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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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, [...]

  • WSU releases its first apple variety

WSU releases its first apple variety

  • October 1st, 2009

Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard.
Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, which plans to make it available to any Washington State [...]

  • High density is tricky in pears

High density is tricky in pears

  • September 1st, 2009

OSU horticulturist Dr. Todd Einhorn is experimenting to find out the best angle to train branches of d’Anjou pear trees to discourage suckering and promote early fruiting.

Agricultural economist Clark Seavert devised the Competitive Orchard System several years ago to help pear growers lower costs and improve returns.

Seavert, former superintendent [...]

  • Let there be light

Let there be light

  • September 1st, 2009

Ideally, the long-term future will bring a dwarfing rootstock to enable pear growers to switch to more efficient production systems, but a more immediate need is to enhance production on the large trees they already have in the ground.
Dr. Todd Einhorn, horticulturist with Oregon State University in Hood [...]

  • Promoting fruit size in Bartlett pear

Promoting fruit size in Bartlett pear

  • September 1st, 2009

A research report from Dr. David Sugar, Oregon State University, Medford
Bartlett pear growers practice a variety of techniques to increase the size of the fruit on their trees, in order to take advantage of the greater value returned for large fruit. Hard pruning, detailed hand thinning, and precise [...]

  • WANTED: dwarfing pear rootstock

WANTED: dwarfing pear rootstock

  • September 1st, 2009

Since the pear industry still lacks a dwarfing rootstock, Dr. Todd Einhorn is experimenting with ways to improve light penetration in standard pear trees.

A dwarfing pear rootstock—equivalent to a Malling 9 rootstock for apples or Gisela rootstock for cherries—is needed so that pear growers can improve production efficiency and [...]

Good Stuff

  • August 1st, 2009

Tunnel tour
Haygrove Tunnels is organizing a tour to the United Kingdom to give U.S. growers an opportunity to see tunnels used on British farms. The tour, which is scheduled for September 27-30, will highlight cost-effective production methods, tunnel innovations, and research results.

The cost is $599 for double occupancy. [...]