Don Mercer to be inducted into Wine Hall of Fame

  • April 13th, 2015

Horse Heaven Hills pioneer Don Mercer will be inducted in the Legend of Washington Hall of Fame in August by the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center.

Don, working with his father, Milt, and brothers Bud and Rick, planted the first vinifera grapes on Horse Heaven Hills in 1972 at [...]

Another record harvest for wine grapes

  • April 13th, 2015

Washington State’s 2014 wine grape harvest was the largest on record and posted the third consecutive year of growth, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Washington grape growers produced 227,000 tons last year, up 8 percent from the previous year.

“We’re in a period of strong growth,” said Steve Warner, [...]

Washington fruit commission representatives reappointed

  • April 13th, 2015

Mike Wade of Wenatchee has been reappointed as a representative of the Washington State Fruit Commission on the board of the Northwest Horticultural Council for a one-year period beginning July 1.

The Fruit Commission also reappointed Rob Lynch of Yakima to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission for a three-year [...]

Apple specialist retires

  • April 13th, 2015

Leslie Huffman, apple specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, retired March 1.

She joined OMAFRA in 1981 and worked in fruit and vegetable extension and as the weed management specialist for horticultural crops. Since 2008 she has been the province’s apple specialist. She was a [...]

Judge blisters EEOC for “frivolous” case against growers

  • March 20th, 2015

A federal judge has issued a blistering critique of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the agency had brought a lawsuit against growers that was “baseless, unreasonable and frivolous.”

The decision on March 18 by U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea ordered the EEOC to pay attorneys’ fees, expenses and [...]

  • Washington governor declares drought in three regions

Washington governor declares drought in three regions

  • March 19th, 2015

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a drought emergency for three areas of the state, setting in motion money, temporary permitting and other relief for those affected by water conditions.

According to the Associated Press, the March 13 declaration was prompted by near record-low mountain snowpack, which supplies much of [...]

  • Richard Lehnert of Good Fruit Grower earns MSU distinguished service award

Richard Lehnert of Good Fruit Grower earns MSU distinguished service award

  • March 11th, 2015

Richard Lehnert, who writes about tree fruit production as associate editor of Good Fruit Grower magazine, was selected to receive the Distinguished Service Award from Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The award was presented March 10, during a luncheon at MSU.

Lehnert was cited for his nearly [...]

Crab apple pruning demos

  • March 2nd, 2015

Two pruning demonstrations have been scheduled this month to help orchardists understand how to prune Manchurian crab apple trees in order to be eligible to export apples to China.

The Chinese apple market, closed between 2012 and 2014 due to fruit infection caused by two postharvest rots, recently reopened. The [...]

WSU will add to tree fruit faculty

  • February 27th, 2015

Washington Stat

e University plans to hire several new faculty over the next couple of years to work specifically on issues important to the tree fruit industry.

The university is interviewing three candidates to fill the position of Extension Specialist Tim Smith, who officially retired last August but continues to work [...]

  • WAWGG honors grape industry members

WAWGG honors grape industry members

  • February 17th, 2015

Several long-time industry members were honored for their decades of growing, industry involvement, and advancement of Washington State’s wine grape industry during the annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.

Kevin Corliss, who’s spent his career working to improve, expand, and enhance the Washington wine grape industry, [...]

  • Corr: Was USDA’s GMO decision a black cat crossing America’s orchards?

Corr: Was USDA’s GMO decision a black cat crossing America’s orchards?

  • February 17th, 2015

To hear some critics tell it, the government’s decision Friday the 13th to deregulate a GMO apple was bad luck for growers and consumers. You could almost see the black cat crossing America’s orchards.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would deregulate two apple varieties genetically engineered to resist [...]

  • Stark Bro’s testing new apple Scarlet Star

Stark Bro’s testing new apple Scarlet Star

  • February 13th, 2015

Stark Bro’s Nurseries and Orchards Company is testing a new apple, named Scarlet Star, that was discovered as a whole-tree mutation in an orchard in Howard City, Michigan.

It was found about six years ago by Wayne Watts, who owns the orchard and farm market where it was discovered. He’s [...]