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. [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

Use AgProfit to customize data

  • December 1st, 2012

The high-density orchard establishment study and the enterprise budgets are designed to work with AgProfit, a computer software program developed by Oregon State University, Washington State University, University of Arizona, and the University of ­California. AgProfit, a Windows-based program, allows growers to plug in their own data or use [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]