New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Enhancing biocontrol

Enhancing biocontrol

  • February 1st, 2013

Knowing when and where natural enemies, such as the green lacewing, are active is critical in order to conserve them. Large inset: Garden orb web spider in apple orchard. Small inset: Adult ladybug feeding on aphids.

This is the first article in an eight-part series highlighting results of a five-year [...]

  • Growers try hooped trellises

Growers try hooped trellises

  • February 1st, 2013

A new apple orchard planted to a V trellis uses greenhouse technology to support the Vs.
Courtesy of Wilson Orhard & Vineyard Supply

A few tree fruit trellis systems in Washington State are sporting a new look. Instead of flat-sided steel for the V and Y arms and supports, growers [...]

  • Good to Know: Promalin as a frost rescue for apples

Good to Know: Promalin as a frost rescue for apples

Spraying Promalin at full bloom increased fruit set and yield. Fruit size and shape were normal at harvest, but most of the fruit were without seeds (parthenocarpic).
PHOTOS COURTESY of NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

The Southeast wasn’t spared from the spring freezes that plagued much of the Midwest and eastern [...]

  • Mist cooling for freeze protection

Mist cooling for freeze protection

  • February 1st, 2013

This experimental plot at Michigan State University’s Clarksville Horticulture Experiment Station was established last year to study the Solid-Set Canopy Delivery system for spraying. Jim Flore wants to test misting as a way to slow down bud development during warm periods in late winter.
Photo by Richard Lehnert

Michigan State [...]

  • Frost protection strategies

Frost protection strategies

  • February 1st, 2013

Tree and vine crops can be won or lost because of one or two critical degrees of cold temperature, so, ultimately, the best method of frost protection is good site selection. But even the best sites won’t be perfectly freeze-free.

Is there a good way to recover those one or [...]

The five most common mistakes

  • February 1st, 2013

 for a vertical trellis

Line posts are spaced too far apart. Kuhn advises spacing line posts 32 to 35 feet apart for optimum performance; 40 feet is average, and 50 feet apart is asking for trouble.
Line posts are too small, resulting in posts tipping over. Kuhn recommends using 3- [...]

  • Wind machines

Wind machines

  • February 1st, 2013

Wind machines have been a skyline feature in orchards and vineyards in the Pacific Northwest and California for a long time, but now they’re sweeping into apple orchards in Michigan and New York at a rapid pace.

It’s not a case of locking the barn after the horse is gone. [...]

  • Predicting problems

Predicting problems

  • January 15th, 2013

Left: Dave Rudell checks stored Honeycrisp for development of scald at the USDA lab in Wenatchee. Later stages of soft scald (on the Honeycrisp) can resemble decay (on the Granny Smith). At right, soft scald in Honeycrisp.

Growers might nickname it Moneycrisp because of the high returns, but for packers [...]

  • Auction benefits research

Auction benefits research

  • January 15th, 2013

Washington State’s wine industry will receive a big windfall this year when the Auction of Washington Wines contributes nearly $250,000 for grape and wine-related research and education.

The donation was given to Washington State University for the viticulture and enology program. About $100,000 will be dedicated to research, with the [...]

Defect sorting could reduce costs

  • January 15th, 2013

The Washington apple industry must be one of the few that puts every possible input into the product before throwing it away.

Paul Koch, general manager at Olympic Fruit Company in Yakima, Washington, says that’s what motivated him to install an electronic internal and external defect sorter. He hoped that [...]

  • Cider squeezing with the dragon

Cider squeezing with the dragon

  • January 15th, 2013

Developers put some teeth into their apple press.
Photo courtesy of Anderson Island Historical Society

The humble potato harvester, developed in the 1950s to scoop potatoes from the fields and into waiting trucks, has found other purposes.

The community of Anderson Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound has put an outdated [...]

  • The future of Rainier cherries

The future of Rainier cherries

The blush color of Rainier cherries sets the fruit apart in the marketplace. But color is also one of the cherry’s biggest challenges. Consumers must be educated that the light-colored cherries are sweet and ripe.

Production trends of Rainier and the early Rainier-type variety called Early Robin have shown steady [...]