New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Exotic varieties, new regions

Exotic varieties, new regions

  • December 1st, 2009

A new interest in clones and lesser-known varieties will drive vineyard plantings in Washington State in the next ten years, say industry experts.

Limited retail shelf space could impact the success of new varieties.

by Melissa Hansen

Crystal ball visions given by a cross section of Washington State’s wine grape industry show [...]

  • Sorting technology

Sorting technology

  • December 1st, 2009

Tree fruit packers believe that future technology will improve labor efficiencies while improving fruit quality

New technology will touch all areas of tree fruit production in the next decade, from plant breeding to horticulture to packing and storage, all helping to reduce inputs and costs while improving fruit quality, predicts [...]

  • Nursery perspective

Nursery perspective

  • December 1st, 2009

These finished nursery trees will soon be harvested and prepared for later planting by growers.

With the proliferation of new tree fruit varieties released in the last decade, the next ten years should spark consumer interest and excitement in the tree fruit category, say nursery representatives.

The most important change that [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

  • Extension educators

Extension educators

  • December 1st, 2009

WSU Extension educator Karen Lewis expects to see more technologies used in orchards to augment workers, in addition to platforms.

In the future, growers won’t need to get in the truck and drive to the coffee shop or to a neighbor’s orchard to find out what they’re doing. Instead, they’ll [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

  • Field sorting could bring a bonus

Field sorting could bring a bonus

  • December 1st, 2009

The recently planted WSU research orchard will allow study of planting designs for the future.

One of the new technologies Washington State University entomologist Dr. Jay Brunner expects and hopes to see in the next decade is automated sorting of fruit in the field. Apart from reducing a grower’s costs [...]

  • Market limitations

Market limitations

  • December 1st, 2009

How new varieties will coexist with those that have already carved out shelf space is the million-dollar question.

The biggest change from a marketer’s standpoint in the next decade will be the influence of the club varieties on the marketplace, says Bob Mast, marketing director at CMI (Columbia ­Marketing International) [...]

  • Growing nitrogen on the side

Growing nitrogen on the side

  • December 1st, 2009

Dr. Steve Fransen points out that the ladino clover had pink root nodules, indicating that it was fixing nitrogen.

As commercial nitrogen fertilizers become more expensive, and potentially more limited in supply, the idea of growing fertilizer in the orchard is being explored.

Quincy, Washington, fruit grower Warren Morgan, who is [...]

  • Past, present, and future

Past, present, and future

  • December 1st, 2009

Chuck Peters designed his new pear orchard with mechanization and new technologies in mind.

It might be possible to develop apples with yet-to-be-identified health benefits, says orchardist Chuck Peters.

When Chuck Peters, a pear grower from Yakima, Washington, was asked in 1987 to predict what the fruit industry would be dealing [...]