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Ideas from Mars

Horticulturist takes inspiration from NASA to envision crews of robots in the orchard.

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Time’s right for precision ag

An effort to introduce variable-rate fertilizer applications in orchards was 20 years ahead of its time.

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Labor worries spur automation effort

Washington scientists are looking for worldwide collaborators to work on automated harvesting.

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RosBREED extended with new SCRI grant of $10 million

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Ten million dollars in new funding will transform the RosBREED project from a research program devoted to genetic discovery into a more focused, practical phase of breeding fruit crops resistant to diseases.

The new funding comes

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Robots that fly

UAVs—also known as drones—are waiting in the wings to come into orchards and vineyards.

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Controlling the stinkers

Strides have been made against brown marmorated stinkbug.

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Exploring on-farm hydropower

After helping growers install superior fish screens, the Farmers Conservation Alliance is looking at the potential for turbines in canals.

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Optical sorters come to wineries

The same type of high-tech sorting equipment used by tree fruit packers is being adopted in the wine industry.

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Multi-row sprayers offer great improvements in timeliness

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As more growers move toward modern, high-density planting systems to improve yield and orchard management, the sprayer output needs to be matched to the modern canopy. The closely planted trees of today’s modern orchard require

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Northern Grapes Project gets $2.6 million in added funding

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The Northern Grapes Project has received an additional $2.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative to complete the final two years of the multistate effort, which began in

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Research tackles decay issue

A new project will focus on controlling decay and finding pollinizers that are not disease hosts.

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Ste. Michelle hosts rootstock trial

This is one of the first full-scale rootstock trials in a commercial vineyard

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Chose plant material wisely

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates will plant nematode-resistant rootstocks for the first time in Washington on a small scale.

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New York varieties come to market

Production of two new apples developed at Cornell is ramping up.

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Stemilt to manage new Minnesota apple

MN55 offers Honeycrisp qualities a month earlier.

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European consumers like bicolored apples

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European consumers prefer bicolored apples and in some countries, including Germany, they associate dark red apples with mealiness.

European Fruit Magazine reported recently on research by Katrin Korsten from the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in

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Marketer is smitten

Randy Steensma thinks the New Zealand apple Smitten has a big future.

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Growers and consumers like the look of WA 38

Growers to plant WA 38 in 2017

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24 lucky Cosmic Crisp winners

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Washington State University has announced the winners of a drawing held to decide who will be able to purchase the first trees of the new apple variety Cosmic Crisp (WA 38 cultivar), which will be

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Cider demand outstrips supply

It takes the right fruit to produce good hard cider.

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Expect to wait for cider apple trees

Most major nurseries don’t carry cider apples in their inventories.

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The hard trials of growing cider apples

Be prepared for a large investment and modest yields.

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An early Honeycrisp debuts

A new strain ripens three weeks earlier than the standard Honeycrisp.

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Line built specially for Rainiers

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Chelan Fruit Cooperative, one of the largest packers of Rainier cherries in Washington State, built a new packing facility this year that was specially designed to handle the delicate yellow cherry variety.

Chelan Fruit, which has

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East Malling appoints French researcher

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East Malling Research in Kent, England, has appointed physiologist Dr. Julien Lecourt to lead research into optimizing efficiency, yields, and postharvest quality in temperate tree fruit production.

Lecourt was previously at INRA (the National Institute for

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New Zealand apple Koru finds fans

Koru brand apples will be produced in Washington and New York.

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Soil testing seminar planned for late October

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Washington State University soil scientist Dr. Joan Davenport will present a seminar on “The Hows and Whys of Soil Testing,” on October 29, from 3 to 4 p.m

The seminar will take place at WSU’s Tree

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Retirements reduce Cornell’s tall spindle apple team

Stephen Hoying, Alison DeMarree both joined program in 1982.

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Inmates help with grape research

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Most spider mite research projects involve the tedious work of counting spider mites—peering down a microscope to count tiny specks on leaves.

Some would even call it cruel and unusual punishment. But a Washington State University

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OSU hopes to fill David Sugar’s research position

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Growers and other stakeholders will meet on September 9 at Oregon State University’s Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center near Medford to discuss how a plant pathology research position might be filled.

Dr. David Sugar, who

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Eastern growers plant new pear

Canadians are planting fire blight-resistant Harovin Sundown at high densities using biaxis trees.

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New Michigan commission signs agreement with university

Michigan growers pledge their money in return for assurances.

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Diamond and Gem

Diamond Fruit sees great potential in new variety.

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Cleveringa joins Research Commission

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Jeff Cleveringa, head of research and development for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in Wenatchee, Washington, has been appointed to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission’s board of directors to represent the Washington Apple Commission.

He succeeds

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See WA 38 (Cosmic Crisp apple)

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Washington State University has scheduled two field tours where growers can see the growth habit of the Cosmic Crisp apple (WA 38 cultivar) and look at fruit quality at or near harvest. Both will take

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An easy way to test maturity

The DA-meter measures chlorophyll in the outer layer of the apple.

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What makes peach trees tick?

Ted DeJong has spent a career finding answers to that question.

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Predicting fruit quality

Dry matter analysis can help predict quality of stored fruit.

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How to retain the crop

Growers can’t afford to let expensive apples fall off the trees.

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Piqa Boo licensed in Australia

Prevar Limited assigned a licenses to produce and sell the new Piqa Boo pear in Australia.

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Don’t let drones fly by

With rising potential for tree fruit production, the industry needs to get involved.

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Orchard soil management seminars begin in August

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The first of three planned soil management seminars will begin on Wednesday, August 13, in Wenatchee, Washington. “The Potential for Precision Soil Management in Orchards” seminar kicks off the soil-focused training sessions by WSU Tree

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Grab and go packaging: Cup o’ Cherries

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Chelan Fresh Marketing has introduced a new consumer pack of cherries designed for snacking on the go.

The package, called Cup o’ Cherries, resembles a lidded coffee cup. The lid, however, has a cherry-sized hole, allowing

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Scientists work on paper-wasp lure

Though often confused with yellowjackets, paper wasps do not respond to the same bait.

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Fourth cherry residue test results are available

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For the fourth consecutive year, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has conducted a trial to provide the Northwest cherry industry basic information about residues of commonly used pesticides.

These studies are intended to help growers

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How to grow Cosmic Crisp

WA 38 is grower friendly and should present minimal harvesting, storage, or packing problems.

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New peach textures

Future breeders have the tools to make ideal peaches.

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Summing up a career

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Dr. Scott Johnson worked for 31 years as an extension specialist for the University of California, Davis. He was based at the Kearney Agricultural Center, a research station in the heart of San Joaquin Valley’s

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Trees in a sandbox

Peach growing practices transformed by solid California research

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More than cherries

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California’s cherry season normally runs fast and furious for about eight weeks. Growers usually have other crops to farm, but what do California packing houses do once cherries are through?

At O-G Packing and Cold Storage

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