Growers asked to tax themselves

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

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Good Point – Sharlau: Democracy isn’t dead in ag

  • February 1st, 2010

Government by the people seems to be alive and well in the agricultural community. And unless you’re a member of an organization with a lobbyist or a strong volunteer advocacy committee, you may not fully recognize the behind-the-scenes work done on your behalf.

Our Washington State legislature convenes every January, [...]

  • Housing loan requirements

Housing loan requirements

  • January 1st, 2010

Loans from the Washington State Department of Commerce have funded a variety of housing styles for seasonal farmworkers, including these manufactured units.

Washington State provides low- and no-interest loans to growers and technical assistance to support development and preservation of on-farm housing for migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

Eligible projects must:
• Be [...]

  • Farmworker housing loans funded

Farmworker housing loans funded

  • January 1st, 2010

An example of farmworker housing that was built with a loan from Washington State’s Farmworker Housing Infrastructure Program.

The popular zero- and low-interest loan program for growers developing or restoring on-farm housing for seasonal farmworkers survived recent state budget cuts and has $3.5 million available for loans, according to the [...]

  • Ready for change

Ready for change

  • December 1st, 2009

As the new president, John Verbrugge will lead Washington’s Horticultural Association into more involvement with state regulatory issues.

New Hort President John Verbrugge represents a change that’s taking place within the 105-year-old Washington State Horticultural Association as well as the state’s tree fruit industry. It’s a generational shift occurring in [...]

GRAS2P: Not another audit program

  • December 1st, 2009

Susan Pheasant

Tesco Nature’s Choice, British Retail Consortium, Safe Quality Food 1000 and 2000, U.S. Department of Agriculture GAP, Costco, Food Alliance, GlobalGAP, Primus, Protected Harvest …. These are just a few of the audit schemes our industry warehouses are engaged in as they move your high-­quality tree fruits towards [...]

Audit harmony

  • December 1st, 2009

A group of around 50 produce industry leaders are working on an effort to harmonize the various food-safety standards and audits that exist today and develop a common standard for good agricultural practices that everyone can agree to.

“The reason we’re doing all this is because there are so many [...]

Australia’s water crisis forces changes

  • December 1st, 2009

Dealing with rising temperatures may be a conundrum for fruit growers confronting ­climate change, but in Australia it’s been ­complicated by widespread drought since 2003.

Two years ago, participants in the annual International Fruit Tree Association conference and tour heard how competition for water rights, a relatively new phenomenon here [...]

Good Point – Chris Schlect

  • November 1st, 2009

America’s system of delivering food to retail customers is a marvel. Without a cadre of governmental central planners dictating production levels, schedules of deliveries, or prices, our population has easy access to needed safe, convenient, and affordable nourishment. Every day.

The economic freedom and flexibility that allows for this beneficial [...]

Air quality study shows low pesticide risk

  • November 1st, 2009

A study that measured agricultural chemicals in the air near Washington State orchards did not find pesticides at levels considered harmful.

The $530,000 study, conducted by the Washington State Department of Health in 2008 in the Yakima Valley and in north central Washington, was designed to find out if off-target [...]

Quick Bites – November

  • November 1st, 2009

Teeple chairs USApple
John Teeple of Teeple Farms, Inc., Wolcott, New York, chairs the U.S. Apple Association for 2009-2010. He succeeds Bruce Grim, Entiat, Washington.

Teeple, a third-generation grower, grows more than 15 varieties of apples on his 400 acres of orchard in upstate New York. He’s a member of [...]

Five food-safety lessons

  • November 1st, 2009

The tree fruit industry can learn some valuable lessons from past food-safety scares, according to Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of scientific and technical affairs with the United Fresh Produce Association. Growers should be aware of, concerned about, and prepared for the following:

1 Consumers don’t care about relative [...]

  • WSU releases its first apple variety

WSU releases its first apple variety

  • October 1st, 2009

Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard.
Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, which plans to make it available to any Washington State [...]