New approaches to frost control

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

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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. [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Over-the-row research

  • December 1st, 2012

Research evaluating over-the-row tart cherry harvesting was funded in 2008 as a five-year project by USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics Information System.

Headed by Michigan State University horticulturist Dr. Ron Perry, it involves other MSU researchers: cherry breeder Dr. Amy Iezzoni; Dr. Greg Lang, who studies cherry orchard design and [...]

The back story

  • December 1st, 2012

After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the breach of the Berlin Wall in 1989, countries like East Germany and Poland were re-integrated into a world where machine technology was much preferred to human labor.

In some cases, in the process of “catching up” with the West, they [...]

  • Cherry enterprise budgets available

Cherry enterprise budgets available

  • December 1st, 2012

Mike Omeg reminds growers not to get too hung up on the specifics.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

Oregon State University agricultural economists recently updated enterprise budgets for both standard and high-­density sweet cherry orchard systems. Enterprise budgets are designed to help growers estimate actual costs and review individual production costs [...]

  • Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

  • December 1st, 2012

Cox’s Orange Pippin is a firm, juicy, full-flavored apple with an orange-red skin and cream-colored flesh.
Photo by Jacqueline King, WSU

Cox’s Orange Pippin—Britain’s favorite apple for 150 years or so—has been usurped by Gala, one of its grandchildren.

It’s not because Gala is a better apple, British journalist Michael Leapman [...]

  • Weather forecasting tested

Weather forecasting tested

  • November 1st, 2012

Washington State University’s automated weather station network, is testing a national forecasting model as a tool to predict weather systems, such as hail or freezes, in the state’s tree fruit and grape growing regions.

AgWeatherNet, a network of 137 automated weather stations across Washington State, provides current weather conditions updated [...]

  • Seaweeds tested for pest control

Seaweeds tested for pest control

  • November 1st, 2012

Seaweed extracts are typically used by growers with the aim of improving tree growth and enhancing fruit yields and quality. Although the extracts are regulated and marketed as plant growth regulators, entomologists have been studying whether the products could also have benefits in terms of pest control.

Results of a [...]

  • Machines in Quebec

Machines in Quebec

  • November 1st, 2012

Apple growers in Canada’s Quebec Province aren’t having the labor problems U.S. growers have. They have access to Hispanic workers from Central America through a federal program, much like the U.S. H-2A guest-worker program, and it apparently functions more effectively.

Quebec growers aren’t complaining about labor quantity or quality, but [...]