Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

A shift from ladders to illuminated platforms allows pickers to work day or night.

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  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • April 1st, 2011

In 1966, Michigan placed this historical marker at the South Haven Experiment Station com­mem­orating Stanley Johnston’s work and the peaches he released. Johnston is pictured with the marker.

Until the Redhaven peach came along in 1940, Elberta held the title as the most-planted peach variety in the world. After that [...]

  • Irrigating apples in the Northeast

Irrigating apples in the Northeast

  • April 1st, 2011

Sap flow gauges were used to measure the flow of water through the trunk of a tree.

Researchers working in the experimental apple orchards at Cornell University, New York, are developing an irrigation scheduling model to help apple growers in the Northeast know how much water their trees use.

To apple [...]

ARM studied in cherries

  • April 1st, 2011

In the cherry orchards of northwest Michigan around Traverse City, growers use a mixture of methods to control their archenemies: cherry fruit fly, plum curculio, and cherry leaf spot.

Some growers use airblast sprayers while others use air-curtain sprayers. Some run their sprayers down the middle of every tree row [...]

Growth regulator for nurseries

  • April 1st, 2011

A growth regulator called Tiberon (cyclanalide) is available to stimulate branching of fruit trees, but it is only registered for use in nurseries and not in an orchard setting.

Dena Ybarra at Columbia Basin Nursery in Quincy, Washington, said growers usually want ¾-inch caliper, highly feathered trees. Good branching occurs [...]

  • Using soil moisture sensors

Using soil moisture sensors

  • April 1st, 2011

Troy Peters, left, explains the functions of a neutron probe to Washington State University students Prossie Nakawuka, middle, and Romulus Okwany.

Good irrigation water management will increase yields, improve crop quality, conserve water, save energy, decrease fertilizer requirements, and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Using soil moisture measurements is one of [...]

  • Montana growers pin hopes on new varieties

Montana growers pin hopes on new varieties

  • March 15th, 2011

Louise Swanberg, pictured with Tom Colyer, says it’s hard to make money with the existing cherry varieties grown in Montana.
Photos courtesy of Pat mcglynn, montana state university

Montana cherry growers are hoping that new varieties will help them survive the biggest crisis they have faced so far.

In three of [...]

  • When is the best time to pick?

When is the best time to pick?

  • March 15th, 2011

Cherry researchers used this cherry color chart in the harvest timing project. For chart purchase information, email Todd Einhorn at: todd.einhorn@oregonstate.edu.
Photo courtesy of Lynn Long, Oregon State University

Determining when to harvest sweet cherries is a balancing act between weather, fruit quality, and market demands. But for most varieties [...]

  • Drosophila parasitoid found

Drosophila parasitoid found

  • March 15th, 2011

A female wasp attacks a spotted wing drosophila pupa
PhotoS COURTESY OF PETER SHEARER AND PRESTON BROWN, OSU

Scientists at Oregon State University have identified a parasitoid of the spotted wing drosophila, raising hopes that in the future this natural enemy might help control the pest.

It’s a small wasp from [...]

  • Understanding cherry fruit set

Understanding cherry fruit set

  • March 15th, 2011

Researchers, with the help of electron scanning microscopes, can view cherry reproductive organs, like this stigma of a Sweetheart cherry.
Photo courtesy of Matt Whiting, WSU

Pollination and fruit set in sweet cherries play such big roles in yield and fruit quality, yet both are unpredictable and vary dramatically from [...]

  • Italians study light & shading

Italians study light & shading

  • March 15th, 2011

Dr. Luca Corelli is studying a rainbow of hail net colors to see if fruit growth and development can be influenced.
Photo courtesy of University of Bologna

The worldwide transformation of tree fruit orchards from low to high densities and from wide to narrow canopies marked a major revolution in [...]

  • New treatment against CCD

New treatment against CCD

  • March 15th, 2011

Remebee is easily administered—mixed into heavy bee syrup and fed in one feeding of one pint. Some beekeepers are trying the latest version, RemebeePro, this year.
Photo courtesy of Eyal Ben-Chanoch

Beekeepers—and the fruit growers who depend upon them for pollination ­services—may be seeing light at the end of the [...]

Pollination role of native bees studied

  • March 15th, 2011

The price tag for renting honeybees for apple pollination, just $35 per hive a few years ago, now tops $100 in some regions. At one to two hives per acre, that’s a serious input cost for the nation’s apple growers. Not surprisingly, some orchardists are looking to native bees [...]