New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Cherry Central is testing new drying technology

Cherry Central is testing new drying technology

  • September 1st, 2012

A new method of drying fruit using microwave heating and vacuum technology is being tested in a wide range of fruits and berries. Cherry Central Cooperative, the nation’s largest marketer of red tart cherries and a leading supplier of dried cherries, is evaluating the technology.

A new method of drying [...]

  • Sweet!

Sweet!

  • September 1st, 2012

Scientists are testing a sweet idea that might help organic cherry growers manage insects, birds, and diseases all in one go.

Organic growers have been successfully using the GF-120 protein bait to control the key pest, cherry fruit fly, but it does not provide sufficient control of the spotted wing [...]

  • Arctic apples

Arctic apples

The Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden keep their white flesh after slicing.
Photo Courtesy of Neal Carter

The core idea is simple and elegant.

Take iconic apple varieties, ones people know well and like, and fix the problems they have. Get rid of the apple scab in McIntosh, the bruises on [...]

Arctic apples get cold shoulder

  • September 1st, 2012

The U.S. Apple Association, the Northwest Horticultural Council, and the British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association have all stated their opposition to Arctic apples coming to market, citing concerns about consumer reaction but no fears about the safety of the apples.

They made their initial statements about 18 months ago, and [...]

  • Good to Know: A gem of a pear

Good to Know: A gem of a pear

  • September 1st, 2012

US 71655-014 has been tested in Hood River, Oregon, for ten years, and is expected to be released soon.

A new fireblight-resistant, European pear selection bred by Dr. Richard Bell at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia, is expected to be released soon. [...]

  • The aristocratic Bosc

The aristocratic Bosc

  • September 1st, 2012

For many in the United States, when they think of pears, the image is of the fully ripe, yellow, fragrant, juicy Bartlett pear. But for gourmands who look for the unique in all foods, there is, for pears, the Bosc.

Although some sources state the origin of the Bosc is [...]

  • A plethora of pears

A plethora of pears

  • September 1st, 2012

Left to right: Joseph Postman’s choice pears ranks are Devoe, the Asian pear Hosui, Ayers, Russet Bartlett, and Rousselet. Top inset is Summer Blood Birne, lower inset is Klemintinka.

Four pear cultivars—Bartlett, d’Anjou, Bosc, and Comice—dominate supermarket shelves across the United States, and they’re great pears. But do they deserve [...]

  • Curator’s choice

Curator’s choice

  • September 1st, 2012

Pear trees growing at the repository In spring (inset) and fall. As unique and individually colorful as are the fruit midseason.

As curator of the nation’s largest collection of pear cultivars, Joseph Postman is often asked, “What’s your favorite pear?”

Since his job is to organize information about pears and their [...]

  • Bin dog under development

Bin dog under development

  • August 1st, 2012

Qin Zhang

An intelligent bin dog system—a self-propelled bin carrying system that could follow fruit pickers through the orchard—is one of several labor-saving devices that scientists at Washington State University’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems hope to develop.

Dr. Qin Zhang, director of the center, which is based in [...]

  • Harvester is ready to go

Harvester is ready to go

  • August 1st, 2012

Chris Hendrickson, technician for Oxbo, looks on as pickers test the machine at a Stemilt orchard in Quincy, Washington. The two picking platforms on the machine can be hydraulically raised or lowered to adjust the area of the canopy within reach of the upper pickers.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

Picker [...]

  • Last Bite–A peach with longevity

Last Bite–A peach with longevity

  • August 1st, 2012

Appreciated for its red skin and golden flesh, the O’Henry peach has been an important part of the variety mix for decades.

Unlike apples and pears, where new varieties are slow to appear and stay forever, new peach varieties come, and most of them go, in a continual parade. But [...]

  • Focus shifts to full automation

Focus shifts to full automation

  • August 1st, 2012

Karen Lewis

Faculty at Washington State University’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems plan to focus the bulk of their efforts in the future on the pursuit of a fully automated apple harvesting system. And they’re compiling a roadmap to guide their efforts and to help secure funding for [...]