New approaches to frost control

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

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  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • November 1st, 2012

Winemaking in France is believed to date back at least 2,600 years to the ­founding of Massilia, the city now known as Marseille. So it’s logical to think that Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most important wine grape varieties in France’s Bordeaux region and the world, would also have [...]

  • Austrian researcher tests seaweed claims

Austrian researcher tests seaweed claims

  • November 1st, 2012

Manufacturers of biostimulants derived from ­seaweed, or algae, say the products can provide multiple benefits when applied to crops.

Purported benefits include better root growth, resistance to weather-related stress, increased plant vigor, and better uptake of micronutrients. Some products are said to improve flower bud formation or fruit set, leading [...]

  • Growers try it out

Growers try it out

  • November 1st, 2012

About 50 people—growers and their employees—attended a late-September demonstration in the Jonagold orchard owned by David Rennhack in Hart, Michigan. Two days earlier, another demonstration had taken place at Applewood Orchards in Deerfield, and others were held later at Evans Brothers near Frankfort and at Riveridge Packing near Sparta.

Mike [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Good to Know

Good to Know

Grape growers have been closely watching the spread of the brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys Stål). It was first identified in 1996 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and has spread to 36 states. In 2010, a warm winter and spring caused an early population surge of BMSB that caught fruit and [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • No more airblast spraying?

No more airblast spraying?

  • November 1st, 2012

MSU horticulturist Ron Perry, left, worked with engineers to design and install the system. Here he works with two technicians.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

Think of all the materials you put on your orchard through your airblast sprayer: Insecticides, fungicides, antibiotics, chemical thinners, plant growth ­regulators, sunburn protectants, foliar nutrients, [...]

  • Fixed spray system evaluated in New York

Fixed spray system evaluated in New York

  • November 1st, 2012

For Cornell University entomologist Dr. Art Agnello, the grant funding for research to develop and evaluate the Solid Set Canopy Delivery System (SSCD) for spraying orchards is gratifying for it builds on what he discovered 15 years ago.

“We tried it then, and, frankly, it worked very well,” he said.

In [...]

  • Research project tackles trunk diseases

Research project tackles trunk diseases

  • November 1st, 2012

Researchers will use nearly $1.8 million in grant money to develop new detection, extension, and research tools for managing wood-canker diseases of grapes and nut crops. Wood-canker diseases are a leading cause of vineyard and orchard removal in many parts of the country.

The research project was one of 14 [...]