New approaches to frost control

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

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  • Swiss company expands to Chile

Swiss company expands to Chile

  • January 15th, 2010

Ditzler uses five machines to harvest sweet dark cherries for processing into yogurts and ice creams. Cherries are harvested day and night.

A Swiss company that produces frozen fruits for yogurts and ice creams is growing some of its cherries in Chile.

Arturo Garcia, general manager of an orchard at Morza, [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Research viewpoint

Research viewpoint

  • December 1st, 2009

Soft fruit breeder Ralph Scorza and colleagues developed this pitless plum.

Continuing budget constraints at U.S. universities will result in fewer scientists and less research for growers to draw upon, predicts Larry Gut, entomologist at Michigan State University.

“People are being laid off and let go,” Gut said. “I’m afraid it [...]

  • Growers foresee change

Growers foresee change

  • December 1st, 2009

There are too many new apple varieties, says Polish orchardist Krzysztof Hermanowicz.

New market niches, more emphasis on eating quality, technological advances in the orchard, more regional focus on food, and closer relationships with retailers are changes that a handful of tree fruit growers across the globe envision in the [...]

  • Wind of change

Wind of change

  • December 1st, 2009

“Change is in the wind,” an article in the Good Fruit Grower declared in 1987, which was a year of milestones for the Washington tree fruit industry.

The industry harvested record apple and pear crops that year. The apple crop came in at 68 million boxes of apples, a leap [...]

  • 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 [...]

Field sorting culls

  • December 1st, 2009

One area of research that John Verbrugge thinks has been overlooked is field sorting of culls.

Verbrugge, new president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, said the industry has made great strides in developing a mechanical harvester that uses robotics, although when it is commercially ready, the harvester will require [...]