Registration for the Washington State FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshops is now open. The Washington State Tree Fruit Association will host two workshops in collaboration with the Western Center for Food Safety (WCFS) from UC Davis, the Northwest Horticultural Council and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, on May 9 in Yakima and May 11 in Wenatchee.
Overwhelming majorities in favor of order
Members of the Washington Apple Commission and Columbia Fruit Packers were among a group of apple industry leaders from across the country who met with members of Congress on March 23 in Washington, D.C.
The meetings were part of the U.S. Apple Association’s annual fly-in.
Todd Fryhover and Lindsey Huber of the
Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Yakima, Washington, handler position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.
The position will be filled at the Fresh Pear Election Meeting at 2 p.m. on April 27 at the Washington State Fruit Commission (105 S. 18th Street, Yakima, WA 98901).
WSU researchers hope to breed better bees
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced eligibility for disaster loans related to a frost and freeze in Pennsylvania in April 2016.
Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations located in Pennsylvania. The declaration includes
At a soil health workshop organized by Oregon State University in the Dalles, Oregon, several speakers sang the praises of mulch.
Mulch works to damp down weeds, protect soil moisture, and keep the soil surface cool, but it also provides a long-lasting carbon source that stimulates many key soil organisms, said
A donated piece of equipment will help Michigan State University fruit research stations plant more trees faster.
Gillison’s Variety Fabrication donated the mechanical planter to the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission, which in turn gave it to MSU.
The planter was designed to plant 300 to 500 trees per hour, which reduces labor
Donnell Brown has been named president of the National Grape & Wine Initiative, succeeding Camron King.
Brown will begin her duties on April 3.
Brown has worked in the wine industry since 2009. She has operated a private consulting firm, Between the Vines LLC; served as senior marketing director for Wolffer Estate
The theme of this year’s Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week is “Get Out of My Space!” The week runs from March 5-11.
The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is urging respect for the safety spaces around hazardous farm equipment and tasks.
Grain bins, wagons,
An election for the Fresh Pear Committee handler position for Medford, Oregon, will be held March 28 in Medford, Oregon.
The election for the two-year term will be at 2 p.m. at Naumes, Inc. (2 W. Barnett Street) in Medford.
The position is held by Laura Naumes, with Mike Naumes and Gerald May as first and second alternates, respectively.
Registration is open for Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology, a research-focused seminar designed for grape growers and winemakers.
The research day is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Clore Center in Prosser, Washington. The seminar will be sponsored by the Washington State Wine Commission and Washington
In the Pacific Northwest, the warm spring and summer of 2016 led to the earliest and largest harvest on record, followed be one of the toughest winters in recent years. Washington State University researchers are finding that the lengthy cold-snap has caused more bud damage than expected.
What can we expect for the 2017 harvest,
An irrigation management workshop in Spanish is scheduled for March 29 in Hood River, Oregon.
The event has been organized to educate Spanish speaking agricultural workers on comprehensive irrigation water management for improved fruit production and responsible water use.
The workshop, which is free, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Wenatchee, Washington, district position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.
The position will be filled at the Washington Pear Marketing Association meeting at noon on March 28 at the Washington Apple Commission conference room.
The Apple Commission is located at 2900 Euclid Avenue
Washington state’s wine grape harvest set a record in 2016, according to the Washington State Wine Commission’s Annual Grape Production Report.
The report shows the 2016 harvest totaled 270,000 tons, an 18.9 percent increase over 2014, which was the previous high.
Red varieties accounted for 58 percent of the total harvest, with Cabernet Sauvignon
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation raised more than $145,000 at its Feb. 8 fundraiser event in Kennewick, Washington. The foundations supports the wine industry by advancing research, education, and leadership.
More than 300 people involved in the Washington wine industry attended the event, made possible by support from Northwest Farm Credit Services, Wine Press
The second day of tours for the International Fruit Tree Association’s 60th annual conference in Washington took its theme – “From Bud to Bin” – a step further to look at the industry’s life cycle from nursery to packing house.
At Willow Drive Nursery in Ephrata, co-owner Jim Adams explained how mechanization
The first day of orchard tours at the International Fruit Tree Association’s 60th annual conference in Washington featured a central theme: the future.
Washington is the top producer of apples in the United States, with a diversified mix of more than 30 commercial varieties grown today, on more than 20 apple
Thirteen board members and three officers were elected at the National Grape & Wine Initiative annual meeting last week in Sacramento, California.
The group is made up of grape growers, academic institutions and government agencies to help focus on grape research.
The board members elected to three-year terms are:
Commodity Sector Representative-Wine: Jerry
Jim Moore, a longtime fruit breeder, who was influential in the tree fruit industry died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at age 85, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas.
Moore, who held a doctorate from Rutgers University, established the fruit breeding program at the University of Arkansas in
For the first year ever, Bing was not king.
In 2016, Northwest cherry growers shipped more Sweetheart cherries than any other variety, including the historically dominant Bing, according to a board of directors update from the Washington State Fruit Commission.
The Northwest cherry industry shipped 3.49 million 20-pound box equivalents of Sweethearts,
The Plant Management Network has released a new web presentation called “Fire Blight and Streptomycin Resistance.”
The webcast covers the biological mechanisms of fire blight and its history of growing resistance to streptomycin antibiotics.
The presentation also discusses management techniques such as: overwinter pruning, copper spraying and canker treatments; in-season antibiotic applications,
Bob Bailey of Orchard View Farms in The Dalles, Oregon, was named the 2017 Cherry King at the Cherry Institute in Yakima, Washington in January.
Bailey is the 73rd Cherry King, an honor created to recognize growers and industry leaders for their dedication to the cherry industry.
A 1963 graduate of Oregon
The Washington State Grape and Wine Research Program’s research review has been rescheduled for January 30 and 31 at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington.
The research review features 28 presentations by viticulture and enology researchers. They will share findings and pitch new research proposals to the
A sparsely attended but lively discussion about H-2A guest workers highlighted Wednesday’s proceedings at the Empire State Producers Expo in Syracuse, New York.
One New York apple grower complained during the question and answer portion of a labor session that New York State labor officials force them to hire bad workers
No more theory. No more hypothetical examples.
Four apple growers, as well as a few vegetable farmers, drafted their real-life food safety plans Tuesday with the guidance of industry experts during one of the workshops at the Empire State Producers conference in Syracuse, New York.
The day-long workshop, sponsored by the Produce
About 50 farmers, many of them apple growers, took one of their first official first steps toward complying with the intricate U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act regulation called the Produce Safety Rule at a workshop Monday in Syracuse, New York.
“You have successfully completed 112.22(c),” said Elizabeth Bihn, director of the
After finding apple maggot in the southeastern corner of Lincoln County, the Washington State Department of Agriculture has expanded its quarantine area to include the area.
The quarantine prohibits the movement of homegrown or foraged fruit from the quarantined area into a pest-free area.
WSDA held public meetings as part of the
The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association are seeking public input on a draft framework for responsible labor practices in the fresh produce and floral supply chains.
The boards of the two groups established a joint committee last year to look into the issue amid growing interest in transparency
Okanagan Speciality Fruits continues to raise the profile of its genetically modified Arctic Apples with a new marketing logo and test marketing of its packaging at select stores.
As a genetically modified organism, Arctic Apples are controversial within the fruit industry and more broadly with certain environmental groups. However, Okanagan Speciality Fruits believes
Rob Mercer, owner of Mercer Estates Winery, will be honored with the Rising Star Award from the Pasco, Washington, Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Mercer is a graduate of Washington State University and served in the U.S. Marines before returning to work on the family’s farm in the Horse
Orchards and packing houses aren’t the only places in the fruit industry with a labor shortage. Universities also are struggling to hire researchers and educators needed to keep the industry ahead of pest pressures, prepared for food safety requirements, growing new varieties and in tune with emerging technology.
A World Trade Organization settlement panel on Dec. 22 ruled that Indonesia’s restrictions on horticultural products, animals and animal products are inconsistent with WTO rules.
The dispute, which was filed by the United States and New Zealand, sought to address trade barriers that restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables; such
Pazazz, a new apple variety from Honeybear Brands, was expected to hit stores early.
The apple was expected in grocery stores in the second week of December, with availability through February, according to a news release.
The variety is in its third year of commercial production.
“(It’s) already showing incredible potential for our retail
Dave Trinka and twin brothers Gene and Dean Veliquette, were honored by the Michigan State Horticultural Society with its Distinguished Service Award during the Great Lakes Expo Dec. 7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trinka is the vice president of agri-research and horticultural services for MBG Marketing. He oversees all horticulture and
Pear growers will elect nominees for positions on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order No. 927.
The committee is responsible for the collection of assessments for research and the promotion and advertising of all pears marketed in the domestic and export markets.
The FPC grower position for the Wenatchee, Washington, district
Fred Valentine, a longtime field horticulturist and former president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, died December 4. He was 81.
Valentine was born in Tennessee, and his family moved to Peshastin, Washington, when he was a child.
He worked as a field horticulturist for Blue Star Growers for more than 30
Farm transfer planning and lending were the topics in one Wednesday morning session about “Future Farmers” at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association annual meeting in Wenatchee, Washington.
Farming families must view transition planning as a process, not an event, said several speakers. Start talking to attorneys, accountants and consultants several
Bill Evans, co-founder and president of Evans Fruit Co., died early Tuesday morning. He was 87. His death was confirmed to the Yakima Herald-Republic by his daughter, Vicki Loges.
Founded in 1949, Evans Fruit started with a 10-acre apple orchard on Naches Heights, near Yakima, Washington.
In 1959, the company built its first
I’m pleased to announce that Good Fruit Grower has launched a Spanish language website, www.goodfruit.com/es. There you’ll find translations of articles from past issues, new essays by researchers and others and videos of horticulture experts. All in Spanish.
The Spanish site follows months of discussion and collaboration with growers, researchers and
Good Fruit Grower, the Yakima, Washington-based magazine serving tree fruit and wine grape growers, has launched a Spanish-language website of articles, essays by researchers and videos of best horticulture practices.
“Our new site is one more way we serve the grower community, and Spanish speakers are a vital part of that
The Washington Apple Commission is accepting nominations to replace Barbara Walkenhauer on the board of directors.
Walkenhauer, the current chairwoman, has served nine years on the board and will not seek re-election when her term expires in March 2017, the Apple Commission said in a news release.
Nominations for her Grower Position
Washington Concord juice grape growers expect to harvest about 194,000 tons of fruit in 2016, up from last year’s drought-stunted crop but just below the 10-year average.
That’s according to Trent Ball at his “State of the Grapes” presentation today (Nov. 11) at the Washington State Grape Society annual meeting in
The Orchard Bee Association is meeting Dec. 9 in Hood River, Oregon.
Here’s their announcement:
People who are interested in bees, particularly blue orchard bees, and the challenges they face can learn more at the 2016 International Orchard Bee Association Meeting on December 9, 2016, including the Pollinator Symposium and Expo, held
While a lot of growers have their focus on the various regional horticulture expos and trade shows starting in December, there are quite a few interesting gatherings on the schedule in November.
Here are some highlights in chronological order:
• Agronomics: Vision for the Future runs from Nov. 7-11 in Indian Wells,
Northwest Farm Credit Services, the lending cooperative, reports a positive outlook for tree fruit and wine grape growers in its latest Market Snapshot.
Here’s the report for tree fruit:
Apples – Most apple producers are optimistic for new-crop quality and pricing. After last year’s 114.6 million box crop, the new apple crop
Two prominent Washington State winemakers have died in recent days. The Yakima Herald reports that Mike Wallace owner of Hinzerling Winery and one of Prosser’s original winemakers, died over the weekend after complications from pneumonia. And Scott Pontin, 53, died Monday, reportedly from a heart attack. He was the owner and winemaker
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture received a $6.3 million grant from the Food & Drug Administration to share the administration and enforcement costs for the Food Safety and Modernization Act produce safety rule.
The money will allow the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to triple
Washington state regulators have finalized special permit requirements for composters seeking to transport feed stocks outside the apple maggot quarantine area.
The state Department of Agriculture today (July 8) released its “Guidance for Requesting a Special Permit.”
The state requires the special permit to prevent the apple maggot from hitching a ride
WSU is inviting growers and others to participate in the selection of its Food Safety Specialist.
Here is the announcement:
During the week of June 20th, the School of Food Science is conducting on-site interviews to fill the WSU Food Safety Specialist position with Extension and Research components (formerly
held by Dr. Karen
Growers who might be interested in building a cidery or a packing facility or a processor or a grower-owned co-operative looking to expand or build operations to produce value-added products should look into USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants.
USDA allotted $44 million this year to kick-start efforts to generate new agricultural products,
The Mexican government has terminated an antidumping case filed by growers in the border state of Chihuahua and will not impose antidumping duties on U.S. apples.
The decision reverses a provisional ruling in January under which all but three U.S. exporters would have had to pay duties ranging from 2.44 percent
For the fifth year straight, the assessment charged to growers for the federal marketing order for processed pears will remain at $7 per ton.
The Processed Pear Committee board of directors unanimously agreed to the assessment rate Wednesday at the annual board meeting in Portland, Oregon.
The group also kept its current
Cherry growers throughout the Northwest expect to harvest 207,460 metric tons, or 20.7 million 20-pound equivalent boxes, in 2016, according to the industry’s first estimate of the year.
If the figure holds, the volume would represent a 7 percent increase over the 2015 crop of 19.3 million boxes, according to an
The California Specialty Crops Council will hold its 2016 MRL Harmonization Workshop June 1-2 in San Francisco.
The interactive seminar based on maximum residue levels (MRLs) will address critically important issues for stakeholders with interests in exporting agricultural products. Registrants, growers, packers, shippers, PCAs, regulators, trade experts, and other stakeholders in
The Washington State Department of Agriculture has schedule two events for growers to dispose of unwanted pesticides.
Here’s the announcement:
Currently, the WSDA Waste Pesticide Program has scheduled two unusable/unwanted pesticide collection events this spring. These events are located near Yakima on Tuesday, May 17 and near Pasco on Thursday, May 19.
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is offering over $30,000 in scholarships for undergraduate and post-graduate students studying viticulture, enology or related disciplines. All applications are due March 15 with awards for the 2016-2017 school year awarded by May 15.
New This Year: The Bill Powers Travel Sabbatical
Thanks to the family and associates of
Seneca Foods Corporation said today that it has purchased Diana Fruit Co. Seneca said the purchases represented “a significant commitment to the cherry industry.”
Seneca is a public company based in Marion, New York. Diana Fruit, one of the leading providers of maraschino cherries and fruit cocktail cherries, is based in
Fruit growers need look no further than the beverage aisle at their local convenience store for inspiration.
That’s according to Jeff Cleveringa, one of the speakers today (Wednesday) at the International Fruit Tree Association conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Consumers will not tire of new fruit varieties anytime soon, said Cleveringa of
The word of the day Tuesday, Day 4 of the IFTA conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was brrr.
With temperatures in the mid-20s and sideways snow flurries, about 385 attendees loaded onto seven busses for eight stops at orchards and facilities around the Grand Rapids area.
Orchard managers, owners and researchers showed
Washington State University’s WA 2 apple will be marketed as Sunrise Magic, the university announced today.
This a re-launch of the apple, this time in partnership with Proprietary Variety Management. The goal is to give
a more effective push to the variety, using consumer research and other techniques. The variety is a cross
A Michigan State University researcher gave a bleak view of fire blight as one of the highlights today (Monday), Day 3 at the International Fruit Tree Association in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dr. George Sundin, minced few words about the threat of fire blight, a quick-spreading bacterial infection that attacks apple and
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Tours, wine tasting and receptions all were on tap today (Sunday) on Day 2 of the International Fruit Tree Association conference here.
Two tour buses full of growers, researchers and consultants visited research plots of cherries and apples at Michigan State University’s Clarksville research station.
Schlopping through a little
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Tree fruit growers from all over the world have converged on Grand here for the International Fruit Tree Conference.
A total of 291 people attended the first activity Saturday, a day-long pre-conference intensive workshop called “Growing the Moneymakers: Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp.”
Growers, nursery managers and marketers stressed
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association is hosting a series of educational training workshops in collaboration with its industry partners, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L & I), Washington State University Extension and sponsors.
The sessions are intended for Spanish speakers, but
Naches, Washington-based Allan Brothers Incorporated announced the purchase of Gamache Vineyard near Basin City, Washington, today.
The purchase of the White Bluffs area vineyard will be the second major wine grape investment by Allan Brothers in the past two years.
In a release from Allan Brothers, the prominent tree-fruit grower and packer
The Mexican government is imposing provisional duties on most U.S. apple exports, beginning Jan. 7, as its investigation continues into an antidumping complaint brought by growers in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua.
Mexico is the leading export market for U.S. apples, and roughly 85 percent of those exports come from
Scott Jacky, manager of orchard operations for Valley Fruit in Wapato, Washington, won the Great Gator Give-A-Way contest co-sponsored by Wilbur-Ellis and Good Fruit Grower.
Scott received his 2015 John Deere Gator TX 4X2 from Kyle Dillon, right, field technician with Wilbur-Ellis and from Casey Corr, managing editor of Good Fruit Grower.
In another contest sponsored
The state of Washington today awarded the Washington Growers League $3 million to build a seasonal farmworker housing complex in Mattawa, Wash., while another Washington labor organization is making plans for its own farmworker housing facility.
The funding for the Growers League’s 120-bed facility is part of $50.1 million worth of
Representatives from Oregon’s wine grape industry are collaborating to create a Pest Management Strategic Plan to document current pest management challenges and needs within the industry and to create a cohesive plan for focusing the industry’s time, money and energy in the future.
The group is gathering regional input and feedback
Good Fruit Grower is gaining a new associate editor. Ross Courtney, an award-winning writer with the Yakima Herald Republic, joins Good Fruit Grower as associate editor December 1.
“Ross is a very talented writer who already has earned a great reputation covering the tree fruit industry. He’s committed to our mission of providing
Washington State University has announced the discovery in Washington State of a wasp from Asia that eats the eggs of the brown marmorated stinkbug.
The discovery raises the prospect of an effective response to the bug that threatens tree fruit.
Here’s the press release:
PULLMAN, Wash. – The discovery in Washington state of a
The Washington State Department of Agriculture says that it will award approximately $4.1 million in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
The 2015 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant will fund 24 projects managed by WSDA in partnership with other organizations. Washington ranks second in
Organic apples grown and packed in Washington state in the 2013-14 season had a total f.o.b. value of more than $295 million, according to the report “Recent Trends in Certified Organic Tree fruit” just released by Elizabeth Kirby and David Granatstein at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and
Mallory Shindler is a volunteer of the year
The Washington Apple Education Foundation has named Mallory Shindler its volunteer of the year in recognition of the many ways she supports the foundation.
Shindler, who is relationship support manager with Rabo AgriFinance in Richland, Washington, said she also encourages colleagues, friends, and family
Dr. Desmond Layne, hired by Washington State University three years ago as its tree fruit extension leader, has moved from Wenatchee to the Pullman campus to take a new administrative position affective September 1.
Layne has been named director of the Agricultural and Food Systems and Integrated Plant Sciences programs, a
Dr. Jim McFerson assumed the new role of director of Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in August, while still working as manager of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission—a move that both organizations see as positive.
McFerson signed a contract with WSU that will allow him to
The board of C&O Nursery in Wenatchee, Washington, has restructured management of the company.
Todd Snyder, formerly company secretary, succeeded Jack Snyder as president and chief executive officer. Jack remains chair of the board. Shad Snyder was named vice president, and Gary Snyder took Todd’s place as secretary. Ty Snyder is
The Washington Supreme Court today ruled that piece-rate workers must be paid separately for rest breaks.
The Yakima Herald Reports:
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Piece-rate farm workers must be paid separately for rest breaks, the state Supreme Court said in a ruling issued this morning that is expected to drastically change the way
Good Fruit Grower has a team covering the International Fruit Tree Association’s 2015 Regional Summer Tour in Washington State.
We’ll have forthcoming reports on our web site and in our print magazine. You can catch live tweets from the tour this week on our Twitter account at https://twitter.com/goodfruitgrower
The tour ends Friday.
Through July 6th, Northwest cherry growers have shipped 15.2 million 20-lb. boxes of fruit. That’s 21 percent more than the previous record and 124 percent more than the 15-year industry average.
Here’s the report issued yesterday by B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers:
Through yesterday, July 6th, the Northwest cherry industry
Broetje Orchards of Washington State, one of the country’s largest apple growers, has agreed to pay a $2.25 million fine for hiring illegal immigrants. The fine is one of the largest ever levied against an agricultural concern, according to report today by the Wall Street Journal.
A spokesman for Immigration and
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that China’s agriculture regulatory agency has allowed access for all U.S. apple varieties, according to a news release today from Northwest Fruit Exporters.
Phytosanitary certificates for export will be available after USDA has updated their phytosanitary export database (PExD). This is expected to occur within the
U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse took the opportunity to visit the new Brender Creek seasonal farmworker housing complex in Cashmere while in Washington State this week.
The Washington Growers League, a non-profit organization based in Yakima, held the official opening of its $6 million housing facility on May 6.
“It’s a welcome addition,”
US Apple Association today issued the following news release:
Vienna, Va. – April 29, 2015 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will officially announce today that the US Apple Association’s (USApple) request for a bonus buy of fresh apples and processed products has been approved.
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, president
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 term
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 frequent
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 costs
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 the
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 52
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 52
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 two
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 part-time
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, received
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 browning.
Washington State University extension specialist Tim Smith has received the inaugural Washington Tree Fruit Distinguished Service Award for his significant contributions to the industry during his 40 years with Extension.
Three former WSU extension agents who worked alongside Smith—Dr. Mike Willett, Paul Tvergyak, and Brooke Peterson—presented the award during the last
Harold Thome is old enough to remember his dad packing apples into barrels for shipment to Chicago 200 miles away.
But remembering doesn’t make him nostalgic for the old days.
Thome, 82, has a thoroughly modern apple growing operation located on Fruit Ridge near Conklin seven miles north of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Drew Toop will join the staff of the Northwest Horticultural Council as regulatory information specialist on December 8. Toop, who grew up in the Yakima, Washington, earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Chinese Language and Culture from Washington State University in 2012. He has spent time in Taiwan and
The nation’s tree fruit organizations fared well in 2015 funding allocations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program. Ten organizations representing tree fruit will receive more than $16 million of the $173 million allocated to help expand export markets.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the MAP funding allocations for
The New Zealand company Prevar is looking for orchardists in North America who would like to grow new Piqa brand pear varieties developed in New Zealand. Prevar commercializes fruit varieties bred by Plant and Food Research.
Piqa Boo (PremP009 cultivar) is a red pear that combines characteristics of European, Japanese, and
A new organization called Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited has been formed to replace Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and undertake research and development and marketing efforts to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry.
The move follows a recent independent report into the performance of HAL that recommended a change to a new
Ten million dollars in new funding will transform the RosBREED project from a research program devoted to genetic discovery into a more focused, practical phase of breeding fruit crops resistant to diseases.
The new funding comes from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Spread over five years, the funding will bring plant
Multi-Peril Crop Insurance policyholders are getting an extension because of the delayed maturity of apple crop this year.
The USDA put out the following press release:
SPOKANE, Wash., Nov. 5, 2014 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced an extension of the insurance period for apple Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) policyholders to
● Greg Walden (R/Oregon) should be happy today. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee sheparded his flock of candidates to a significant national victory in yesterday’s mid-term election. However, the delegation from the Pacific Northwest did manage to stand pat, with the only change being in the 4th
Good news came to Washington’s apple industry today when U.S. Department of Agriculture officials announced the immediate reopening of China’s market to Washington Red and Golden Delicious apples. It’s good timing as growers are wrapping up harvest of the largest crop on record, which some believe will be around 150
United Fresh Produce Association, the national trade association for the fresh produce industry in Washington, D.C., has endorsed Dan Newhouse who is running in Washington’s Fourth Congressional District.
“We are proud to join a number of our pro-business partners from across the district in supporting Dan’s efforts to represent the this
President Barack Obama will announce today his plan to use executive authority to move on immigration reform.
Obama has said the immigration system is broken and that he will use administrative powers to move on issues where Congress has not acted.
Reuters has the story.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce
BJ Thurlby of Northwest Cherry Growers continues to have a bullish outlook on this year’s crop. Growers are expecting the 2nd biggest cherry harvest, plus excellent quality.
He’s especially excited about the alignment of factors that could make the crucial Fourth of July a “slingshot” for strong sales all the way
Washington State has been warm, the warmest spring in 20 years, says AgWeatherNet meteorologist Nic Loyd.
And also amazing: Washington saw one of its coolest early growing seasons in 2011, only to see a dramatic increase in 2014.
The temps have been especially helpful for cherry growers, who this year are expecting the
Two and one-half years have passed since West Mathison broached the idea of industry consolidation in Washington State at the December, 2011 Annual Meeting in Wenatchee of the Washington State Horticultural Association (WSHA).
Board members of the Washington Growers Clearing House will hold their last meeting of the association’s 73-year history in August.
In a mail ballot, its members overwhelmingly approved the board’s recommendation to dissolve the association and consolidate with other industry groups to form the new Washington Tree Fruit Association. More than
Northwest cherry growers gained airlift capacity into China with the launch today of weekly service between Seattle and Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines. The new service serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will carry more than 400 metric tons of cherries to China from Northwest shippers.
In addition, China Eastern runs an e-commerce
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee kicked off the start of the 2014 cherry season at an appearance today with Rick Plath, president of Washington Fruit & Produce Co., at the company’s new cherry packing facility in Yakima, Washington.
Northwest cherry growers are expecting a large crop, the second biggest in history.
The Northwest’s cherry crop remains on track to be the third biggest crop in history.
Northwest Cherry Growers held their five-state cherry commission meeting on Wednesday and largely validated a previous forecast of nearly 20 million boxes expected this year.
Forecasts can be proven wrong by surprises such as rain that can
Washington State University researcher, soil scientist and teacher, John Reganold, was named the 2014 Food and Farm Educator by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Berkeley Food Institute on May 14. Reganold is one of four 2014 Growing Green Award winners from the two groups that include livestock,
The Auction of Washington Wines named Larry and Dick Olsen, and Tom and Anne-Marie Hedges as honorees for the 27th annual events this summer.
Larry and Dick Olsen are the auction’s 2014 Honorary Growers for their over 40 years as growers, establishing Olsen Brothers Vineyards in 1972, which now grows 21
Northwest Cherry Growers have issued their Round One estimate for this year’s cherry crop, and it’s bullish: up 39 percent from last year.
The Northwest Cherry Crop Estimate: Round #1 calls for 19.96 million 20-pound equivalent boxes, up from the previous year’s disappointing 14.3 million boxes. The group cautions that the
Apple Commission appoints officers
Barbara Walkenhauer of Selah succeeded David Douglas as chair of the Washington Apple Commission at the board’s annual meeting in March. Jon Alegria of Yakima was appointed vice chair. Walkenhauer and Alegria were reappointed to the board for three-year terms, along with Brian Sand of Orondo.
Kirk Mayer, manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, has been named Apple Citizen of the Year by the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival.
Festival Royalty Roslyn Thompson, Nikara Morgan, and Caroline Dahl presented Mayer with the award on Tuesday (March 25).
Mayer, a graduate of Cashmere High School, joined the
Four couples from Mexico were honored by the Center for Latino Farmers in Yakima
The California State Beekeepers Association has presented a special recognition award to Dr. Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist with University of California, Davis, for 38 years of work and support. He will retire in June.
Mussen was born in Schenectady, New York, and received his bachelor’s degree in entomology from the University
With the frost protection season looming, Washington fruit growers who have been left high and dry because of draw downs in sections of the Columbia River, need to assess what they need to do reach the water, says Bruce Grim, president of the Washington State Horticultural Association. It’s not known
The Washington Apple Commission gave a nod of approval during its annual meeting in March to changes in how responsibilities for international market access issues are divided between the Northwest Horticultural Association and Northwest Fruit Exporters.
The original memorandum of understanding between the organizations, adopted in 1998, gave NFE responsibility for
The Washington State Fruit Commission is gearing up for a strong cherry crop in 2014. Though it’s too soon to estimate crop numbers, trees overwintered well and early indications point to a robust crop, which could be anywhere between 20 to 25 million boxes—if Mother Nature cooperates.
Last year’s crop was
KELOWNA, B.C. — British Columbia orchardist David Geen was named Outstanding Grower of the Year by the International Fruit Tree Association at its annual meeting here this week.
Geen owns Coral Beach Farms, near Kelowna, B.C., where he has 400 acres of cherries, making him the biggest cherry grower in Canada.
The Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers recognized Rick Hamman for his viticultural skills and presented him with its Erick Hanson Memorial Grower of the Year Award. Hamman has assisted Washington grape growers since 1999 when he left Colorado State University as extension viticulturist to join Hogue Cellars in Prosser.
Dawn Drake, manager of the Michigan Processing Apple Growers, has won the Michigan Pomesters’ Fruit Person of the Year Award.
Ian Adams of Scionon, Ltd., Hastings, New Zealand, and Matt Moser of Moser Fruit Tree Sales, Inc., Coloma, Michigan, have agreed to partner in the United States and Canada in the distribution and marketing of Scionon (pronounced “scion on”) grafting tools.
Scionon tools are designed to allow unskilled operators to learn
The Washington State Horticultural Association and ApRecs have teamed up to offer growers and packers access to a spray record and food-safety documentation system that includes interactive forms and updates for the association’s GRAS2P program.
GRAS2P (Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices) is a program designed to help fruit
Howell at the Moon Productions has released two new short documentaries on the legendary Washington fruit growers Grady Auvil and Tom Mathison.
Gee Whiz: The Apples of Grady Auvil tells how Auvil pioneered the Granny Smith apple, Rainier cherry, and Fuji apple in the United States. Tom Mathison: The Growing Season
The Washington Wine Industry Foundation was named a benefactor last month during the fundraising Washington State University Foundation Gala in recognition of its high level of giving to the university.
The Wine Foundation has partnered with WSU in many projects and has been an advocate for research funding and development of
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Agriculture will hold listening sessions in February to get feedback from specialty crop growers on the effectiveness of the crop insurance programs available to growers.
Judy Olson, director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Washington, said as the federal
The boards of four Washington organizations will vote in the next few weeks on whether to go ahead with a plan to consolidate into a new organization called the Washington Tree Fruit Association
A survey of 115 international wine trade professionals, commissioned by ProWein, an international trade fair of wines and spirits, points to five major developments in the next 20 years:
1 Consumers, not producers, will rule the wine industry in 2034.
The global wine industry will need to be more responsive to consumer
Elizabeth Wittenbach of Belding was crowned the Michigan Apple Queen for 2014, and Emily Webster of Paw Paw is first runner-up.
The contest took place in December at the annual Michigan Apple Committee grower luncheon during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo. Contestants—there were eight—must have a connection
Grower-owned cooperative Oregon Cherry Growers has announced the promotion of Danny Weeden, ten-year company veteran, to the role of executive vice president, general manager, and chief financial officer.
Weeden, who was the cooperative’s vice president and CFO, will manage operations in addition to finance, information technology, and supply chain functions for
Congratulations to Jim Archer, the 69th Cherry King selected by Northwest cherry growers at the annual Cherry Institute meeting in Yakima, WA. Jim was crowned Jan. 10 by B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers.
Jim gets to wear the ancient crown in recognition for his decades of service to the industry,
After leading the Northwest Fruit Exporters for 20 years, Jim Archer retired at the end of 2013. Fred Scarlett replaced Archer in early January.
Today, NFE is responsible for managing cherry and apple export programs required by the foreign countries of Japan, Mexico, India, Vietnam, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, and Australia.
Washington’s fresh cherry packers will continue to be allowed to ship 12-row red cherries, members of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee decided at their meeting in early December.
The committee commissioned economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke to study the financial impact on the industry of shipping 12-row cherries, the smallest size packed.
Growers, you were heard. But what's next?
Four Washington tree fruit industry organizations will consolidate next summer, and the question now is how best to do it, Robert Kershaw told members of the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting.
“People keep asking me what are the odds of this coming together,” he said. “It’s a hundred
1 “Our biggest fear was jettisoning good fruit.” —Paul Koch
a. Overzealous inspector
b. In-field sorting
c. Nondestructive fruit quality
d. Ozone generator
2 “The gee-whiz factor runs cold pretty quickly.” —Sanjiv Singh
a. Autonomous vehicle
b. Robotic harvesting
c. Granny Smith
d. Yield scout
3 “The key was keeping it very simple so if there’s an issue it can be fixed quickly and inexpensively and you don’t
Yakima, WA — Maria Fernandez and T.J. Mullinax have joined Good Fruit Grower magazine as Circulation Manager and Digital Producer, respectively, Managing Editor Casey Corr announced today.
Based in Yakima, Washington, Good Fruit Grower is the nation’s leading tree-fruit and wine-grape grower publication, circulating to 50 states and 50 countries.
The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington, is inviting nominations for the 2014 Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame.
Candidates should have made contributions and commitments to the Washington wine industry and must have been involved in the industry for at least 25 years.
Nominations are due by
Columbia Fresh Produce, Inc., a fresh fruit and vegetable shipper based in Walla Walla, Washington, was one of five companies that recently received a Medallion Award from the Washington Secretary of State in recognition of their civic engagement and commitment to giving back to the community.
Columbia Fresh, which has just
Dr. Chuck Benbrook, an agricultural economist with Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been appointed to the Organic Center’s new 24-member Science Advisory Board. He is the only one located in the Pacific Northwest. The center’s mission is to conduct research on the
Chuck Underwood, domestic sales representative for Columbia Marketing International LLC, recently retired after 45 years of service to the produce industry.
Underwood’s career in the produce world began in the late 1960s at the Washington Growers Clearing House in Wenatchee. He then worked for Nuchief Sales, now known as Honey Bear.
When Dr. Stefano Musacchi arrived in Washington State in August, he knew the expectations were high.
Musacchi, a world-renowned pomologist from Italy, was appointed to a new position at Washington State University created with funding from a special grower assessment to enhance tree fruit research.
Musacchi arrived with plenty of ideas about
Fourth-generation California farmer David Mas Masumoto and his daughter Nikiko will be keynote speakers at the annual conference of Tilth Producers of Washington at the Yakima Convention Center, November 8–10. Masumoto is an organic peach and grape grower and author of the 1995 book Epitaph for a Peach.
The groundbreaking of Washington State University’s Wine Science Center on September 26 is as much about the wine industry’s future as it is a new facility. The new Wine Science Center, being built at WSU Tri-Cities, helps fulfill the state wine industry’s vision of becoming a world-class wine region.
Columbia Marketing International, a grower-shipper of apples, pears, and cherries in Wenatchee, Washington, recently hired marketing and produce industry veteran Steve Lutz as vice president of marketing. The position has been vacant since April when Bob Mast was promoted to President of CMI.
Lutz, born and raised in Wenatchee, was president
Rabo AgriFinance has added to its western and eastern Washington State financing team through the addition of two newly appointed senior relationship managers. Greg Loudon is senior relationship manager in central Washington; Jon Vander Kooy is manager in western Washington.
Loudon comes to Rabo AgriFinance with 13 years of banking and
For 38 years, Dr. David Ramming was responsible for breeding new varieties of table and raisin grapes and stone fruit for commercial production. For his important contributions to industry, which resulted in some 40 new fruit varieties, Ramming was inducted into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hall of Fame on
The scientists working to conquer brown marmorated stinkbug are looking for homeowner volunteers in the Mid-Atlantic States to count stinkbugs.
They want these citizen scientists to count the number of stinkbugs they see on the exterior of their homes once a day every day from September 15 to October 15.
Kari Peter, the new plant pathologist at Penn State, will serve fruit growers in three states.
by Richard Lehnert
Three eastern universities have agreed to work together to coordinate their hiring of faculty members serving fruit growers.
Informally called the Mid-Atlantic Fruit Consortium, it’s built on a memorandum of understanding among the agriculture
Three eastern universities have agreed to work together to coordinate their hiring of faculty members serving fruit growers.
Informally called the Mid-Atlantic Fruit Consortium, it’s built on a memorandum of understanding among the agriculture colleges of Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland, and West Virginia University.
“It is a productive way to
Washington State University will interview three candidates in September for a new tree fruit physiology position based at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. The new researcher will focus on physiological mechanisms of tree fruit issues, such as fruit set and disorders.
The candidates are: Dr. Jozsef Racsko,
Danelle Trovato, export assistant with the Washington Apple Commission for the past five years, will transition into the position of export trade specialist. She will succeed Chris Scott who left the commission at the end of July to become general manager of NORPAC Industries, a frozen food processor in Quincy,
Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center celebrated its 100-year anniversary August 8 in Hood River, Oregon.
The celebration included a tour of the research plots and a dinner with Dr. Edward Ray, OSU President, state legislators, and other faculty and staff.
The center, which was established in 1913, specializes
Scott Sargent has been appointed chief executive officer of Crunch Pak, a major sliced apple processor and marketer based in Cashmere, Washington.
Sargent was previously manager of supply chain purchasing for the 1,700-restaurant chain Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also worked for the consulting firm Booz Allen and Delta Air
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 4C, making
Chris Scott, export trade specialist for the Washington Apple Commission for the past four years, left the commission on July 31 to take a position as general manager of NORPAC Industries, a frozen food processor in Quincy, Washington. The company has more than 300 employees.
Todd Fryhover, Apple Commission president, said
New cherry bulletins, videos
Two new publications on cherry production and several sweet cherry videos covering training systems and pruning are available free to growers.
Cherry Orchard Establishment in the Pacific Northwest (PNW 642), written by Lynn Long and Clive Kaiser, Oregon State University extension educators, discusses factors to consider before planting
PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON WINE COMMISSION
The Yakima Valley American Viticultural Area, established by the federal government on March 23, 1983, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In this issue, Good Fruit Grower begins an in-depth look at Yakima Valley’s early roots in the wine industry. Subsequent stories will focus on the
A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an NOSB board member.
The antibiotic oxytetracyline will no longer be approved for use on organic apples
A lack of funding has forced the Food Alliance to suspend its operations, though its licensed producers will be able to use the eco-label through the end of the year.
The Food Alliance, based in Portland, Oregon, established its sustainable food certification program in 1997 with the goal of helping growers
Washington State University’s sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein keeps tabs on organic tree fruit production statistics, compiling charts and graphs from data supplied by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The most recent statistics from 2012 show the following trends:
Certified organic acreage declined in 2012 to 13,655 acres.
Fuji is the
Cornell University has released two new wine grape varieties—a cold-hardy aromatic white variety and a red variety that is highly resistant to fungal diseases.
The two releases offer new characteristics not previously available to growers and wineries, particularly producers in New York’s Finger Lakes region, says Bruce Reisch, Cornell grape breeder.
Washington State University’s Research Foundation, which owns the new WA 38 apple, has issued an “announcement of opportunity” inviting individuals, companies, or cooperatives that are interested in managing the variety to submit proposals.
The successful applicant will have an exclusive license to manage the commercialization of the variety but will not
Two north central Washington high school students got their first lobbying experience when they participated in the annual Tree Fruit Day at the Washington State legislature in Olympia.
The two Cashmere High School students, Danielle Morrison and Heather Powell, both in the eleventh grade, attended Tree Fruit Day as part of
Although Leo Garcia is best known in the tree fruit industry for championing education programs for Hispanic workers, he’s also been dedicated to enhancing agricultural programs overall at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State.
He has worked hard to revive the college’s tree fruit production program, for which he is the
For the second time in as many years, there has been a stumble along the road to bringing the new Geneva rootstock, G.214, to growers’ orchards.
Cornell University horticulturist Dr. Terence Robinson confirmed that a mixup in rootstock material will mean a delay of about one year in the introduction of
Leo Garcia has been honored for his dedication to helping Hispanic people in the tree fruit industry to reach their full potential through education.
Garcia, director of bilingual agricultural education programs at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, Washington received the Latino Leadership Award from the Washington State Horticultural Association.
Karen Lewis, Washington
Five specific objectives for the Integrated Crop Pollination project are:
Identify economically valuable pollinators and the factors affecting their abundance.
Develop habitat management practices to improve crop pollination.
Determine performance of alternative managed bees as specialty crop pollinators.
Demonstrate and deliver ICP practices for specialty crops.
Determine optimal methods for ICP information delivery and measure
Bayer CropScience has begun construction of its North American Bee Care Center at its headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The center is to be a gathering place for researchers, bee experts, students, and other visitors to meet with Bayer scientists with the goal of promoting and protecting bee health.
The commercialization plan for WA 38 will be different than for its first release, WA 2.
Washington State University is finalizing a plan for how its second apple variety, WA 38, will be commercialized.
The university will send out an “announcement of opportunity” (similar to a request for proposals) inviting applications for
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY ANN FRAZIER
Cornell University has a new publication called Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them, compiled by Cornell’s Mia Park with seven coauthors from Cornell, Penn State, and the Xerces Society.
The 20-page publication describes the habits of major wild bee species (more