Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

A shift from ladders to illuminated platforms allows pickers to work day or night.

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  • Stellar lineage

Stellar lineage

  • June 1st, 2013

The Pacific Northwest cherry industry is seeing the effects of a shift to self-fertile varieties in the form of higher and more consistent yields.
courtesy of PARC

The Pacific Northwest cherry industry is seeing the effects of a shift to self-fertile varieties in the form of higher and more consistent [...]

  • Smart cherry breeding

Smart cherry breeding

  • June 1st, 2013

Breeder Nnadozie Oraguzie stands in a Phase 1 block planted in 2011 and 2012. He’ll begin collecting fruiting data when the trees are three to four years old.
MELISSA HANSEN

Breeding new varieties of fruit is all about numbers—it takes thousands of crosses to find one worthy of commercialization. Researchers [...]

WSU program focused on self-fertility

  • June 1st, 2013

Stone fruit breeding began at Washington State University in 1949 with the arrival of Dr. Harold Fogle, who had just finished his doctorate at the University of Minnesota.

In 1952, by crossing the two red cherries Bing and Van, he developed the blushed Rainier cherry. The variety—WSU’s first—was released in [...]

Summerland’s focus switches

  • June 1st, 2013

Summerland cherry breeder Dr. Cheryl Hampson’s objective is to develop cherries that are large, firm, and sweet, have good stems, and are productive.

For the past 50 years, the focus of the program has been on developing self-fertile varieties. Hampson still prefers new varieties to be self-fertile, but if a [...]

  • Bing dethroned

Bing dethroned

  • June 1st, 2013

The Bing cherry, long the king of the Northwest industry, is losing ground to the newer Canadian varieties.

In the 2000 season, Bing represented almost 75 percent of the Northwest cherry crop. By 2012, cherries sold as Bing represented only 22 percent of the crop. Meanwhile, varieties from British Columbia [...]

  • New model for variety release

New model for variety release

  • June 1st, 2013

RiverBelle
Courtesy of Wescott Agri Products

Two new apple varieties, Pazazz and RiverBelle, are growing in some apple orchards and coming to market through a new development process.

The apples are being commercialized by Apple Varietal Development LLC, a company organized by Fred Wescott, owner of Wescott Orchards and Agri Products [...]

  • 5 things to consider when selecting a variety

5 things to consider when selecting a variety

  • June 1st, 2013

photo by John Clements, University of Massachusetts

Win Cowgill, horticulturist at Rutgers ­University and area fruit agent located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, is working on a project to help growers choose varieties.

He and Jon Clements at University of Massachusetts collaborated for the last three growing seasons creating a Web [...]

Apple variety network

  • June 1st, 2013

Variety and cultivar selection is the largest economic decision a grower can make when establishing a new high-density orchard block where a thousand trees or more per acre are planted.

Win Cowgill and Jon Clements want to help with that.

The two fruit extension educators—Cowgill with the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment [...]

  • Popular cultivar almost wasn’t

Popular cultivar almost wasn’t

  • May 15th, 2013

Coral Champagne cherries ripen after Chelan and about ten days before Bing.

New tree fruit varieties can take decades before going mainstream and ­becoming popular with industry and ­consumers. Coral Champagne is a good example.

The early sweet cherry variety that came out of the University of California’s sweet cherry breeding [...]

Cherry cracking test

  • May 15th, 2013

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has developed a simple test for growers to determine the susceptibility of their cherries to rain cracking. All that’s needed are around 50 randomly collected cherries from trees, distilled water, a large pan, and two hours of time.

Through years of study to find [...]

  • Chelan Fruit gears up

Chelan Fruit gears up

  • May 15th, 2013

Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier.
PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS

Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative is planning to build a new cherry line for next season.

Reggie Collins, chief [...]

Good Stuff

  • May 15th, 2013

Book of secrets
Karin Argo of Zillah, Washington, is selling the second edition of her popular The Secrets of Eastern Washington Cookbook. Argo, who grew up on an apple, cherry, and pear orchard in Yakima, said she wrote the book as a way to showcase agriculture in central Washington. [...]