New approaches to frost control

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

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  • 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 [...]

  • New research orchard structures

New research orchard structures

  • December 1st, 2012

Cravo roof in a closed position.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAVO

New protected orchard structures were installed last spring at Michigan State University’s horticultural research station at Clarksville. They were built over a 2010 planting of high-density sweet cherries and will be used in at least three research projects.

MSU cherry researcher [...]

Cherry research needed

  • December 1st, 2012

Washington cherry and stone fruit growers will have another opportunity in the coming weeks to vote on a special assessment to fund research at Washington State ­University.

A year ago, in a tree fruit industrywide referendum, a majority of apple and pear growers voted in favor of a special assessment. [...]

  • Cherries as berries

Cherries as berries

  • December 1st, 2012

The Korvan 7240 blueberry harvester was first demonstrated at the Clarksville Horticulture Experiment Station by Michigan State University’s team at the start of the research project in July 2008.

Some Michigan tart cherry growers are not waiting for the final research results to come in and are instead plunging ahead [...]

  • Worried about labor

Worried about labor

  • December 1st, 2012

Steve Hunt, the incoming president of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, grows only one kind of fruit—blueberries—about 110 acres worth.

He’s been doing it for 32 years, starting work on a grower’s farm when he was 24 years old and gradually buying in until he started his own company, New [...]

  • Eradication not likely

Eradication not likely

  • December 1st, 2012

The light brown apple moth is about a quarter of an inch long.
PHOTO BY R. ANSON EAGLIN, USDA APHIS

State and federal officials, and growers and homeowners, in California have settled in for a long, contentious battle with light brown apple moth, an invasive leaf-rolling insect found there since [...]

  • Good to Know—What growers want in new varieties

Good to Know—What growers want in new varieties

  • November 1st, 2012

Adopting a new scion cultivar is a crucial decision for tree fruit growers, who must consider both horticultural and market performance. Apple growers have mostly figured out how to produce high yields of excellent quality fruit for many standard varieties like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Empire, but market [...]

How cold hardy?

  • November 1st, 2012

Washington State University scientists hope to find a better way to assess cold hardiness of apple and sweet cherry buds and blooms in early spring.

Crop resistance to freezing temperatures depends on the stage of bud development, and this makes it difficult for growers to know when to protect their [...]