Night shift: Harvesting apples at night

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

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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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Is drosophila a Washington State resident?

Is drosophila a Washington State resident?

  • October 1st, 2010

Entomologists in the Pacific Northwest intend to find out how well the spotted wing drosophila can survive the region’s cold winters.

The pest, a native of Asia, was first seen in ­California in 2008. It was found in Oregon and British Columbia in 2009, and turned up in eastern ­Washington [...]

  • Pear breeding moves toward better varieties

Pear breeding moves toward better varieties

  • September 1st, 2010

Richard Bell works to develop better pears with the flavor of Bartlett and resistance to fireblight and pear psylla, and more precocious.

One of the problems with pears is their lack of precocity. They stay juvenile, taking up valuable space and waiting just too long to grow up and produce [...]

  • Reflective fabric = more pears

Reflective fabric = more pears

  • September 1st, 2010

Researchers are finding that a reflective mulch in the rows of a mature pear orchard can significantly increase yields by directing more light into the lower canopy.

We are investigating application of Extenday reflective fabric to alleyways of fully mature d’Anjou pear canopies to determine whether or not fabric treatments [...]

On tour to see sweet cherries

  • August 1st, 2010

Michigan State University horticulturist Dr. Greg Lang visited Stefano Musacchi in Italy in 2008, and subsequently invited him to speak at the International Fruit Tree Association annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in March. Musacchi joined the IFTA tour of Lang’s work with fruiting walls of sweet cherries growing [...]

  • High density apple systems cost more

High density apple systems cost more

  • August 1st, 2010

The Michigan study compared three systems—from left, central leader, vertical axe, and tall spindle.

It costs a lot of money to put in a new apple orchard in Michigan, and it takes 9 to 12 years to recover all the expenses incurred up until then. High density systems cost more [...]

Nutrient needs by apple trees

  • August 1st, 2010

Getting the right nutrient levels in the orchard starts with answering the basic questions: How much of each element does a tree need, and when does it need it?

For Lailiang Cheng at Cornell University, answering the question was a matter of exerting total control and then measuring.

In a series [...]

  • Minnesota growers feel excluded

Minnesota growers feel excluded

  • August 1st, 2010

A key question for Minnesota growers is whether SweeTango is a club, niche apple of minor consequence or a “Honeycrisp killer” destined for the mainstream.

Fred Wescott, who grows apples and operates Wescott Orchards and Agri Products, a packing facility in Elgin, Minnesota, told Good Fruit Grower that the exclusive [...]

  • Storing Honeycrisp

Storing Honeycrisp

  • August 1st, 2010

A new CA control system supplied by Storage Control Systems, Sparta, Michigan, was installed at Michigan State University in 2008. Employee Dan Boozer is pictured. The new lab contains individual cabinets in which small lots of fruit can be held under tightly controlled conditions.

As more and more Honeycrisp apples [...]

There’s promise in new pruning method

  • August 1st, 2010

Michigan State University horticulturist Dr. Greg Lang visited Stefano Musacchi in Italy in 2008, and subsequently invited him to speak at the International Fruit Tree Association annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in March. Musacchi joined the IFTA tour of Lang’s work with fruiting walls of sweet cherries growing [...]

  • Target fruit

Target fruit

  • August 1st, 2010

The optimized orchard system generates high production and high-value target fruit. The trees have little structural wood and are supported by an eight-wire trellis.

“If left alone, an apple tree will not develop a canopy that maximizes both light absorption and light distribution.  That is your job and your challenge [...]