New approaches to frost control

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

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  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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) [...]