New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Hello EverCrisp, goodbye Fuji?

Hello EverCrisp, goodbye Fuji?

  • January 1st, 2013

For Mitch Lynd, the introduction of EverCrisp apples into Midwestern growers’ orchards will probably mean they won’t plant Fuji in the future.

The new apple looks a lot like a Fuji, is sweet like a Fuji, matures late like a Fuji, and keeps like a Fuji. But it does not [...]

  • Packer finds his niche

Packer finds his niche

  • January 1st, 2013

With more than 40 percent of his acreage in the New Zealand apple varieties Pacific Rose and Jazz, Scott Smith admits he’s taken a big gamble. But planting new varieties has been his strategy for surviving in the Washington State tree fruit industry as a small grower and packer.

Smith’s [...]

View new technologies in the making

  • January 1st, 2013

The public will have an opportunity to see what’s new in automated and precision farming technologies at the second annual Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems Expo

The free event will take place October 8 from 1–3 p.m. at Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in [...]

Paternity test implicates Napoleon

Genetic testing has revealed that the blush cherry Napoleon Bigarreau (Napoleon for short) is the father of the Bing cherry. Black Republican, a red cherry, was known to be the mother variety, but the other parent (the source of the pollen) was unknown until now.

Dr. Amy Iezzoni, cherry breeder [...]

  • Tower sprayer works for Quebec grower

Tower sprayer works for Quebec grower

Fruiteraie des Gadbois has another unique feature, a tower, or sleeve, sprayer Benoit Gadbois developed working with Dr. Bernard Panneton and Carl Bissaillon.

Benoit demonstrated it in the family’s orchards during the International Fruit Tree Association tour to the Quebec area last summer.

Panneton is an agricultural engineer at the horticultural [...]

  • First fruit

First fruit

  • January 1st, 2013

Bill Dodd stands next to the EverCrisp mother tree, which grows at the Doud family’s County Line Orchard near Wabash, Indiana.
photo courtesy of Bill Dodd

The first fruit of a grassroots apple breeding program is making its way into growers’ orchards.

EverCrisp apple trees are being sold this winter by [...]

  • Red’s not dead

Red’s not dead

  • December 1st, 2012

Photo by Melissa Hansen

For the past 30 years, Red Delicious has been the poor relation of the apple family. Although all varieties of apples have been profitable in recent years, Red Delicious is still close to the bottom of the list in terms of f.o.b. prices.

Last season, the average [...]

  • Salish launched in B.C.

Salish launched in B.C.

  • December 1st, 2012

Courtesy of Rich MacDonald (AAFC)

A new apple variety from British Columbia, Canada, called Salish was launched in the marketplace this fall under a new brand called “Born in BC, Raised in the Okanagan.”

Salish (formerly known as SPA493) originated from a cross of Splendour and Gala made in 1981 at [...]

  • The dark side of Honeycrisp

The dark side of Honeycrisp

  • December 1st, 2012

Honeycrisp apples have outstanding flavor and texture, but the tree has a long list of characteristics that make it challenging, expensive, and frustrating to grow.

Because the variety is extremely prone to bitter pit, growers are applying calcium sprays season long and minimizing nitrogen fertilizer. Jason Matson at Matson Fruit [...]

  • How long can this last?

How long can this last?

  • December 1st, 2012

Consumer demand for Honeycrisp apples is so intense and the return so high that growers can afford to spend the additional time and money it takes to grow the fickle variety. But how long will that last?

Mike Robinson, production manager for Double ­Diamond Fruit in Quincy, Washington, said marketers [...]

Good Point

  • December 1st, 2012

As a tree fruit grower in Washington State, you are involved in a risky business. Some years the dice roll your way, some they don’t. Managing your risk isn’t getting any easier, and every year seems to bring a new set of challenges, some biological, some regulatory, some market-based, [...]

Organic trade association seeks input

  • December 1st, 2012

The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order.

One such forum will be held during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon [...]