• Picker and sorter

Picker and sorter

  • November 1st, 2011

Miguel Geronimo found himself testing the new harvester during his first season as an apple picker. He previously worked in restaurants but was enjoying orchard work.

A new mobile harvesting system from Picker Technologies has the potential not just to speed up apple picking, but to enhance the value of [...]

  • Multipurpose orchard cover

Multipurpose orchard cover

  • August 1st, 2011

Oregon State University Extension educator Lynn Long (right) asks partners Steve Agidius (left) and John Morton about the benefits of the Voen rain cover, which is installed over an acre of Agidius’s Rainier cherries in The Dalles, Oregon. The cover’s flaps open and close in the breeze.

Steve Agidius, a [...]

Building a better fly trap

  • August 1st, 2011

The spotted wing drosophila is easy to catch using cheap and readily available baits.

Apple cider vinegar is being recommended for homemade traps in the Pacific Northwest. A cheap red wine can be used, also.

But what is it about wine or vinegar that the flies find so attractive?

This is a [...]

  • Good Stuff

Good Stuff

  • June 1st, 2011

New spraying book
Dr. Andrew Landers’ new book Effective Vineyard Spraying is now available for purchase from Cornell University. Landers, who directs the application technology program at Cornell, has conducted sprayer workshops for growers from coast to coast. His practical guidebook is filled with suggestions to help growers save [...]

Predicting grapevine cold hardiness

  • June 1st, 2011

Being able to predict the cold hardiness of grapes could help growers know how to respond when severe freezes occur.

Researchers at Washington State University are developing a computer model for predicting grapevine cold hardiness that could be in place next winter. The model, currently being integrated with WSU’s AgWeatherNet, [...]

  • DriftWatch shows sensitive crops

DriftWatch shows sensitive crops

  • May 15th, 2011

These pushpin-like balloons identify sites that are sensitive to ill effects from spray drift. Growers register the sites so neighbors and custom pesticide applicators can exercise special care when spraying.

Midwestern farmers are finding a new way to ease some of the tensions caused by conflicting interests between field crop [...]

  • Effective, economical weed control

Effective, economical weed control

  • May 1st, 2011

The Wonder Weeder and similar tools deliver orchard weed control at less cost than chemical controls.

The Holy Grail that organic apple growers are looking for is an organically acceptable herbicide that acts like glyphosate or paraquat, but isn’t. Most chemicals that will do that, like vinegar, are expensive because [...]

Prepare for future technology

  • May 1st, 2011

Orchard structure will be a critical factor in the success of the tree fruit industry of the future because orchards will need to be compatible with emerging technologies, says Oregon State University agricultural economist Clark Seavert.

For this reason, orchard renewal should be a key part of a grower’s business [...]

  • Using soil moisture sensors

Using soil moisture sensors

  • April 1st, 2011

Troy Peters, left, explains the functions of a neutron probe to Washington State University students Prossie Nakawuka, middle, and Romulus Okwany.

Good irrigation water management will increase yields, improve crop quality, conserve water, save energy, decrease fertilizer requirements, and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Using soil moisture measurements is one of [...]

  • Evolution of the Darwin

Evolution of the Darwin

  • March 15th, 2011

While the researchers have pronounced the Darwin string thinner “good to go,” it’s not considered perfect—not by the Canadian company that’s selling it, nor by Pennsylvania State University agricultural engineer Dr. Paul Heinemann. They’re still tweaking it.

“We would like to automate the positioning of the rotating spindle so the [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]