• Mechanical thinner ready

Mechanical thinner ready

  • March 15th, 2011

Darwin used on perpendicular vee peach orchard in California (Family Tree Farms).

Researchers who studied the Darwin string thinner found it does a good job on peaches, saving growers time and labor and generating high-quality, valuable fruit. So, the next step for peach growers is to adopt the machine and [...]

  • Italians study light & shading

Italians study light & shading

  • March 15th, 2011

Dr. Luca Corelli is studying a rainbow of hail net colors to see if fruit growth and development can be influenced.
Photo courtesy of University of Bologna

The worldwide transformation of tree fruit orchards from low to high densities and from wide to narrow canopies marked a major revolution in [...]

  • Good Stuff

Good Stuff

  • March 1st, 2011

The Digi-Test is a new instrument for assessing the internal quality of apples. It probes deeper into the fruit than the standard Magness-Taylor firmness tester.

Labor-saving taste tester
The measure of crispness correlates with perceived eating quality.

Washington State University’s apple breeding program is using a new instrument to judge the [...]

  • Play to win

Play to win

  • March 1st, 2011

Oregon State University agricultural economist Clark Seavert, pictured in a high-density pear trial block at Hood River, Oregon, says most growers are playing not to lose, rather than playing to win.
PHOTO BY GERALDINE WARNER

The three key aspects for successful orchard renewal are still price, yield, and cost, but [...]

  • Will the new pest go after grapes?

Will the new pest go after grapes?

  • March 1st, 2011

Grape growers learn to identify spotted wing drosophila at a Washington State Grape Society meeting.
Photo by Melissa Hansen

Preliminary tests conducted last fall indicate that Washington State grapes might not be attractive to the spotted wing drosophila, an invasive new pest that has popped up across much of U.S. [...]

  • Researchers tackle apple weevil

Researchers tackle apple weevil

  • March 1st, 2011

Small and black, the apple flea weevil looks a bit like its larger snout beetle relative, the plum curculio.
Photo by matt grieshop, michigan state university

A coalition of partners in four Midwestern states has applied for grant funding to respond to three new insect threats—spotted wing drosophila, brown marmorated [...]

  • Rainfastness of pesticides varies

Rainfastness of pesticides varies

  • March 1st, 2011

John Wise carries out his rainfastness work on grapes and apples at Michigan State University’s Trevor Nichols Research Complex, where he is coordinator of research.

Folklore says that after a heavy rainfall, you might as well get your sprayer out and reapply your insecticides. For those old twentieth century ­wettable [...]

Rootstock effects on wine are minor

  • February 1st, 2011

Despite the discovery near Kennewick in 1894 of the destructive grapevine root pest phylloxera, the vast majority of Washington State’s vineyards continue to be planted to wine and juice grapes grown on their own roots. While juice grapes are relatively tolerant of the insect, European wine grapes can succumb [...]

Rootstocks, varieties, and tree training

  • February 1st, 2011

A research and demonstration orchard near Ferrara, Italy, is a horticulturist’s dream—a 25-acre plot to study rootstocks, varieties, and training systems for pears, apples, and cherries that’s funded by a private foundation without worry of budget cutbacks. And, how about a $3.5-million donation just for pears for the next [...]

  • New varieties are slow to be planted

New varieties are slow to be planted

  • February 1st, 2011

Laimburg Research Center’s Daniele Bona, left, shows the differences between high and low elevation in their variety trials.

Golden Delicious is the major variety grown in the South Tyrol, but a slow shift to newer varieties and improved clones of traditional ones is taking hold. In the last four years, [...]

Resistance is still a goal

  • January 15th, 2011

Published January 15, 2011
Mildew resistance continues to be a focus of Washington State University’s cherry breeding program. Breeder Dr. Nnadozie Oraguzie has identified another new powdery mildew-resistant selection from a cross made in 1998.

WSU scientists are seeking new sources of disease resistance and working to identify genes and [...]

Advocate for breeding program

  • January 1st, 2011

John Carter is known for his relentless dedication to goals.

Oregon grower John Carter has been involved in cherry industry trade groups and activities. But the one thing that stands out when talking to people about Carter is his passion for research, and, in particular, a Pacific ­Northwest cherry breeding [...]