Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

Refugees available for orchard work

  • January 15th, 2012

For growers who find the H-2A foreign guest-worker program too daunting, hiring refugees might be a way to ease labor shortages.

World Relief is one of ten organization that contract with the U.S. Department of Labor to help refugees who come to the United States get settled and find jobs.

Mark [...]