Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

A shift from ladders to illuminated platforms allows pickers to work day or night.

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  • New York apples names

New York apples names

  • September 1st, 2013

Those two new apple varieties formerly called New York 1 and New York 2 and now named SnapDragon and RubyFrost were named “the good fashioned way, with hard work.”

That’s according to Jeff Crist, vice chair of the board of directors of NYAG (New York Apple Growers) and a fruit [...]

  • Top Five pear research needs

Top Five pear research needs

  • September 1st, 2013

Although most pears are grown in traditional orchards, the same way they’ve been grown for many decades, there’s not a great momentum for change. Ray Schmitten, a pear grower in Cashmere, Washington, says that innovation in the orchard is less critical than finding ways to ensure that consumers have [...]

Plan will guide pear research

  • September 1st, 2013

Pear industry representatives in Oregon and Washington are collaborating to create a Pest Management Strategic Plan for pears. The goal of the project is to document and prioritize the industry’s pest management challenges and identify its needs in terms of education, research, and regulatory issues.

Bob Gix, co-chair of the [...]

  • Watch: Over-the-row cherry harvesting

Watch: Over-the-row cherry harvesting

  • September 1st, 2013

For the record—since this could be an event of historic significance—the harvest took place about two o’clock on the afternoon of July 11 in the orchard of Ed and Phyllis Oxley and their son, Chris, near Marcellus, Michigan.

In 12 minutes, the Korvan 9000 Vertirotor, with Chris at the helm, [...]

Pear industry ripe for change

  • September 1st, 2013

When Dr. Amit Dhingra joined Washington State University seven years ago as a plant genomicist, one thing immediately struck him about the tree fruit industry.

Apples were a 2-billion-dollar high-tech industry, and the cherry industry was also advancing quickly, propelled by new varieties and ­rootstocks.

“These industries are on the move,” [...]

  • Pest management requires precise tools

Pest management requires precise tools

  • September 1st, 2013

Over the years, fruit growers have traded in their shotgun-like pest control tools for more precise rifle-like tools and bullets capable of hitting moving targets with great accuracy. As they adopt these new weapons, they need to perfect their use of them.

During the Eastern Apple Precision Orchard Management Summit [...]

  • Universities collaborate

Universities collaborate

  • September 1st, 2013

Three eastern universities have agreed to work together to coordinate their hiring of faculty members serving fruit growers.

Informally called the Mid-­Atlantic Fruit Consortium, it’s built on a memorandum of understanding among the agriculture colleges of Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, and West Virginia University.

“It is a productive way [...]

  • Reluctant Regina

Reluctant Regina

  • September 1st, 2013
Cherry growers in Oregon like the Regina cherry. They like that it has some resistance to rain cracking and that the fruit ships well to Asia or Europe. They just wish the trees would be more productive.
  • Rocks with a story

Rocks with a story

  • September 1st, 2013
These four types of rocks found in DuBrul Vineyard each tell a different story about the region’s geologic influences.
  • Universities collaborate

Universities collaborate

  • September 1st, 2013

Kari Peter, the new plant pathologist at Penn State, will serve fruit growers in three states.
by Richard Lehnert

Three eastern universities have agreed to work together to coordinate their hiring of faculty members serving fruit growers.

Informally called the Mid-­Atlantic Fruit Consortium, it’s built on a memorandum of understanding among [...]

Precise disease management is complicated

  • September 1st, 2013

Like insects, diseases develop in predictable ways based on ­growing-degree accumulations, but diseases are driven more by moisture than are insects, which makes management more complicated. For both insects and diseases, predictive models are used, but insect models are more precise than disease models.

The models used by New York [...]

  • New spray concept proves feasible

New spray concept proves feasible

  • September 1st, 2013

If we had to irrigate orchards by pulling tanks of water down the alleys, would we do it?

We do that now with pesticides and plant growth regulators, hauling loads of water with small amounts of chemicals in them, then blasting the mixtures into the trees.

Only about a year ago, [...]