New approaches to frost control

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

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  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • Deer Wars

Deer Wars

  • March 15th, 2013

Growers in the prime fruit-growing area surrounding Grand Traverse Bay in northwest Michigan are protesting the conversion of their orchards into prime hunting ground for deer hunters wanting to shoot bucks with ­bigger antlers.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources approved a hunter-requested program called the Quality Deer Management Program [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Codling moth: It’s what’s for dinner.

Codling moth: It’s what’s for dinner.

  • March 15th, 2013

A sterilized carabid beetle before gut dissection.
Angela Gadino, WSU

Do you ever wonder what those earwigs, spiders, and other ground-dwelling predators eat in your orchard?

This question has been a main focus in the Enhancing Biological Control in Western Orchards Specialty Crop Research Initiative project. We know these predators are [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Apple name delights grower

Apple name delights grower

  • March 15th, 2013

Bob Meyer, right, discusses the merits of WSU’s new apples WA 2 and WA 38 with Jim Cowin at a field day to showcase the varieties.

Bob Meyer, an apple grower in Toppenish, Washington, is one of the first in the state to produce Washington State University’s first apple release, [...]

  • Promotion and management of pear fruiting

Promotion and management of pear fruiting

  • March 15th, 2013

Left: D’Anjou tree sprayed at two weeks after bloom with 80 ppm ReTain relative to an untreated control. Right: Untreated d’Anjou control tree.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TODD EINHORN

Different pear cultivars have unique challenges associated with their fruiting habits;  young d’Anjou trees can bloom profusely but set relatively few fruit, [...]

  • Project objectives

Project objectives

  • March 15th, 2013

Five specific objectives for the ­Integrated Crop Pollination ­project are:

Identify economically valuable pollinators and the factors affecting their abundance.
Develop habitat management practices to improve crop ­pollination.
Determine performance of alternative managed bees as specialty crop pollinators.
Demonstrate and deliver ICP ­practices for specialty crops.
Determine optimal methods for [...]