Pear industry ripe for change

  • September 1st, 2013

When Dr. Amit Dhingra joined Washington State University seven years ago as a plant genomicist, one thing immediately struck him about the tree fruit industry.

Apples were a 2-billion-dollar high-tech industry, and the cherry industry was also advancing quickly, propelled by new varieties and ­rootstocks.

“These industries are on the move,” [...]

  • Top Five pear research needs

Top Five pear research needs

  • September 1st, 2013

Although most pears are grown in traditional orchards, the same way they’ve been grown for many decades, there’s not a great momentum for change. Ray Schmitten, a pear grower in Cashmere, Washington, says that innovation in the orchard is less critical than finding ways to ensure that consumers have [...]

  • Consumer pull

Consumer pull

  • August 1st, 2013

Proprietary Variety Management, a new company helping to commercialize  two new red-fleshed apple varieties developed by Bill Howell of Prosser, Washington, is using a different strategy from how varieties have been introduced in the past.

The company’s general manager John Reeves said the value chain starts with the breeder, goes [...]

  • Hot tips for Honeycrisp

Hot tips for Honeycrisp

  • August 1st, 2013

Growers visited the Honeycrisp orchard of Mike Robinson (right) in June and will have the opportunity to return near harvest to see the impacts of various growing practices.
Geraldine Warner

When Washington State growers began planting Honeycrisp in the late 1990s, the wisdom was that the variety would present an [...]

Good Stuff

  • August 1st, 2013

Closer receives registration
Dow AgroSciences has received federal registration of its sulfoxaflor insecticide, sold under the brand name Closer, which is designed to control sap-feeding insects, such as aphids, in tree fruits and other crops. It is the only insecticide available for specialty crops that is classified in Group [...]

  • The path to commercialization

The path to commercialization

  • July 1st, 2013

For seven years now, Rutgers University of New Jersey and Adams County Nursery in Aspers, Pennsylvania, have been working under a “formal relationship” in which the nursery brings new fruit selections developed by the university into commercial channels.

Not much was said about it until this year, when Rutgers’ extension [...]

  • Peaches from Arkansas

Peaches from Arkansas

  • June 1st, 2013

Arkansas plant breeder John Clark.
Photos courtesy of John Clark, University of Arkansas

New nectarine varieties and a peach variety developed by fruit breeder Dr. John Clark at the University of Arkansas are high chill and should be adapted not only for Arkansas growers but for more northerly production areas [...]

Promising WSU cherry selections

  • June 1st, 2013

One selection showing promise in Washington State University’s cherry breeding program is an early variety that has better fruit quality characteristics than the current Chelan variety. It could be commercially available as early as 2016.

More than 25 advanced selections are in Phase 2 of the Washington State University’s cherry [...]

  • Smart cherry breeding

Smart cherry breeding

  • June 1st, 2013

Breeder Nnadozie Oraguzie stands in a Phase 1 block planted in 2011 and 2012. He’ll begin collecting fruiting data when the trees are three to four years old.
MELISSA HANSEN

Breeding new varieties of fruit is all about numbers—it takes thousands of crosses to find one worthy of commercialization. Researchers [...]

Summerland’s focus switches

  • June 1st, 2013

Summerland cherry breeder Dr. Cheryl Hampson’s objective is to develop cherries that are large, firm, and sweet, have good stems, and are productive.

For the past 50 years, the focus of the program has been on developing self-fertile varieties. Hampson still prefers new varieties to be self-fertile, but if a [...]

  • Stellar lineage

Stellar lineage

  • June 1st, 2013

The Pacific Northwest cherry industry is seeing the effects of a shift to self-fertile varieties in the form of higher and more consistent yields.
courtesy of PARC

The Pacific Northwest cherry industry is seeing the effects of a shift to self-fertile varieties in the form of higher and more consistent [...]

WSU program focused on self-fertility

  • June 1st, 2013

Stone fruit breeding began at Washington State University in 1949 with the arrival of Dr. Harold Fogle, who had just finished his doctorate at the University of Minnesota.

In 1952, by crossing the two red cherries Bing and Van, he developed the blushed Rainier cherry. The variety—WSU’s first—was released in [...]