On tour to see sweet cherries

  • August 1st, 2010

Michigan State University horticulturist Dr. Greg Lang visited Stefano Musacchi in Italy in 2008, and subsequently invited him to speak at the International Fruit Tree Association annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in March. Musacchi joined the IFTA tour of Lang’s work with fruiting walls of sweet cherries growing [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Mulches can conserve water

Mulches can conserve water

  • June 1st, 2010

Research in the Pacific Northwest suggests that mulch placed in the tree row can cut a young apple tree’s water needs by more than 50 ­percent.

Dr. Eugene Hogue, a retired researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in British Columbia, Canada, conducted experiments using a paper slurry mulch that hardens [...]

  • Bringing the desert back

Bringing the desert back

  • June 1st, 2010

Small plastic cage sleeves were used to protect the native seedlings from herbivores like rabbits.

Eastern Washington vineyards, with their scant rainfall and location in a high desert, are harsh environments for cover crops. It’s a challenge to get cover crops established and keep them alive when most vineyards use [...]

Quarantine alternative

  • June 1st, 2010

Dr. Wee Yee, entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Yakima, Washington, is conducting research to assess the likelihood of cherry fruit fly becoming established in certain overseas markets that are concerned about potential infestations of the pest, such as Indonesia and Thailand. Dr. Lisa Neven is cooperating [...]

Keeping cherry growing profitable

  • May 15th, 2010

A “dream team” of cherry researchers from across the nation is working on a project designed to help assure the profitability of the fresh sweet cherry industry in the future.

The project, entitled “A Total Systems Approach to Developing a Sustainable Stem-free Sweet Cherry Production, Processing and Marketing System,” was [...]

  • Clonal research takes years and money

Clonal research takes years and money

  • May 15th, 2010

UC staff member Jorge Osorio Aguilar weighs grapes from a Syrah clonal selection under test for San Joaquin Valley conditions.

To a grower, the right wine grape clone can improve yield, advance or delay ripening, and reduce susceptibility to rots. For a winemaker, the right clone can add complexity to [...]