New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Early Fujis  kick-start the season

Early Fujis kick-start the season

  • January 15th, 2010

It’s been said that when Grady Auvil discovered an early Fuji sport in his orchard in 1993, the tree fruit pioneer predicted it would “revolutionize” the Fuji market. More than 20 years later, early strains are helping to jumpstart the Fuji market, but they haven’t replaced standard Fujis.

The Auvil [...]

  • Is redder better?

Is redder better?

  • January 15th, 2010

Gale Gala is one of more than 30 Gala strains.

In the last two decades, Gala apples have taken the world by storm, finding favor around the globe with consumers and growers. But as redder and redder Gala strains are planted, is the tree fruit industry repeating Red Delicious history?

Gala [...]

How to choose the variety

  • January 1st, 2010

This is the first of a series of articles covering all aspects of planning and establishing a competitive orchard.

When planning a new orchard, first of all consider what challenges or problems the orchard needs to address, advises Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

“Are plantings [...]

A new game

  • January 1st, 2010

New apple varieties from Washington State University’s breeding program present opportunities for the state’s growers, said Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

WSU has just released the first variety from its breeding program, WA 2, and has more in the pipeline. These varieties will be [...]

  • Current planting trends

Current planting trends

  • January 1st, 2010

Golden Delicious plantings have dropped to their lowest level in 25 years.

Fuji has replaced Gala as the most popular variety to plant in Washington. Around 23 percent of the trees budded for planting next spring are Fuji, a survey of nursery tree sales shows. Many growers are replacing older [...]

  • Climate forecasting

Climate forecasting

  • January 1st, 2010

In April 2007, a freeze hit when many plant species, such as these Bradford pears in North Carolina, were weeks ahead in their life cycles and were sensitive to the cold.

by Dr. Ed Brotak
What will the weather be like in the next decade?

Unfortunately, climate forecasts—weather forecasts beyond one [...]

  • Vineland seeks self-sufficiency

Vineland seeks self-sufficiency

  • January 1st, 2010

Paul Truscott, business development manager at the Vineland research station in Ontario, Canada.

Research is costly with little chance of a direct, let alone immediate, payoff. Just ask fruit breeders, who can labor for years testing new varieties designed to meet evolving consumer tastes and emerging environmental pressures. But a [...]

  • Strategies for Success

Strategies for Success

  • January 1st, 2010

Jim and Rena Doornink planted this block of Jazz apples last spring. Jazz will fill a gap in their harvest schedule between Honeycrisp and Fuji, keeping their crew busy all summer long.

During his 35 years as an orchardist, Jim Doornink has always enjoyed strategizing about how to run a [...]

Cold-friendly varieties

  • December 1st, 2009

Last winter’s cold damage has helped researchers and grape growers identify varieties that are best suited to British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

Working with a handful of growers, including Vincor Canada and Mission Hill Family Estate, researchers from the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre in Summerland identified Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, and [...]

Cover crops and pest control

  • December 1st, 2009

Does attracting natural enemies to an orchard by planting a cover crop translate to better biological control of pests in the trees? Dr. David Horton, entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Yakima, Washington, hopes to find out.

Horton is conducting trials in a research orchard and three commercial [...]

Good Point – Jim McFerson

  • December 1st, 2009

Predictions and promises are easy enough, as long as they’re vague. On the other hand, few people really remember the predictions, so why not take a shot and even get specific? Here are some of mine, for the next ten years in the Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry.

Some things [...]

How many is too many?

  • December 1st, 2009

When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth slot to feature seasonal varieties, like Honeycrisp in the early autumn months and other [...]