Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.

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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 [...]

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 [...]

  • Grape program feels budget cuts

Grape program feels budget cuts

  • February 1st, 2012

Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling is hopeful research funding will be restored in the next Farm Bill.

Though the viticulture and enology program at Washington State University has largely heldits own during the last five years of drastic cuts from state allocations, viticulture and enology researchers are feeling the squeeze from ­Congress’s [...]

Inmates available

  • February 1st, 2012

Inmates are available to work in Washington State orchards for the same hourly wage as other ­employees receive.

Dan Fazio, executive director of the Washington Farm Labor Association, said the Department of Corrections has a work-release program that is much different from the highly publicized program that McDougall and Sons, [...]

Sell food safety from the top down

  • February 1st, 2012

Food safety means different things to different people—sanitation, temperature control, personal hygiene, quality assurance, regulations—but what it really boils down to is human behavior, says a Kroger food safety manager. Changing behavior starts at the top and must be “sold” to employees if food safety is to be embraced.

Last [...]

Who’s in charge?

  • January 15th, 2012

Roles of industry organizations

Organization
Responsibility

Washington State Horticultural Association
•Education (annual meeting)
•State legislative and regulatory issues
•GRASSP food safety program

Northwest Horticultural Council
Federal legislative, regulatory, technical,   and food safety issues
•Foreign trade and phytosanitary issues

Washington Growers Clearing House Association
Statistics on fruit prices and shipments
•State legislative and regulatory [...]