In the Box

  • October 1st, 2010

Dear Good Fruit Grower:
Can sweet cherries be grown in USDA climate zone 4—successfully?

I live 20 miles north of Minneapolis in Minnesota. In the spring of 2008, I put in a test plot of sweet cherries. I planted 170 bare root trees in a Spanish Bush setting of six [...]

Keeping the customer satisfied

  • October 1st, 2010

Over the past ten years I have initiated a number of research trials that, when taken together, tell an important story about the link between apple quality and profitability. I often quote my mantra that “we are in the food business” along with McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and even the slow [...]

  • Low-volume prestorage drenching is attractive

Low-volume prestorage drenching is attractive

  • October 1st, 2010

Dave Rosenberger described how he tested the effectiveness of low-volume nonrecycling drenches for fruit going into storage. His audience included New York fruit growers and International Fruit Tree Association members on tour during the fruit field day at Cornell Agricultural Research Station at Geneva, New York.

The practice of drenching [...]

Ripe cherries are less likely to pit

  • October 1st, 2010

It’s generally believed that riper cherries are more susceptible to pitting than less mature cherries, but Dr. Peter Toivonen, postharvest physiologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in British Columbia, said results of his research show it’s exactly the opposite. There are fewer pitting problems with darker cherries.

“For a lot [...]

  • Is drosophila a Washington State resident?

Is drosophila a Washington State resident?

  • October 1st, 2010

Entomologists in the Pacific Northwest intend to find out how well the spotted wing drosophila can survive the region’s cold winters.

The pest, a native of Asia, was first seen in ­California in 2008. It was found in Oregon and British Columbia in 2009, and turned up in eastern ­Washington [...]

  • Reflective fabric = more pears

Reflective fabric = more pears

  • September 1st, 2010

Researchers are finding that a reflective mulch in the rows of a mature pear orchard can significantly increase yields by directing more light into the lower canopy.

We are investigating application of Extenday reflective fabric to alleyways of fully mature d’Anjou pear canopies to determine whether or not fabric treatments [...]

  • High density apple systems cost more

High density apple systems cost more

  • August 1st, 2010

The Michigan study compared three systems—from left, central leader, vertical axe, and tall spindle.

It costs a lot of money to put in a new apple orchard in Michigan, and it takes 9 to 12 years to recover all the expenses incurred up until then. High density systems cost more [...]

Nutrient needs by apple trees

  • August 1st, 2010

Getting the right nutrient levels in the orchard starts with answering the basic questions: How much of each element does a tree need, and when does it need it?

For Lailiang Cheng at Cornell University, answering the question was a matter of exerting total control and then measuring.

In a series [...]

  • Storing Honeycrisp

Storing Honeycrisp

  • August 1st, 2010

A new CA control system supplied by Storage Control Systems, Sparta, Michigan, was installed at Michigan State University in 2008. Employee Dan Boozer is pictured. The new lab contains individual cabinets in which small lots of fruit can be held under tightly controlled conditions.

As more and more Honeycrisp apples [...]

  • Target fruit

Target fruit

  • August 1st, 2010

The optimized orchard system generates high production and high-value target fruit. The trees have little structural wood and are supported by an eight-wire trellis.

“If left alone, an apple tree will not develop a canopy that maximizes both light absorption and light distribution.  That is your job and your challenge [...]

Answers to food safety questions

  • August 1st, 2010

The Center for Produce Safety held its first produce research symposium in June to review projects it has sponsored.

Chris Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council and a member of the CPS’s advisory board, said the research is designed to answer real-world questions that will help the produce industry [...]

  • Water stress impacts cherries

Water stress impacts cherries

  • August 1st, 2010

Denise Neilsen explains how an atmometer is used in a cherry irrigation experiment at the Summerland research center in British Columbia.

The timing of irrigation can impact the growth of a cherry tree and the quality of the fruit, research in British Columbia, Canada ­suggests.

Drs. Gerry and Denise Neilsen, scientists [...]