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  • 112th Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo

Day two of the WSTFA annual meeting, morning summary – Videos

December 6th, 2016|0 Comments

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Technology and mechanization led the topics for the second day at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s annual meeting.

In a morning session, researchers provided updates on their trials with new dwarfing cherry rootstocks, apple rootstocks and development of pear rootstocks, a program for which is just getting underway. Trellis engineering

  • cosmiccrisphortshowpanel2016

Wrapping up day one of the WSTFA annual meeting – Video

December 5th, 2016|0 Comments

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Two words can sum up Monday afternoon’s session of the 112th annual meeting of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association: Cosmic Crisp.

Washington growers will begin the first plantings of the new Washington State University variety WA 38, which will be known commercially as Cosmic Crisp.

More than 600,000 trees are expected

  • 112th Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo

Day 1, Washington hort show, morning summary – Video

December 5th, 2016|0 Comments

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Speakers hammered away at the theme of “change” to kick off the 112th annual meeting of the Washington tree fruit industry.

Change in a U.S. president. Change in technology. Change in food safety regulations. Change in customer shopping habits.

“Change comes no matter how long we ignore it,” said Sam Godwin, chairman

  • 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