Reopening of Chinese apple market is welcome news for growers

Industry grateful as biggest apple crop ever prepares to ship.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hort leaders discuss top issues of coming year

  • January 1st, 2012

David Douglas
President, Washington State Horticultural AssociationDavid Douglas, 37, works for the family growing and packing operation, Douglas Fruit Company, which is located in Pasco, Washington.

Douglas earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration from the ­University of Washington. He manages the field staff, and [...]

More rules proposed on child labor

  • January 1st, 2012

Proposed new rules from the federal Department of Labor would further restrict the kind of work young people may do on farms—and might even restrict farmers’ rights to allow their own children to work.

The new labor rules were proposed in September. During a three-month comment period, some 6,000 comments [...]

Georgia peach growers use H-2A

  • January 1st, 2012

Peach growers were conspicuously absent from the list of fruit and vegetable producers who suffered crop losses when some 11,000 seasonal farm workers failed to show up for harvest.

The reason? Most of Georgia’s peach crop is picked by H-2A workers. They didn’t shun Georgia after the state passed anti-illegal-immigrant [...]

  • Collaborative research

Collaborative research

  • December 1st, 2011

An autonomous vehicle is being developed as part of the project “Comprehensive automation for specialty crops.”

The last Farm Bill not only provided an unprecedented amount of funding for research to benefit specialty crops, but changed the whole culture of tree fruit research in the United States.

It’s led to major [...]

  • U.K. growers try to lower residues

U.K. growers try to lower residues

  • December 1st, 2011

Jerry Cross is in charge of entomology and plant pathology at East Malling Research, where trials to minimize residues on fruit were successful.
Geraldine Warner

A “name and shame” policy by the British government several years ago prompted apple growers to make efforts to reduce the residues on their fruit.

The [...]

Good Stuff

  • December 1st, 2011

Ty Snyder promoted
C & O Nursery of Wenatchee, Washington, has promoted Ty Snyder to the position of orchard manager. Snyder has worked at the nursery since 2006 and earned an associate degree in agriculture from Wenatchee Valley College. He is managing the company’s Rocky Reach and Grant Road [...]

  • Working with less labor

Working with less labor

  • December 1st, 2011

Availability of labor will determine how quickly orchard automation is adopted, says Denny Hayden.

A widespread shortage of workers to harvest Washington State’s 2011 apple crop could prompt growers to look to technology to reduce their labor needs.

The labor issue is the defining issue for the industry and will determine [...]

  • Picker and sorter

Picker and sorter

  • November 1st, 2011

Miguel Geronimo found himself testing the new harvester during his first season as an apple picker. He previously worked in restaurants but was enjoying orchard work.

A new mobile harvesting system from Picker Technologies has the potential not just to speed up apple picking, but to enhance the value of [...]

Good Point

  • November 1st, 2011

It is time for the federal government to act. It’s not as if Congress doesn’t know there is a need, and it’s not as if there isn’t a solution. After 15 years of effort and conflict over immigration reform, labor-intensive agricultural producers in the United States still face harvest [...]

  • Safety regulations nix customized platforms

Safety regulations nix customized platforms

  • November 1st, 2011

A worker uses a Girette to prune trees.
Courtesy Flathead Cherry Growers, Montana

Regulators in British Columbia, Canada, have developed safety documentation for the elevated, mobile work platforms widely used in the province’s orchards—but have sidelined locally designed equipment that reflected local farming conditions.

WorkSafeBC, the organization that regulates workplace safety [...]

SweeTango lawsuit settled

  • November 1st, 2011

An out-of-court settlement of the lawsuit challenging the exclusive marketing arrangement for the SweeTango apple has been reached.

The lawsuit ended in victory for the University of Minnesota, which bred the apple, and Pepin Heights Orchard, which bought rights to the apple and organized Next Big Thing, a 64-grower cooperative, [...]

  • Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

  • September 1st, 2011

H-2A workers in the Titan Farms packing plant cheered when they found their peaches were going to their home country.
Richard Lehnert

For the first time since 1994, peaches from the southeastern United States moved into stores in Mexico in June this year.

The breakthrough came after about five years of [...]