New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Good to Know—What growers want in new varieties

Good to Know—What growers want in new varieties

  • November 1st, 2012

Adopting a new scion cultivar is a crucial decision for tree fruit growers, who must consider both horticultural and market performance. Apple growers have mostly figured out how to produce high yields of excellent quality fruit for many standard varieties like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Empire, but market [...]

B.C.’s Sterile Insect Release program evolves

  • November 1st, 2012

In sterile insect release, male insects made sterile by exposure to gamma radiation are released in huge numbers to compete with normal wild males. When the sterile males win the mating game, females lay infertile eggs.

In mating disruption, female sex hormones are released in such volume that males can’t [...]

  • Robotic pruning

Robotic pruning

  • November 1st, 2012

If researchers achieve the goals they have set for themselves, apple and grape growers should see the day when their dormant pruning will be done by robots instead of people. Pruning is labor-intensive and accounts for about 20 percent of the cost of both grape and apple production, second [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Harvester studied for cider apples

Harvester studied for cider apples

  • October 1st, 2012

An over-the-row raspberry harvester is tested for harvesting cider apples
Geraldine Warner

Cider apple growing overall requires fewer inputs than growing dessert fruit because superficial blemishes don’t detract from the quality of apples that go into cider.

But cider apples are typically small—the size of a tennis ball or smaller—which makes [...]

  • Parasite studied in quarantine

Parasite studied in quarantine

  • October 1st, 2012

Scientists around the United States are studying a natural enemy of the brown marmorated stinkbug that has been imported from China with the hope that it might help keep the pest in check in this country.

The parasitic wasp Trissolcus halyomorphae was collected in the fall of 2011 by U.S. [...]

  • Insect-resistant varieties

Insect-resistant varieties

  • October 1st, 2012

Scientists at Washington State University hope to breed apples with resistance to key apple pests.
Joseph Schwarz, a doctoral student with WSU in Wenatchee, this summer reported progress in identifying apple cultivars that seem less appealing than the standard varieties to codling moth and obliquebanded leafroller.

Genetically resistant varieties could [...]