Growers asked to tax themselves

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

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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 [...]

How to get paid for your grapes

  • January 1st, 2011

The down economy has had a ripple effect on the wine grape industry. Fewer restaurant meals and reduced entertaining budgets have slowed wine sales, backed up inventories, and bankrupted some wineries and distributors. All too often, growers who delivered grapes in good faith are being paid slowly, and, sometimes, [...]

Specialty crops will be on center stage

  • January 1st, 2011

David Schweikhardt predicts a lively specialty-crops– centered Farm Bill debate will start in Congress soon.

Specialty crops growers, who were pleased that they got “their own title” in the 2008 Farm Bill, will be even more the focus of attention as the new 112th Congress turns to composing a new [...]

Legislative outlook shifts for ag employers

  • December 1st, 2010

There is great concern and interest in what the outcome of the midterm elections means for agricultural employers.  We know there will be both opportunities and real concerns with the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives relative to issues such as immigration, AgJOBS, foreign trade, and farm [...]

Fruit region is electric vehicle hub

  • December 1st, 2010

The days of 30-cents-per-gallon gasoline are long gone, but new electric vehicles can run on the equivalent of that in areas of the country where power rates are low.

North central Washington State, with its cheap hydropower and emerging wind and solar projects, has become a hub for efforts to [...]

  • Farming THE SUN

Farming THE SUN

  • December 1st, 2010

Sol Orchard installed this one-megawatt solar panel project for California’s Victor Valley College.

Imagine a crop without worries of labor, pests, rain during harvest, and rising fertilizer costs. In the near future, there’s potential for such a crop, and it’s one that most growers could produce with little impact on [...]

  • How do platforms impact workers?

How do platforms impact workers?

  • December 1st, 2010

Kit Galvin of the University of Washington explains how she is studying the health impacts of platform work. Rolf Luehs (on the platform), research assistant with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, demonstrates how workers wear monitors to measure their body movements and heart rate.

University of Washington scientists are [...]

  • Orchards designed for efficient harvest

Orchards designed for efficient harvest

  • December 1st, 2010

Michael Zingler stands next to a planting of SweeTango in its third leaf and describes the reasoning behind the design of the orchard: Efficient use of harvest labor.

Western New York apple grower Michael Zingler likes his harvest system well enough to design his orchards to fit it.

“This is kind [...]

  • Use glyphosate  with caution

Use glyphosate with caution

  • September 1st, 2010

This stunted apple tree, which has a large basal canker, is in an orchard where the grower used glyphosate alone three to four times a year to control weeds. Cuts on the margin of the canker show healthy green tissue.

Growers often express concern that a herbicide program using glyphosate [...]

  • Symptoms of glyphosate damage

Symptoms of glyphosate damage

  • September 1st, 2010

Young trees can show injury after glyphosate application the previous year. One symptom of glyphosate damage is small spindly leaves that look like zinc deficiency. Shoot tips die so you get clustered growth.

Micronutrient (and often some macronutrient) deficiency
Low vigor, slow growth, stunting
Leaf chlorosis (yellowing), complete or between [...]

  • Good Stuff

Good Stuff

  • August 1st, 2010

Owners change at Burrows Tractor
John Riel, who joined Burrows Tractor Company in Yakima, Washington, 32 years ago as a general helper, has bought the company.

Riel started work there after graduating from high school. He became a mechanic in the service department, was promoted to service manager, and transitioned [...]