• Beauty with benefits

Beauty with benefits

  • May 1st, 2011

David James

Restoring native sagebrush steppe habitat in and near vineyards and wineries in central Washington could attract more than just beneficial insects to the vineyard. By serving as a home for butterflies, the vineyards and wineries could also attract consumers interested in sustainability, low-input farming, and experiencing nature’s beauty [...]

  • Measuring the organic footprint

Measuring the organic footprint

  • May 1st, 2011

Tilling the soil releases carbon into the atmosphere, but does the compost that organic growers apply compensate for that?

Emissions of nitrous oxide from on-farm fertilizer applications are thought to be a significant contributor to the rising levels
of greenhouse gases in the ­atmosphere.

Although the amount of nitrous oxide emitted [...]

  • Cutting costs of IPM

Cutting costs of IPM

  • May 1st, 2011

Vince Jones at Washington State University is testing the new Z-Trap, which zaps insects and records when they were trapped. It might be possible to remotely identify the type of insect, also.

The key to integrated pest management is monitoring—knowing what is going on in your orchard.

“Monitoring is very, very [...]

  • How big is the orchard footprint?

How big is the orchard footprint?

  • May 1st, 2011

The galvanized wire used for trellises might contribute significantly to the environmental footprint of an orchard because of the large amount of energy used in its manufacture.

Washington State University researchers are assessing the environmental impact of the typical Washington apple orchard.

Dr. Usama Zaher, biological systems engineer, is developing a [...]

Who’s eating codling moth?

  • April 15th, 2011

This article is part of a series on the multistate project “Enhancing Biological Control in Western Orchards.”

How big a role can predators play in controlling codling moth in fruit orchards? That’s a question that Dr. Thomas Unruh, geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Yakima, Washington, wants to [...]

  • Wide scope for rootstock research

Wide scope for rootstock research

  • April 15th, 2011

International Fruit Tree Association members tour a research plot at Wapato, Washington, where a wide range of apple rootstocks are being compared.

Rootstock development is a huge area of research that goes beyond studying the survival, size, and yield efficiency of rootstocks, says Dr. Terence Robinson, horticulturist at Cornell University, [...]

Growers vote on special assessment

  • April 15th, 2011

Washington State tree fruit growers will be asked to pay a special research assessment to strengthen research and extension programs at Washington State University.

The university has launched a major fundraising campaign with a goal of raising a billion dollars overall to fund priority programs. Of the total, $42 million [...]

Root2Fruit group will request research funding

  • April 15th, 2011

A group of scientists from around the country aims to develop new tree fruit rootstocks for the tree fruit industry with the goal of increasing orchard profitability. The group, which calls itself Root2Fruit, plans to submit a proposal in 2012 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for funding through [...]

  • Irrigating apples in the Northeast

Irrigating apples in the Northeast

  • April 1st, 2011

Sap flow gauges were used to measure the flow of water through the trunk of a tree.

Researchers working in the experimental apple orchards at Cornell University, New York, are developing an irrigation scheduling model to help apple growers in the Northeast know how much water their trees use.

To apple [...]

ARM studied in cherries

  • April 1st, 2011

In the cherry orchards of northwest Michigan around Traverse City, growers use a mixture of methods to control their archenemies: cherry fruit fly, plum curculio, and cherry leaf spot.

Some growers use airblast sprayers while others use air-curtain sprayers. Some run their sprayers down the middle of every tree row [...]

  • Understanding cherry fruit set

Understanding cherry fruit set

  • March 15th, 2011

Researchers, with the help of electron scanning microscopes, can view cherry reproductive organs, like this stigma of a Sweetheart cherry.
Photo courtesy of Matt Whiting, WSU

Pollination and fruit set in sweet cherries play such big roles in yield and fruit quality, yet both are unpredictable and vary dramatically from [...]