers will likely incur [...]

How to conserve beneficials while fighting stinkbug

  • March 1st, 2012

Penn State University entomologist Dr. David Biddinger provided some rules of thumb growers can apply so as not to destroy all natural enemies and the integrity of integrated pest management programs as they go about controlling the brown marmorated stinkbug.

Insecticide selection—Choose the product least harmful to natural enemies, but [...]

  • Tree Fruit Day in Olympia

Tree Fruit Day in Olympia

  • March 1st, 2012

Hort president David Douglas, left, and Jennifer Armen discussed tree fruit interests with Senator Linda Evans-Parlette in her Olympia office.
Jim Black

Thirty tree fruit industry members converged on the Wash­ing­ton State legislature on January 31 to meet with 66 senators and representatives about issues of critical importance to our [...]

Contractors are a source of workers

  • February 15th, 2012

Using farm labor contractors can be beneficial for both employers and workers, as they can turn sporadic seasonal work into full-time employment, says Dan Fazio, executive director of the Washington Farm Labor Association. Contractors are widely used in California, but are much less common in the Pacific [...]

Good Point

  • February 1st, 2012

Arsenic in apple juice. Apples, pears, and cherries on the Environmental Working Group’s latest “Dirty Dozen List.” Canned fruit contaminated with BPA, a chemical in the lining of cans. A dangerous synthetic pesticide—pick your specific agricultural chemical—should have its registration pulled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Brushfires of these [...]