• 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Pollination role of native bees studied

  • March 15th, 2011

The price tag for renting honeybees for apple pollination, just $35 per hive a few years ago, now tops $100 in some regions. At one to two hives per acre, that’s a serious input cost for the nation’s apple growers. Not surprisingly, some orchardists are looking to native bees [...]

  • Watch out for the good guys

Watch out for the good guys

  • March 15th, 2011

Researchers have been testing different types and colors of traps for monitoring beneficial insects. This white sticky trap, placed next to an insect attractant, caught many lacewings.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

New monitoring tools are providing a window into the biological control taking place in orchards, and it looks like [...]

  • Optimizing cherry harvest timing

Optimizing cherry harvest timing

  • March 15th, 2011

Horticulturist Todd Einhorn says leaving cherries on the tree longer can result in higher sugar content, but this must be balanced against adverse effects

An Oregon State University horticulturist is doing research to help cherry growers optimize harvest timing and is looking at the feasibility of using skin color to [...]

  • 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

The three key aspects for successful orchard renewal are still price, yield, and cost, but the winning strategy is to focus on increasing revenue, rather than minimizing costs, says Oregon State University agricultural economist Clark Seavert.

Innovation is one way growers can remain competitive, Seavert said during the Washington State [...]

  • 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 [...]