New approaches to frost control

The height of the vines influences how they fare during cold weather.

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Last Bite: FruiTrivia

  • April 1st, 2013

1. An experimental Solid Set Canopy Delivery System is designed for:
a.    Applying pesticides
b.    Evaporative cooling
c.     Dispensing pheromones
d.    Irrigation
e.    Frost control

2. The name of the DBR fruit harvesting system stands for:
a.     Drive-By Reaper
b.    Dwan Byl Rennack
c.    Dirty Bucket Replacement
d. [...]

What Tier 4 standards mean

  • April 1st, 2013

Fuel requirements. New engines will require ultra-low sulfur diesel that has no more than 15 parts per million of sulfur. (This fuel has been used since 2006 in on-highway vehicles.)

New engine technology. Changes likely to be most noticeable are in placement and packaging of aftertreatment systems and increased size [...]

  • New off-road emission standards coming

New off-road emission standards coming

  • April 1st, 2013

Clean diesel technology has been making its way off the highways and into farms and fields and other off-road uses since the 1990s. For growers, this has translated into more expensive and sophisticated tractors and diesel engine-driven equipment, but they will become even more so when the last tier [...]

  • Five things to consider when buying a tractor

Five things to consider when buying a tractor

  • April 1st, 2013

An example of an older tractor without modern-day features of a rollover protection structure (now mandatory) and an enclosed cab to protect workers during pesticide applications and provide comfort.

If you’re thinking about buying a new or used tractor this year, what should you be considering?

Good Fruit Grower asked Gregg [...]

Mechanizing vineyard saves hundreds per acre

  • April 1st, 2013

At year’s end, when costs of all the grapevine tasks are added up, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’s Mike Means calculates that the company saves more than $750 per acre in labor costs by using machines for pruning, shoot thinning, leaf removal, sucker control, and harvest.

Means noted that his estimated [...]

  • Grape harvesters are going high-tech

Grape harvesters are going high-tech

  • April 1st, 2013

Mechanical harvesters have picked Washington State’s juice grapes and many of the state’s wine grapes for decades, though high-end wine grapes are still mostly hand-picked. But new harvesters could change that.

New harvesting technology makes grape harvesters gentler. They are also able to optically sort grapes during harvest to remove [...]

  • Most vineyard tasks mechanized

Most vineyard tasks mechanized

  • April 1st, 2013

This trunk scrubber of the vMech system is used by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates to control suckers. The device looks similar to a weed whacker with multiple strings.
PHOTOS COURTSY OF STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES

Technology has eliminated the need for hand labor for nearly all vineyard tasks. But while [...]

  • High-tech nursery cuts propagation time

High-tech nursery cuts propagation time

  • April 1st, 2013

Pear rootstocks growing in the tissue culture lab.
PHOTOS BY GERALDINE WARNER

A high-tech nursery based in Pullman, Washington, is propagating Washington State University’s new WA 38 apple through tissue culture in anticipation of its commercial release.

Phytelligence holds a propagation license for WA 38, which is one of the first [...]

No fruit, no funding

  • March 15th, 2013

The short fruit crop in the eastern United States last year had a dramatic impact on research and promotion programs organized under state and federal market orders. These programs are funded by checkoffs collected on a per-pound basis, so income plummeted with the reduced crop size.

In Michigan, where the [...]

  • Conserving wild pollinators

Conserving wild pollinators

  • March 15th, 2013

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY ANN FRAZIER

Cornell University has a new publication called Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them, compiled by Cornell’s Mia Park with seven coauthors from Cornell, Penn State, and the Xerces Society.

The 20-page publication describes the habits of major wild bee species [...]

  • Good to Know: Consumer expectations of apple quality

Good to Know: Consumer expectations of apple quality

  • March 15th, 2013

Everyone has a favorite apple variety but what makes it so? How do Washington State University’s new apple varieties WA 2 and WA 38 compare with each other, and with existing commercial varieties?

Consumers and producers may not always agree when asked what characteristics they desire in a new variety. [...]

  • WA 38 will have a name

WA 38 will have a name

  • March 15th, 2013

The commercialization plan for WA 38 will be different than for its first release, WA 2.

Washington State University is finalizing a plan for how its ­second apple variety, WA 38, will be commercialized.

The university will send out an “announcement of opportunity” (similar to a request for proposals) inviting applications [...]