• 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. [...]

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 [...]

Passion for research

  • January 1st, 2011

Cherries, with their sensitivity to rain at harvest time and market swings, are one of the riskiest and most volatile of tree fruit crops. John Carter may have lacked farming experience—especially with cherries—when he moved his family from southern California to Oregon 35 years ago, but he and wife, [...]

  • Breeders seek input  from supply chain

Breeders seek input from supply chain

  • December 1st, 2010

The apple, cherry, peach, and strawberry breeding activities of RosBREED are located across the United States at university, federal, and private sector locations.

What do genomics and socioeconomics have to do with deciding which fruit cultivar to plant next year?  Until now, not very much, but that is about to [...]

  • How do platforms impact workers?

How do platforms impact workers?

  • December 1st, 2010

Kit Galvin of the University of Washington explains how she is studying the health impacts of platform work. Rolf Luehs (on the platform), research assistant with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, demonstrates how workers wear monitors to measure their body movements and heart rate.

University of Washington scientists are [...]

  • An oddly grand apple

An oddly grand apple

  • December 1st, 2010

That Gala apple sport called Grand Gala apparently deserves its name, and researchers at Purdue University have found out why.

It’s because of a process called endoreduplication—never before found in apples—in which cells in the fruit carry out an unusual cell division, doubling the DNA in the nucleus but not [...]