New approaches to frost control

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

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Fruit region is electric vehicle hub

  • December 1st, 2010

The days of 30-cents-per-gallon gasoline are long gone, but new electric vehicles can run on the equivalent of that in areas of the country where power rates are low.

North central Washington State, with its cheap hydropower and emerging wind and solar projects, has become a hub for efforts to [...]

  • Cherry harvest shifts later

Cherry harvest shifts later

  • December 1st, 2010

At one time, when she grew standard cherry varieties, such as Van, Lambert, Star, and Stella, harvest ended in July at Christine Dendy’s orchard in East Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Now, with some of the latest releases from British Columbia’s cherry breeding program, such as Sovereign and Sentennial, she’s just [...]

  • Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

  • December 1st, 2010

Critical components of the DBR harvester are the vacuum tubes (green ones carry apples), the decelerator wheels (circular steel), and the elephant-ear fruit distributor (fan-like device above apples). Here, a full bin is being lowered to the ground during a demonstration at Mike Rasch’s orchard in August.

The vacuum system [...]

More cherries in the pipeline

  • December 1st, 2010

New, late-maturing cherry varieties developed in British Columbia, Canada, have helped keep the province’s cherry growers in ­business.

“At one stage, the cherry industry was dwindling away until these late varieties were introduced,” recalled Dr. Frank Kappel, cherry breeder at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland.

The Summerland program continues [...]

  • Breeders seek input  from supply chain

Breeders seek input from supply chain

  • December 1st, 2010

The apple, cherry, peach, and strawberry breeding activities of RosBREED are located across the United States at university, federal, and private sector locations.

What do genomics and socioeconomics have to do with deciding which fruit cultivar to plant next year?  Until now, not very much, but that is about to [...]

WSU releases second new apple, called WA 5

  • October 1st, 2010

Just a year after the release of WA 2, WSU’s apple breeding program in Wenatchee is releasing its second new cultivar, WA 5. WA 5 is sufficiently different from WA 2 in ripening season, appearance, and eating quality to justify its release.

With a bright orange-red stripe covering 60 to [...]

  • Steps to commercialization

Steps to commercialization

  • October 1st, 2010

New apple varieties from Washington State University are evaluated and ­commercialized under the following general guidelines.

Phase 1: Initial seedling selection and evaluation The Washington Apple Breeding Program evaluates many thousands of seedlings, with input from its Industry Advisory Council. The breeding program identifies selections for ­advancement to Phase 2.

Phase 2: [...]

  • Totally RED

Totally RED

  • October 1st, 2010

Because the red pigments are antioxidants, red-fleshed apples do not turn brown when sliced.

Swiss nursery owner and fruit breeder Markus Kobelt hit the headlines across Europe with the ­latest apple varieties he released. They are among the first red-fleshed apples in the world to go into commercial production.

Kobelt, who [...]

Keeping the customer satisfied

  • October 1st, 2010

Over the past ten years I have initiated a number of research trials that, when taken together, tell an important story about the link between apple quality and profitability. I often quote my mantra that “we are in the food business” along with McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and even the slow [...]

  • Low-volume prestorage drenching is attractive

Low-volume prestorage drenching is attractive

  • October 1st, 2010

Dave Rosenberger described how he tested the effectiveness of low-volume nonrecycling drenches for fruit going into storage. His audience included New York fruit growers and International Fruit Tree Association members on tour during the fruit field day at Cornell Agricultural Research Station at Geneva, New York.

The practice of drenching [...]

Mysterious ailment strikes

  • October 1st, 2010

A mysterious disease that has been killing the best looking, reddest strains of McIntosh apples in the nicest orchards in the northwest quadrant of Michigan has tentatively been identified, and growers now have some idea what to do about it.

“We’re not quite there yet,” said Dr. George Sundin, the [...]

Ripe cherries are less likely to pit

  • October 1st, 2010

It’s generally believed that riper cherries are more susceptible to pitting than less mature cherries, but Dr. Peter Toivonen, postharvest physiologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in British Columbia, said results of his research show it’s exactly the opposite. There are fewer pitting problems with darker cherries.

“For a lot [...]