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  • Bill and Mark Zirkle, 2016 Growers of the Year

A succession story: 2016 Growers of the year

December 1st, 2016|0 Comments

Bill and Mark Zirkle credit teamwork for company’s growth and fruitful legacy.

  • Jesus Ramos at Cold Creek Vineyard

Jesus Ramos, Young Grower from Royal City, Washington

November 29th, 2016|0 Comments

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family background/ Jesus, son of Javier and Irma Ramos, is the first in his immediate family to attend high school and college. He earned an undergraduate degree in plant sciences, viticulture and enology from Washington State University. He is currently working on a master’s degree in agriculture sciences, focusing on

  • Drone work at Adelsheim Vineyard

Oregon viticulturist tests, uses drone technology — Video

November 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

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Chad Vargas demonstrates his modified DJI Phantom 4 drone from the back of his truck. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Chad Vargas bought a drone just as an experiment, but he’s using it for all sorts of chores on his Newberg, Oregon, vineyard.

He uses the DJI Phantom 4 quadcopter to measure slopes,

  • Cornell researcher highlights need for precision spray

Spraying with precision — Video

November 18th, 2016|0 Comments

Cornell researcher offers tips for making your grandfather’s sprayer more effective, but says precision sprayers are the future.

  • Matson automated apple cold storage facility

Matson leads industry in automated cold storage technology — Video

November 17th, 2016|0 Comments

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Pallets stand five racks high, cramped, dark and sci-fi eerie. Robotic cranes, guided by lasers and bar codes, retrieve the pallets while automatic dollies on a looped track wheel them to and from a web of scaffolding.

No need for people in the catacombs of Matson Fruit’s cold storage warehouse in

  • Matson automated apple cold storage facility

Ag drone future’s up in the air — Video

November 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Even with recent advancements, drones are not quite ready for optimal use in the tree fruit industry.

  • Abundant Robotics automated vacuum harvester

The long and tricky path to automated picking — Video

October 30th, 2016|0 Comments

Vacuum picker under development brings the apple industry closer than ever to automating harvest.

  • devallefeatured

Growers who innovate in the Golden State

October 28th, 2016|0 Comments

California apple growers hang in there and invest with focus on fresh market.

  • Cuyama Valley apples

The solitary orchard

October 25th, 2016|0 Comments

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Byron Albano is one of the southernmost apple growers on the West Coast but has a late season. He has plenty of water but no surface irrigation.

He lives in the Los Angeles suburbs but farms in a remote mountain hideaway.

“One of the things I love out here is your cell

  • Wafler Huron Fruit System

The tech advantage of digital oversight – Video

September 1st, 2016|0 Comments

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Wafler Farms wanted to do more than just mechanize tasks on the farm.

Paul Wafler also wanted to be able to monitor the progress and location of the farm’s own Huron Fruit Systems platform in the orchard, as well as track yields and worker performance.

He wants the orchards running like a

  • Jared Gidley, young grower

Jared Gidley, Young Grower from Parkdale, Oregon

September 1st, 2016|0 Comments

Jared is a first-generation farmer who worked several orchard jobs growing up in Parkdale, Oregon.

  • Wafler Huron Fruit System

Orchard innovators: Practices should change with mechanization

September 1st, 2016|0 Comments

Learning Wafler Farms’ tall spindle tipped (TST) system.

  • Wafler Huron Fruit System

Mechanization is rolling along — Video

August 31st, 2016|0 Comments

Innovative New York growers find success with platforms and more.

  • New Blue Bird Wenatchee cherry lines open

Bouncing back bigger and better

August 18th, 2016|0 Comments

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Eleven months to the day after a wildfire destroyed a packing house in central Washington, one of the Northwest’s oldest grower cooperatives reopened to cherry packing there with a new line that is bigger and more sophisticated than the one it lost.

That speaks to the speed at which new technologies

  • MSU-solid-set-system

Promising progress for solid-set delivery

August 11th, 2016|0 Comments

MSU research team improves system to reduce chemical waste.

  • newhouseDevonYGLastBite-52163tj-feat

Devon Newhouse, Young Grower from Sunnyside, Washington

July 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Devon’s family started out raising cattle in the Yakima Valley, then moved into hops, tree fruit and grapes.

  • Black stem borer traps

Bearing down on black stem borers – VIDEO

July 29th, 2016|1 Comment

New York researchers working to stop one of the newest apple pests.

  • Peach thinning devices

Reinventing the string thinner (Video)

July 7th, 2016|0 Comments

California cling peach grower modifies Darwin for nonplanar orchards.

  • jamesWhitelatchFeatured

James Claar Whitelatch, a young grower from Pasco, Washington

July 6th, 2016|0 Comments

James manages the wine grape crops on the family’s estate in the White Bluffs region of central Washington. He works alongside his brother John, and parents, Bob and Crista Whitelatch.

  • GR-ItascaFruit copy

Minnesota’s dry, cold-hardy white

June 27th, 2016|0 Comments

New white wine grape variety shows resistance to downy, powdery mildew, phylloxera.

  • Neil Garrison, a young grower from Sunnyside, Washington

Neil Garrison, a young grower from Sunnyside, Washington

May 19th, 2016|2 Comments

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family background / Neil studied business and worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and maritime companies around the nation before returning to join his father, Tom Garrison, on the family farm about eight years ago.

grower / Sunnyside, Washington
age / 32
crops / Cherries, wine and juice grapes, row

  • State of California cherries

Cherry optimism

May 13th, 2016|0 Comments

California cherry growing conditions are tough, but growers are tougher.

  • Spray application training

A spray-plus education (Video)

April 29th, 2016|1 Comment

Farm worker teaching team leads the nation in preparing workers for safe use of pesticides.

  • Eladio Gonzalez

Eladio Gonzales, a young grower from Selah, Washington

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Eladio, a second-generation farmer from the upper Yakima Valley, worked alongside his father, Miguel Gonzales, in orchards and now manages several test orchards in Naches, Washington.

  • Nick MacKay, Young Grower

Nick Mackay, a young grower from Pasco, Washington

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

After originally pursuing a degree in history and law, Nick pursued a more hands-on career through Washington State University’s viticulture program.

  • Mike McLaren, Young Grower

Mike McLaren, a young grower from Salem, Oregon

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Mike is a first-generation grower who pursued a degree in winemaking before getting his start working in wine sales, distribution and learning to make wine at Corliss Estates

  • Joe Brandt

Joe Brandt, a young grower from Wapato, Washington

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Joe returned to the 1,500-acre family farm after working in finance and manages domestic and export sales and marketing for the company.

  • Ryan Bond, young grower

Ryan Bond, a young grower from The Dalles, Oregon

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

Ryan is a second-generation grower managing about 800 acres, primarily consisting of cherry and pear trees in The Dalles and south through Dufur into the Tygh Valley.

  • Mechanical hedger

Keeping limbs in line with mechanical pruning – (video)

April 1st, 2016|0 Comments

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While not exactly new anywhere, mechanical hedging is seeing a youthful surge on both sides of the U.S. as a way for fruit growers to improve fruit quality and produce a more consistent product.

Indeed, hedgers also reduce labor costs, but more importantly, they may improve canopy management, boost yields and