New approaches to frost control

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

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  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

How cold hardy?

  • November 1st, 2012

Washington State University scientists hope to find a better way to assess cold hardiness of apple and sweet cherry buds and blooms in early spring.

Crop resistance to freezing temperatures depends on the stage of bud development, and this makes it difficult for growers to know when to protect their [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Yeast tested as lure

Yeast tested as lure

  • November 1st, 2012

A species of yeast that University of California scientists have found in cherries and raspberries infested by the spotted wing drosophila could play a role in developing better lures to detect the pest.
The spotted wing drosophila, a pest that originated in Asia, first invaded ­California in 2008. If [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]