New approaches to frost control

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

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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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Good to Know – Barritt, Evans

  • November 1st, 2009

Since 1994, Washington State University has strived to develop new apple cultivars with outstanding eating quality as quickly as possible. After 15 years, the WSU apple breeding program is releasing its first apple cultivar. The apple, currently known as WA 2, has outstanding eating quality, appearance, and productivity, and, [...]

  • Next big thing testing Mairac

Next big thing testing Mairac

  • November 1st, 2009

The new variety Mairac in being grown in a test plot in the Wenatchee, Washington, area.

Two partners in the European commercialization company VariCom, Michael Weber and Bruno Essner, traveled to the United States in late September to appraise their varieties in test plots.

VariCom has applied for plant variety rights [...]

  • On the fast track

On the fast track

  • November 1st, 2009

Michael Weber picks some samples of Mairac in a Washington State test planting.

With apple variety breeders putting a strong emphasis on accelerating the breeding process, it only makes sense to commercialize the resulting varieties as quickly as possible.

That’s the opinion of Michael Weber, managing director of a Swiss company [...]

  • Novel approach

Novel approach

  • November 1st, 2009

Pete Van Well (left) and Alessio Martinelli of CIV, Italy, admire the color of Rubens apples in Wenatchee, Washington, just before harvest.

Rubens, a new apple variety from Italy, will be commercialized in North America in a novel way that is designed to reduce the risk for producers and to [...]

MSU leads RosBREED project

  • November 1st, 2009

Michigan State University researchers will lead a four-year, $14.4-million grant-funded research project aimed at improving fruit quality, collaborating with nearly a dozen U.S. ­institutions and six international partners.

Dr. Amy Iezzoni, MSU cherry breeder, heads the RosBREED project, aiming to combine emerging DNA sequence and research findings to improve the [...]