Problems with pear ripening

  • August 1st, 2011

The ripening inhibitor SmartFresh (MCP) holds promise for maintaining pear quality over a longer period of time and reducing disorders such as scald, but the pear industry reports that some treated pears won’t ripen.

Dr. Eugene Kupferman, retired Washington State University postharvest specialist, said Bartlett pears, which are harvested in [...]

Special assessment would fund research

  • August 1st, 2011

A referendum will be held soon to find out if growers are willing to pay a special assessment to enhance tree fruit research at Washington State University.

The university has launched a major fundraising campaign to help strengthen priority programs and hopes to raise $42 million for tree fruit research.

The [...]

MCP substitute studied

  • August 1st, 2011

Scientists at Washington State University have filed a patent application for a product that could be applied ­preharvest to pears to extend their storability as an alternative to a postharvest MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) application.

Dr. Amit Dhingra, a molecular biologist based in Pullman, said pears that have been treated with the [...]

Tree fruit research is WSU priority

  • August 1st, 2011

The top tree fruit industry in the nation requires and deserves one of the nation’s elite research and education programs. When I arrived at Washington State University six years ago, I indicated that tree fruit programs would receive a disproportionate share of investment, and that is exactly what has [...]

  • WSU apple breeding program’s fruit evaluation system

WSU apple breeding program’s fruit evaluation system

  • July 1st, 2011

Members of the breeding program’s Industry Advisory Council visit a Phase 3 evaluation site at Quincy in 2010. They are: (from left) Dave Gleason, Kershaw Companies; Harold Schell, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission member and field services manager at Chelan Fruit Cooperative; Jeff LaPorte, Chelan Fruit; and Tim Welsh, [...]

  • Clemson peach team

Clemson peach team

  • July 1st, 2011

More peaches—about 17,000 acres— are grown in South Carolina than any other state east of California, and Clemson University, the ­land-grant university of South Carolina, provides a robust staff of academic professionals who serve the ­growers.

Dr. Ksenija Gasic, the peach breeder on the team, holds the newest position. There [...]

  • Eastern U.S. wine industry gets lift

Eastern U.S. wine industry gets lift

  • July 1st, 2011

Tony Wolf, center, is director of the Alson H. Smith, Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center, a 124-acre site in Winchester, Virginia, devoted to research plantings.

More Americans are drinking more wine every year. As with many fruit crops, there are more consumers in the East and more producers in [...]

  • The end of earmarks?

The end of earmarks?

  • July 1st, 2011

Earmarks are often considered equivalent to pork barrel legislation, but the two are not necessarily the same.

Over the years, agriculture—including the fruit industry—has benefited from funding gained by commodity organizations appealing to their senator or representative in Congress, who responded by providing them with special funding called an earmark.

Some [...]

  • Pear psylla pheromone discovered

Pear psylla pheromone discovered

  • June 1st, 2011

The newly discovered pear psylla pheromone is being tested in the field to find out how attractive it is to males. This mesh sticky trap has a septa of the chemical in the middle.

Scientists in Washington State have identified the sex pheromone of the pear psylla, [...]

Predicting grapevine cold hardiness

  • June 1st, 2011

Being able to predict the cold hardiness of grapes could help growers know how to respond when severe freezes occur.

Researchers at Washington State University are developing a computer model for predicting grapevine cold hardiness that could be in place next winter. The model, currently being integrated with WSU’s AgWeatherNet, [...]

  • Vineyard water research details

Vineyard water research details

  • May 15th, 2011

The sustainable vineyard water management research project, directed by Dr. James Ayars, involves a team of more than 20 researchers, grower cooperators, extension educators, and industry members representing four western states.

The five-year, $562,000 water management project has six components:

Develop recommendations for sustainable water management in wine, table, raisin, and [...]

IPM in peril

  • May 15th, 2011

For nearly 40 years, integrated pest management  has been the hallmark of progressive thinking in fruit production and agriculture generally. If you used IPM, you were on the cutting edge.

So imagine how surprised New York growers were when state funding for the New York IPM program was slashed in [...]