Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

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

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  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

FruiTrivia: Test your knowledge of fruit varieties

  • June 1st, 2013

1  Which of the following cherries is not an offspring of Van?
a.   Lapins
b.   Stella
c.   Summit
d.   Sweetheart
e.   Rainier

2  The Honeycrisp apple was bred in?
a.  1961
b.  1971
c.   1981
d.   1991

3  Which cherry variety is the father of Bing?
a.   Black Republican
b.   Van
c.   Lambert
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  • Table grapes part of Arkansas breeding program

Table grapes part of Arkansas breeding program

  • June 1st, 2013

This is Joy, in a photo from Idaho, where fruit breeder Esmaeil Fallahi included John Clark’s table grapes in his trial plantings.
courtesy of John Clark, University of Arkansas

Much of John Clark’s success as a plant breeder rests with blackberries, but he also breeds grapes, as well as peaches [...]

  • 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 [...]

Cherry rootstock testing continues

  • May 15th, 2013

It will be a few more years before new precocious, dwarfing rootstocks for sweet and tart cherries become available from the Michigan State ­University rootstock breeding program.

“We don’t have enough data yet for growers to decide whether they want to use them or not,” said Amy Iezzoni, who developed [...]

Nurseries invest in Phytelligence

  • May 15th, 2013

Four major nurseries that form the North American group of the International New Varieties ­Network (INN) have made a significant investment in a new biotechnology company called Phytelligence.

Phytelligence, which is based in Pullman, Washington, was founded in 2011 by Washington State University genomicist Dr. Amit Dhingra with a number [...]

  • Science on the Hudson

Science on the Hudson

  • May 15th, 2013

Modern apple tree plantings have been made at the Hudson Valley Lab.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

Workers at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory at Highland, near Poughkeepsie, New York, tend to see themselves as guardians of the gate. Whenever new diseases and insects come to challenge fruit growers in New [...]

Widely planted

  • May 15th, 2013

Coral Champagne has been the hottest selling cherry variety in California in recent years, according to accounts from nurseries, brokers, and growers.

Dave Wilson Nursery, a commercial tree fruit nursery headquartered in Hickman, California, reports that Coral Champagne has led their cherry tree sales in the last eight years.

A Sacramento, [...]

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. [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]