Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

  • Need a lawyer?

Need a lawyer?

  • May 1st, 2012

A group of Young Leaders listens to Don Kraemer, acting deputy director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, during the leadership luncheon.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Apple Association

Andy Ferguson is a 25-year-old fruit grower’s son, and next month, he’ll get his law degree. He wants [...]

  • Ready for the audit?

Ready for the audit?

  • May 1st, 2012

Nicole Brunner checks the Gras2p training manual, which can be purchased by any Washington grower.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

More Washington growers and packers are turning to Gras2p (Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices) for help in preparing for third-party certifications, such as GlobalGAP.

The Washington State Horticultural Association [...]

  • 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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Tips on how to avoid glyphosate damage

  • April 15th, 2012

As you approach weed control this spring, remember the word SUPPLY.

That’s the acronym Dr. Hannah Mathers developed to help orchardists and nurserymen prevent injury to their trees as they go about the process of controlling weeds with herbicides, especially with glyphosate.

The Ohio State University nursery and landscape extension horticulturist, [...]

  • Fumigant regulations keep coming

Fumigant regulations keep coming

  • April 15th, 2012

Soil fumigation, like this broadcast application, now requires that fumigation management plans be developed to include a long list of components.

The soil fumigation landscape has changed ­dramatically in the last few years. Effective postplant nematicides have been lost, use of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant is on the [...]

Tree safety is key issue with herbicides

  • April 15th, 2012

Choosing a herbicide program for an orchard is not so simple as choosing which herbicide kills what weeds and when. A careful reading of the label of any herbicide reveals a host of warnings, most of which deal with tree safety.

Wayne Mitchem, a weed control specialist from North Carolina [...]