How many is too many?

  • December 1st, 2009

When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth slot to feature seasonal varieties, like Honeycrisp in the early autumn months and other [...]

  • Market limitations

Market limitations

  • December 1st, 2009

How new varieties will coexist with those that have already carved out shelf space is the million-dollar question.

The biggest change from a marketer’s standpoint in the next decade will be the influence of the club varieties on the marketplace, says Bob Mast, marketing director at CMI (Columbia ­Marketing International) [...]

Identity crisis

  • December 1st, 2009

The flood of new apple varieties will continue until the consumer is so confused about the Washington apple identity that they might turn to something else that they can identify, predicts Dr. Don Heinicke, a grower at Orondo in north central Washington. Heinicke was asked to revisit the 1987 [...]

  • Wind of change

Wind of change

  • December 1st, 2009

“Change is in the wind,” an article in the Good Fruit Grower declared in 1987, which was a year of milestones for the Washington tree fruit industry.

The industry harvested record apple and pear crops that year. The apple crop came in at 68 million boxes of apples, a leap [...]

Good to Know – Barritt, Evans

  • November 1st, 2009

Since 1994, Washington State University has strived to develop new apple cultivars with outstanding eating quality as quickly as possible. After 15 years, the WSU apple breeding program is releasing its first apple cultivar. The apple, currently known as WA 2, has outstanding eating quality, appearance, and productivity, and, [...]

  • Next big thing testing Mairac

Next big thing testing Mairac

  • November 1st, 2009

The new variety Mairac in being grown in a test plot in the Wenatchee, Washington, area.

Two partners in the European commercialization company VariCom, Michael Weber and Bruno Essner, traveled to the United States in late September to appraise their varieties in test plots.

VariCom has applied for plant variety rights [...]

  • On the fast track

On the fast track

  • November 1st, 2009

Michael Weber picks some samples of Mairac in a Washington State test planting.

With apple variety breeders putting a strong emphasis on accelerating the breeding process, it only makes sense to commercialize the resulting varieties as quickly as possible.

That’s the opinion of Michael Weber, managing director of a Swiss company [...]

  • Novel approach

Novel approach

  • November 1st, 2009

Pete Van Well (left) and Alessio Martinelli of CIV, Italy, admire the color of Rubens apples in Wenatchee, Washington, just before harvest.

Rubens, a new apple variety from Italy, will be commercialized in North America in a novel way that is designed to reduce the risk for producers and to [...]

  • WSU releases its first apple variety

WSU releases its first apple variety

  • October 1st, 2009

Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard.
Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, which plans to make it available to any Washington State [...]

  • Promoting fruit size in Bartlett pear

Promoting fruit size in Bartlett pear

  • September 1st, 2009

A research report from Dr. David Sugar, Oregon State University, Medford
Bartlett pear growers practice a variety of techniques to increase the size of the fruit on their trees, in order to take advantage of the greater value returned for large fruit. Hard pruning, detailed hand thinning, and precise [...]

Good Point – Larry Lutz

  • August 1st, 2009

So, this is where it all began—the North American apple industry, that is.

Apples have been grown in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley since the French explorer Samuel de Champlain first settled at what is now Annapolis Royal in 1605. This was the first permanent European settlement in North America north [...]

  • Regina, the shy bearer

Regina, the shy bearer

  • August 1st, 2009

Manuel Ybarra of Quincy, Washington, and other Pacific Northwest growers learn about how to maximize Regina cherry production at the Omeg Orchard in The Dalles, Oregon.

The German cherry variety Regina has numerous good attributes but tends to crop lightly. However, it’s possible to overcome that, Lynn Long, Oregon State [...]