Growers asked to tax themselves

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

ADVERTISEMENT

  • H-2A changes add cost, difficulty

H-2A changes add cost, difficulty

  • June 1st, 2011

The McDougall & Sons housing camps are made up of manufactured units for 12 people. This camp at Quincy, Washington, has 96 beds.
GERALDINE WARNER

An increase in the wage rate that employers must pay workers recruited through the H-2A guest-worker program will add well over $1 million to labor [...]

  • DriftWatch shows sensitive crops

DriftWatch shows sensitive crops

  • May 15th, 2011

These pushpin-like balloons identify sites that are sensitive to ill effects from spray drift. Growers register the sites so neighbors and custom pesticide applicators can exercise special care when spraying.

Midwestern farmers are finding a new way to ease some of the tensions caused by conflicting interests between field crop [...]

Good Point – Save “Lassie”

  • May 1st, 2011

In late March, Elizabeth Taylor died at age 79 after a long career in front of wedding cakes and movie cameras. Her first major Hollywood picture was Lassie Come Home in 1943. This film was the forerunner to the Lassie television show of the 1950s and 60s: there the [...]

  • Fumigant regulations keep coming

Fumigant regulations keep coming

  • April 15th, 2011

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 [...]

  • Old pesticides wanted

Old pesticides wanted

  • March 1st, 2011

Bins should not be used for storing pesticides. The Department of Agriculture can bring all the necessary equipment to the farm to dispose safely of old pesticides.

Mike McCormick wants your old pesticides. Cancelled insecticides? Great. Leaking containers? Even better.

Legal pesticides you no longer need? Those are fine, too, says [...]

New food safety law could swallow GAP programs

  • March 1st, 2011

When provisions of the new food safety law (the ­American Food Safety Modernization Act) are implemented, Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification ­programs should wither away, no longer needed.

But that’s not likely to happen soon, according to Phil Tocco, a Michigan State University Extension educator who advises fruit growers and [...]

Buffers would make orchards vulnerable

  • March 1st, 2011

If no-spray buffers proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency go into effect, orchardists will be unable to use critical pesticides on a large proportion of their acreage, including products that will be necessary to control new, invasive pests.

The agency is proposing a 500-foot buffer alongside all flowing water [...]

  • Rainfastness of pesticides varies

Rainfastness of pesticides varies

  • March 1st, 2011

John Wise carries out his rainfastness work on grapes and apples at Michigan State University’s Trevor Nichols Research Complex, where he is coordinator of research.

Folklore says that after a heavy rainfall, you might as well get your sprayer out and reapply your insecticides. For those old twentieth century ­wettable [...]

Education for migrant families

  • February 15th, 2011

Coordinators of a migrant education program in Yakima, Washington, are hoping that fruit growers will encourage their employees and their families to take part.

The Ready by Five Center has received federal funding to provide an education program called Migrant Education Even Start, which will provide classes ­simultaneously for parents [...]

Good Point

  • February 1st, 2011

At this year’s Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers’s annual meeting, we have a special session called “Getting Paid: Tools for Grape Growers.” The session is funded by a grant from the USDA Risk Management Agency through the Washington Wine Industry Foundation. It will be presented three times with [...]

Fumigation improves productivity

  • January 15th, 2011

Published January 15, 2011
Over the past 25 years, 130,000 acres of orchards have been replanted in Washington State, requiring a total investment of $1.7 billion, estimates Tim Smith, Washington State University Extension educator in north central Washington.

Sometimes, the trees grew well and recouped the investment, but occasionally they [...]

Task force to tackle food safety

  • January 15th, 2011

Published January 15, 2011
The Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry is forming a special task force to draw up a food safety plan.

Chris Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, said the task force’s job will be to develop a science-based good agricultural practices plan that is as reasonable [...]