Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.


  • 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, [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Seasonal workers essential but costly

  • April 1st, 2012

Having to rely on migrant labor has never been an easy game for fruit growers in British Columbia, Canada.

While a highly mobile work force—usually students from Quebec and other parts of Canada—has traditionally given the industry access to a large pool of people able and willing to move to [...]

  • Leafroller challenges cherry growers

Leafroller challenges cherry growers

  • April 1st, 2012

Obliquebanded leafroller larva
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture

Tart cherry growers need to use a modern, effective insecticide to control obliquebanded leafroller about two weeks before ­harvest—or risk delivering a contaminated crop that may be rejected by the processor.

That’s the advice of Dr. Nikki Rothwell, the entomologist who coordinates activities at [...]

Tallying the costs

  • April 1st, 2012

Tree fruit growers in British Columbia’s Okanagan ­Valley typically require about 3,300 seasonal workers annually. But working with foreign migrants who come to Canada under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program is different than working with domestic migrants.

Participating farms must demonstrate an inability to find suitable local workers, for example, [...]

  • Watch other crops for labor trends

Watch other crops for labor trends

  • April 1st, 2012

Eastern Washington State is the world’s fastest-growing region for blueberry production.

Tree fruit growers anxious about the labor market in the coming season would be wise to pay attention to asparagus and blueberry trends. Asparagus, the first crop of the season with significant labor demands, may serve as a bellwether [...]

DNA test identifies pathogens in tainted foods

  • April 1st, 2012

Fruit or vegetable packers concerned that their produce may be contaminated with unsafe pathogens will soon have a simple screening method they can use to ease or confirm their fears. It’s a handheld tool that’s said to be easy to use on-site, gives results in about an hour, and [...]

  • Housing helps attract workers

Housing helps attract workers

  • April 1st, 2012

Housing—be it state-subsidized tent programs, onsite grower-owned, or public housing built for seasonal agricultural workers—is an attractive employment benefit that can help secure workers. With agricultural labor shortages looming in Washington State and many other parts of the nation, securing workers in the future will be very dependent on [...]

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 [...]

USA Farmers seek reform

  • April 1st, 2012

Chalmers Carr III doesn’t expect Congressional action on farm labor and immigration issues before the fall elections this year, and he hopes the labor situation won’t get much worse this growing ­season. If it does get worse this year, however, it might help his cause.

After the elections, he hopes, [...]