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High-tech cherry packing facility debuts

New plant doubles the cherry volume for Washington Fruit.

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New cherry bags boost sales

The new consumer bags protect fruit better and allow high-definition graphics, but are more costly to pack.

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Thinning apples with more confidence

Apple thinning gets more predictable as scientists gain understanding.

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Technology is the future of cherry packing

West Coast cherry packers are quickly adopting new sorting technology.

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Harvesting the light to drive production

Fruit growers have gotten much better at it during the last 40 years.

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A-Mazing new technology

Novel spraying system is incorporated into a maze built of rows of apple trees.

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Four decades of tree fruit discovery

The last 40 years have been fruitful generators of solid fruit tree knowledge.

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Opal apple verified as non-GMO

FirstFruits seeks to head off confusion with a GMO apple that might be approved.

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Nematode management strategies

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Preplant soil fumigation has long been an effective way to control nematodes, but fumigation in the future may be limited, says Dr. Inga Zasada, U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist.

She offers the following suggestions to help

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Is fresh best?

Study shows processed fruits and vegetables can be a good option.

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Nematode-resistant rootstocks available

Improved rootstocks are available, though more field testing is needed.

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New approach needed for nematodes

Avoid white varieties if planting in a site with root knot nematodes.

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Cornell asks growers for info on stinkbugs affecting crops

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Cornell University, New York, is asking growers to complete an online survey of how stinkbugs are affecting crops.

The university is surveying growers to assess the impact of the brown marmorated stinkbug on crops and is

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New clothing material may better protect workers

Study looks at lightweight, Teflon-like material might have potential for protective clothing for pesticide applicators.

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Nurseries fund East Malling research

The International New-Varieties Network has committed to provide more than $672,000 over the next six years to support apple and pear rootstock research at East Malling Research in Kent, England.

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Grower focuses on one variety, one market

If fruit doesn’t meet gift grade quality, it may be left on the tree.

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Evaluating technology for orchard use

New orchard technologies must be compatible with high production, said grower Jerry Haak.

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Be careful in adopting summer hedging to build fruiting walls

A Pennsylvania researcher warns growers south of New York, where trees grow more vigorously, that they might want to take a cautious approach on adoption of summer pruning and shearing to create fruiting walls.

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New tests measure soil health

New measuring tests allow growers to track the impact of soil management changes.

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Four reasons to manage the orchard floor

Several forces at work suggest that orchardists should look more closely at how they manage the floors of their orchards and vineyards.

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Calculate target yield

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Many factors contribute to the profitability of an orchard. The two most important factors are marketable yield per hectare and the price received for the fruit. Early yields also have a big impact on profitability

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Herbicide-resistance raises concerns

Specialty crops growers, especially those who grow grapes, will have new cause for concern in 2015 when new genetically modified field crops are expected to come to fields near their orchards and vineyards.

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Pay attention to the soil

Growers should pay more attention to the soil.

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Organic matter that lasts

Tree fruit growers may one day have a new way to dramatically improve soil quality in low-organic-matter soils. Imagine being able to add organic matter that will last thousands of years, essentially permanently affecting soil tilth and structure, instead of the few years you can get using cover crops and mulches. The “new” form of organic material is called biochar.

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Which is better for growing apples, angled or upright?

Growers and researchers weigh in.

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Honeycrisp: Grow it, then crop it

Although growers want to reap early returns from their Honeycrisp plantings, they need to let the trees grow first.

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Spreading shoots of young apple trees

Proper spreading of shoots and branches is an important step in developing a productive orchard.

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Choose the right rootstock for Honeycrisp

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The ideal rootstock for Honeycrisp is one that promotes moderate tree vigor along with good productivity, says Dr. Terence Robinson, horticulturist at Cornell University, New York.

Many growers who are using the precocious dwarfing Malling 9

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Electric orchard equipment progress

Orchardists are showing interest in electric power, and it’s coming, slowly.

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The good and bad of deficit irrigation

Partial root zone drying deficit irrigation has potential for white varieties.

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Microsprinklers for frost protection

Capturing the orchard heating power of freezing water.

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Growers benefit from Smith’s work

Tim Smith’s research has put money back in growers’ pockets.

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DIY spray trial tips

On-farm trials don’t have to be complicated.

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Integrated water plan moves forward

Diverse group proposes plan to solve water shortages in the Yakima River Basin.

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How to make every drop count

Simple changes made with inexpensive tools can greatly improve spray applications.

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Extension is 100 years old… and counting

With additional funding and new faculty, WSU extension is not resting on its laurels.

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Grafting workshop planned for early April

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Washington State University is offering a tree fruit grafting class by tree fruit specialist Gary Moulton in the second week of April. The two-part, hands-on workshop, held on April 9 and 12, focuses on steps

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Rootstocks do fine in Washington

Differences in rootstock trial were due to yearly climate variation, not rootstocks.

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Wine grape yields not affected by early leaf removal

Early leaf removal in white grape varieties has several benefits.

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WSU announces drawing for WA 38 apple trees

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Washington State University will hold a random drawing to decide who will be able to plant WA 38, the latest variety from the university’s apple breeding program, during the first two years trees become available.

Washington

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Fire blight control without antibiotics

Lime sulfur and fish oil can help as part of an integrated strategy.

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Mechanical thinning can damage spurs, leaf tissue and flowers

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Mechanical thinning looks like a ­promising technique for reducing the amount of labor-intensive hand thinning required in order to grow a good crop of nice-sized apples.

That’s the conclusion reached by a team of researchers from

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Bee renting tips

Smith helps growers and beekeepers come together agreeably

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How bad things in the environment gang up and kill bees

The synergistic effect of pesticides in hives.

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Is there a better crab apple pollinizer?

No research is under way to evaluate pollinizers to replace Manchurian crab apple.

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Control leafhoppers to avoid virus

The risk of grapevine redleaf virus makes controlling leafhoppers all the more important.

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Pollen tube growth model makes thinning more precise

Blossom-time apple thinning model explored for eastern growers.

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Bees live in a toxic world

Planting more flowers would help solve honeybee decline.

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Protecting your high-value crop

Orchard netting may be cost effective for high-value varieties like Honeycrisp.

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New varieties stabilize the market

Consumers are buying more apples and paying more for them.

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