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Are you the employer of choice?

Three apple producers look to mechanization to help deal with potential labor shortages.

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Reducing food safety risks at every opportunity

Research is assessing the food safety risks of tree fruit production practices.

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Opal apple verified non-GMO

FirstFruits heads off confusion with a GMO-apple that might be approved.

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How to make every drop count

Simple changes made with inexpensive tools can greatly improve spray applications.

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Organic apple growers are optimistic

Washington State will run out of organic apples this season.

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Selenium is toxic to bees

Entomologists from the University of California, Riverside, have found that selenium can cause delays in development and mortality in honeybees.

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Bees are driving pesticide decisions

The desire to protect bees is becoming institutionalized.

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How bad things in the environment gang up and kill bees

The synergistic effect of pesticides in hives.

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Control leafhoppers to avoid virus

The risk of grapevine redleaf virus makes controlling leafhoppers all the more important.

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Bees live in a toxic world

Planting more flowers would help solve honeybee decline.

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Bryan Mrachek, Young Grower, March 1, 2014

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Bryan Mrachek / grower / Malaga, Washington

age / 27

family farm / Lucky Bohemian Farms, which is owned by Laura and Mike Mrachek, Bryan’s parents

crops / Cherries, apples, wine grapes and blueberries

title / Farm Manager

other experience /

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Pruning demonstrations on stopping postharvest disease

Three Northwest industry groups have organized pruning demonstrations on how to stop postharvest diseases spread by infected Manchurian crabapple trees.

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New pests threaten IPM

Pest management programs have become softer and more stable over the past few decades, but new invasive pests could change that.

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Attract and kill

Michigan researchers have designed a device for oriental fruit moth.

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Save money by applying pesticides where it’s needed

Perimeter sprays: Growers can save money applying pesticides only where they’re most needed.

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Stinkbug derails IPM

Researchers fine-tune methods to control brown marmorated stinkbug.

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Be aware of residues from late sprays

In the future, growers will find pesticide regulations getting tighter, not looser.

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EPA proposes pesticide exposure rules

EPA proposes revised safety rules on pesticide exposure to farm workers

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Wenatchee’s Cascade Analytical offers cleaning & sanitation workshop March 4-5

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Cascade Analytical is offering a two-day workshop March 4-5   for fresh produce packers & fresh-cut processors to provide information on  best practices learned from national experts and practical case studies.  The workshop fee is $300.

Learn

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Give feedback on crop insurance

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Agriculture will hold listening sessions in February to get feedback from specialty crop growers on the effectiveness of the crop insurance programs available to

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Column: Checkbooks in hand

Record fruit prices draw international investors to Pacific Northwest agriculture.

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Growers asked to tax themselves

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

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Labor worries

Michigan is at the north end of the migrant stream.

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Sustainable organics

Jim Koan wants organic practices to be based on science, not politics.

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Guest worker summit planned for labor conference

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A half-day summit on how seasonal employers can best use the federal H-2A guest worker program to obtain a legal workforce will be held on February 12, the day before the Washington Farm Labor Association’s

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Meet Chris Britton, USApple chair

Securing an adequate workforce is the organization’s number-one priority.

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No ban on small cherries

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Washington’s fresh cherry packers will continue to be allowed to ship 12-row red cherries, members of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee decided at their meeting in early December.

The committee commissioned economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke to

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Taylor: FDA will make food rules more farmer friendly

Growers, you were heard. But what's next?

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Feedback wanted on Washington’s consolidation plan

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Four Washington tree fruit industry organizations will consolidate next summer, and the question now is how best to do it, Robert Kershaw told members of the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting.

“People keep

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Understanding how the Affordable Care Act affects growers

Ag employers and employees face a mandate to offer and have health insurance.

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Good Point: A troubling case

The enforcers of federal law are apparently trying to send a stern message: as a produce farmer,if you send adulterated food to market, you may be charged with a crime.

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Northwest seeks food safety answers

The Center for Produce Safety is seeking scientists to address food safety knowledge gaps in the Northwest.

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Northwest seeks food safety answers

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The states of Washington, ­Oregon, and Idaho are working with the Center for Produce Safety to fund research that will help Pacific Northwest growers comply with new federal food safety ­regulations.

The U.S. Food and Drug

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Arsenic and fruit juice

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The fruit juice industry is keeping quiet these days, not relishing a public debate over how much arsenic should be allowed in juices, particularly apple and grape juice.

Arsenic is a scary word. In 2011, Consumer

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Good Point: The EEOC is targeting Pacific Northwest growers

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Growers should be on alert for claims made by employees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination based on gender, race, national origin, disability, and religion.

The commission

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Looking for common ground

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More food safety regulations are going to be a tough pill to swallow for tree fruit growers, but U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say it’s for their own good.

The FDA is charged with implementing

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Water regulations worry growers

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Of the many new requirements that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing as it implements the Food Safety Modernization Act, those relating to water are of particular concern to orchardists in the Pacific

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Pesticide residues on apples studied

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In response to industry concerns about complying with Maximum Residue Levels for pesticides in export markets, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has been conducting residue studies to help apple and cherry growers make more

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UC Davis hosts produce safety workshop

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The University of California, Davis, is offering a workshop on produce safety, November 5-7. The interactive workshop will focus on microbial produce safety systems from preharvest to postharvest. Participants will learn about the

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Forum on immigration reform

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The North Central Washington Immigration Reform Roundtable will present a forum on immigration reform at Wenatchee Valley College on September 26. Participants will include: Jon Wys, Okanogan County Farm Bureau president; Wenatchee attorney

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Deadline approaching for Affordable Care Act

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The Washington Farm Labor Association reminds all agricultural employers, regardless of the number of their workers, that October 1 begins the new requirement of providing workers with written notice of healthcare coverage options.

Under the Fair

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New safety program looks for feedback in Pasco

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A new program to educate and improve agricultural safety for workers will be announced at a public forum August 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Pasco, Washington, Red Lion Hotel.

The forum will allow

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Good Stuff

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Closer receives registration
Dow AgroSciences has received federal registration of its sulfoxaflor insecticide, sold under the brand name Closer, which is designed to control sap-feeding insects, such as aphids, in tree fruits and other crops. It

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Performance report

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After a year of work, the team of researchers developing Solid-Set Canopy Delivery Systems has issued its first report—and the results look promising.

Control of codling moth and mildew was “not quite as good” as airblast

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Surround might deter stinkbugs

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The brown marmorated stinkbug is a challenge to control for any fruit grower, and organic growers have the fewest strategies of all.

That’s why Win Cowgill and colleagues at Rutgers Cooperative Extension in New Jersey decided

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AVAs get smaller

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In wine marketing, an appellation or American ­Viticultural Area (AVA) is a way to differentiate your wine from others and define its sense of place. Washington State has 13 designated AVAs, and more are likely

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B.C. growers hope for compensation

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A review of the Columbia River Treaty, which the United States and Canada entered in 1964, has British Columbia growers hoping for compensation for the impact it’s had on their industry.

While the treaty has been

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Leading by example

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Servando Rodriguez manages the production of 400 acres of apples and cherries and 450 acres of wine grapes for Sagemoor Farms.
PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

For an immigrant who ended his formal education at the age of

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The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

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A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an

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Food safety mistakes

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This creative, portable handwashing facility meets GlobalGAP requirements. Water is clearly labeled.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSAN PHEASANT

For growers just getting started in the food safety certification arena, preparing for your first food safety audit can be

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