Okanagan Speciality Fruits, maker of genetically modified apples, was at the PMA FreshSummit to unveil test packaging for its apples.
At PMA, Okanagan used the slogan, “Making the Perfect Fruit Better.” The Arctic apple is controversial with some growers and consumer organizations, but both the U.S. and Canadian governments have cleared
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
Good Fruit Grower, a magazine that covers the tree fruit and wine grape industries, is looking for an exceptional journalist to serve as Associate Editor and continue the magazine’s tradition of excellence.
Good Fruit Grower is based in Yakima, Washington, but for this position, there is interest in finding a candidate
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
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
Cherry blossoms being protected by ice during an early April cold snap. Cherry orchard owned by Andy and Sheila Slinkard, located near Basin City, Washington.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHEILA SLINKARD
Drip irrigation developer wins World Food Prize
Last year, Dr. Daniel Hillel, an Israeli soil scientist, joined an exclusive club of innovative people
Washington State University Extension has released a new irrigation manual for vineyards, clarifying irrigation options and strategies for juice and wine grape producers in Washington State.
“Irrigation Basics for Eastern Washington Vineyards” is the title of the bulletin that seeks to help growers better understand what’s behind grape irrigation. Two companion
The iconic blue FFA jacket, worn by more than four million young agricultural leaders since it was introduced in 1933, turns 80 this year. A community-centered program launched in 2008 by Syngenta and its retailer partners, has raised more than $2.6 million for the national organization.
Syngenta matches every $2,500 pledged
Casey Corr has a rich background in business journalism and print publications, and his broad range of skills should help him lead the Good Fruit Grower into a new era of electronic media while keeping a keen eye on quality educational and editorial content.
During the 1980s, Corr was assistant
Grapes are piped overhead from the crush pad on the right into the winery for processing. Notice the abundance of windows and full-length glass doors that take advantage of natural lighting.
Photos by by Melissa Hansen
The “wow” factor is often used to describe sleek, luxury cars and new electronic gadgetry—not industrial,
The two 50-ton grape presses came from Italy and fit perfectly when put in place on the concrete pad.
Photo by Melissa Hansen
The idea for the new Zirkle Wine Company custom crush facility in Prosser, Washington, evolved over several years, Mark Zirkle says.
“The idea for a winery was slow recognition that
British are Smitten
Prevar Limited has licensed the rights to grow, market, and sell the Smitten apple in the United Kingdom to Worldwide Fruit Limited and Empire World Trade Limited.
Smitten (PremA17 cultivar) was bred by Plant and Food Research in New Zealand, which is contracted by Prevar to breed new varieties
IPM academy focuses on shifting weather patterns
Michigan State University is offering fruit growers a two-day workshop that focuses on integrated pest management practices that will help them adapt to shifting weather patterns.
The 2013 Integrated Pest Management Academy will take place February 19-20 at the Okemos Conference Center in Okemos, Michigan.
Chinese businessman Steven Ding is selling plastic molds that can transform round or pear-shaped fruit into weird and wonderful shapes while they’re growing on the tree.
Ding said this type of mold was invented by a Chinese farmer a few years ago, and he has been collecting differently shaped molds
Washington State’s wine industry will receive a big windfall this year when the Auction of Washington Wines contributes nearly $250,000 for grape and wine-related research and education.
The donation was given to Washington State University for the viticulture and enology program. About $100,000 will be dedicated to research, with the Wine
The red trait, which is common in crab apples and ornamentals, produces flesh colored anywhere from pink to deep red. Skin color and flesh color are inherited separately, so yellow apples can have red flesh.
Photos courtesy of IFORED
Next Big Thing’s last big thing was the SweeTango apple. Now, it appears,
Growers Credit Corporation board members and staff leave their last board meeting. Pictured are (from left) Bob Petersen of Manson, Gary Roberts of Oroville, former manager Steve Joy, office manager Nancy Baker, Roger Hodgson of Omak, Gene Handley of East Wenatchee, and Floyd Stutzman of Wenatchee.
Board members of the Growers
Most fruit growers have trouble accepting the idea that human-caused climate change is occurring. They prefer to think recent weather events are just part of a long, mysterious, and continuing cycle. What’s happening now has happened in the past—and it’s just normal. What goes around comes around.
Still, there is disturbing
Photos courtesy of John Maher
It was the “elegant, gorgeous shape” of wooden orchard ladders that first struck artist John Maher.
As the concept took shape in his mind, he thought about Christo’s Running Fence art installation in California in the 1970s, and visualized a hundred brightly colored orchard ladders running alongside
The following fruit industry members were honored during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in December.
George Allan, a partner at the fruit growing and packing operation Allan Brothers in Naches, Washington, received the Silver Apple Award. Allan grew up in Naches and earned a degree in agricultural science
Washington State produced an estimated 174,000 tons of juice grapes in 2012, down from its ten-year average of 193,000 tons, according to Trent Ball, director of the vineyard and winery technology program at Yakima Valley Community College.
Washington is the nation’s leading Concord and Niagara grape producer, typically producing about half
Cherry co-op names new president
Oregon Cherry Growers, Inc., a member -owned fruit cooperative, named Timothy Ramsey as its new president and chief executive officer. Ramsey, with experience leading companies and launching new products, was most recently chief operations officer for La Terra Fina USA. Before that, he was vice president
Cox’s Orange Pippin is a firm, juicy, full-flavored apple with an orange-red skin and cream-colored flesh.
Photo by Jacqueline King, WSU
Cox’s Orange Pippin—Britain’s favorite apple for 150 years or so—has been usurped by Gala, one of its grandchildren.
It’s not because Gala is a better apple, British journalist Michael Leapman pointed out
The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order.
One such forum will be held during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon organics
Washington State fruit growers and packers Gebbers Farms of Brewster and Chelan Fruit Cooperative have purchased a 50-percent stake in four fruit-producing companies in Angol, Chile. All are partners in a new company called Chilean South Apples, or CHISA.
Reggie Collins, chief executive officer of Chelan Fruit Cooperative, says the goal
Adding new fuel to the growing fire over farm labor reform, the Government Accountability Office issued a report in September describing the H-2A program as time-consuming, complex, and challenging. While there are an estimated 1.5 to 1.75 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States each year, H-2A supplied
Beginning in late 2011 and continuing into 2012, there’s been increased real estate activity in the Pacific Northwest, driven by strong fruit prices and expansion within the tree fruit sector. However, in Michigan, there have been few sales of orchard properties in the lake shoreline region the past three years,
Strong prices for apples during the past few seasons have prompted a spurt in orchard renewal and expansion, tree nurseries report. Demand for certain varieties and rootstocks is such that nurseries are taking orders for trees that will be planted as far out as 2020.
Washington nurseries should have a big
Members of the Borton family currently involved in the business are (left to right): Andy Birley (fourth generation), Katie (Borton) Birley (fourth), John Borton (third), Richard Borton (second), Eric Borton (fourth), Bill Borton (third), Byron Borton (fourth). Inset: Founder Byron Sarver Borton (far right) and three sons (right to left)
As incoming president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, Jeff Cleveringa hopes to strengthen the association’s role in keeping growers informed.
For over a century, the association has held its annual meeting each December to apprise growers on the latest issues and research. Cleveringa said the meeting still serves an important
Wenatchee Valley College will offer two employee educational programs for the 2012-2013 academic year—level one of its Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program and level one of a similar viticulture program. The orchard program will be taught at the Wenatchee campus and at the Grandview campus of the Yakima Valley Community
Soil Scientist Dr. Rich Koenig has been appointed associate dean and director of Washington State University Extension. He was formerly chair of WSU’s department of crop and soil sciences.
He succeeds Dr. Randy Baldree who served as interim associate director of WSU Extension from June 2011 until September this year. WSU
Yakima Valley Community College, through a national science grant, is transitioning its vineyard and winery educational program to an online and hybrid format to better serve its student community. Four classes are now available online, and ten are offered in a hybrid format.
Catherine Jones was hired in September 2010 as
Those are among the reasons why the main theme of the association’s annual meeting, December 3 to 5, will be succession planning, says David Douglas, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association and part of the family-owned Douglas Fruit Company in Pasco, Washington.
Douglas said his family’s company was founded
New Zealand’s Tow and Blow
Tow and Blow is a portable wind machine developed in New Zealand by engineer Kim McAulay. He used to import wind machines from the United States but designed his own portable machine to address some of the inefficiencies he experienced with the stationary versions.
Wind machines had
Peter Ringsrud used to grow picture-perfect Red and Golden Delicious apples at his East Wenatchee, Washington, orchard, but found little profit in it.
After a 25-year interval working as an engineer, Ringsrud returned to the orchard when he retired in 2004 and began growing some of the ugliest and unpalatable apples
For the first time, Honeycrisp will make the list of the top six apple varieties produced in the United States this year.
The rank order of the top six U.S. varieties, by bushels, is Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp, Mark Seetin, director of regulatory affairs for
U.S. apple growers will market a smaller-than-average-size crop this year, but pricing the product won’t be easy, and there are penalties for making the wrong choices early in the season.
“Don’t lose October,” admonished Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group, speaking to attendees at the U.S. Apple
Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse.
For almost 20 years, Dr. Larry Pusey has been focused on researching a single problem—fireblight.
As Pusey, 60, retires this month as plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of
US 71655-014 has been tested in Hood River, Oregon, for ten years, and is expected to be released soon.
A new fireblight-resistant, European pear selection bred by Dr. Richard Bell at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia, is expected to be released soon. The
New cherry sorters
Chelan Fruit Cooperative has about 600 year-round employees, but needs an additional 1,000 packing house workers during the cherry season. It installed a new cherry grader at its Brewster plant this season to reduce its labor needs.
After just a week of working with the new equipment, Rick Lancaster,
In the “usual” journalistic process, reporters find expert sources and ask questions, then ask additional questions as the answers dictate. This process did not work in developing this article.
On both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, phone calls directed to knowledgeable horticulturists involved in the plum pox programs were shunted to
The Pear Bureau Northwest has promoted Bob Koehler to lead regional marketing manager. In this new position, he will serve as the liaison between Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau president, and the regional managers in territories throughout the United States and Canada. He will lead the development of fresh pear marketing
Washington State University’s first new apple variety, WA 2, is in its second season of intensive industry evaluation (Phase 3). As in 2010, horticultural and storage performance was evaluated in the 2011 season, while the remaining fruit was used for packing-line tests, industry sampling, and market testing. In addition, a
Muscat grape varieties, the hottest selling wines in America, have also been the hottest selling grape nursery stock. And while there’s been an uptick in Muscat plantings in Washington State, in general, the state’s wine industry is taking a cautious approach to the latest wine fad.
Cherry growers in British Columbia, Canada, have historically not been interested in blushed cherry varieties because of the fruit’s sensitivity to bruising and the difficulties of growing and packing it. In fact, it’s estimated that only 25 acres of the province’s 4,500 acres of cherries are blush varieties.
But two new
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s fruit breeding program at Summerland, British Columbia, is expected to release a new cherry variety later this year. SPC136 is a midseason red cherry that is said to be big (9.5 to 8.5 row) with excellent flavor and storage potential.
Cherry varieties released by the breeding program
Wine bottle corks are repurposed as mulch, an example of sustainable practices implemented at Snoqualmie Vineyards winery.
Photo courtesy of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Winerywise, the free, online guide to sustainable winemaking and winery practices developed for Washington State’s wine industry, is ready for use.
Educational outreach sessions are planned for the coming
A new marketing and research group has consolidated the California cherry industry into one voice, says Chiles Wilson, chair of the new organization that became effective in early April.
The California Cherry Marketing and Research Program supersedes the California Cherry Advisory Board, which had represented growers of Bing, Rainier, Van, and
Sevin (carbaryl) will continue to be available for chemical thinning and pest control in tree fruits, says Dr. Jonathan Akins, director of regulatory affairs with the supplier Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.
Tessenderlo recently bought Sevin from Bayer CropSciences. Akins said the company heard that rumors had been circulating that Sevin would not
Washington State tree fruit growers will be asked to pay a special research assessment to strengthen research and extension programs at Washington State University.
The university has launched a major fundraising campaign with a goal of raising a billion dollars overall to fund priority programs. Of the total, $42 million would
A group of scientists from around the country aims to develop new tree fruit rootstocks for the tree fruit industry with the goal of increasing orchard profitability. The group, which calls itself Root2Fruit, plans to submit a proposal in 2012 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for funding through the
Almost $3 million in government funding earmarked for packing house improvements was announced January 27 at the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s annual convention at Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
The province of British Columbia and the Canadian government are contributing $2.7 million to help modernize the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative’s storage facility
WSU’s newest variety, WA 38, is a cross of Enterprise and Honeycrisp.
Washington State University has released a third apple variety and is discussing new ways to introduce this and future varieties to the state’s producers.
The latest release, WA 38, is a cross of Enterprise and Honeycrisp, and it’s one
Hort president David Douglas, left, and Jennifer Armen discussed tree fruit interests with Senator Linda Evans-Parlette in her Olympia office.
Thirty tree fruit industry members converged on the Washington State legislature on January 31 to meet with 66 senators and representatives about issues of critical importance to our industry.
Kirpal Boparai, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, says his priority is to get money into growers’ pockets.
British Columbia, Canada, apple growers took an initial step towards establishing a national apple and promotion agency, and potential future regulated marketing, at the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s annual convention in
Many practical ideas to solve everyday problems with pesticide handling have been invented and used by growers throughout Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, known as PNASH, studied these farm-bred and tested ideas and put them together in a new guide called Practical Solutions for Pesticide
Michigan tart cherry growers will cast mail-in ballots between March 12 and March 25 to determine whether the Michigan Cherry Committee, which is organized under Michigan law to operate a checkoff program and conduct research and promotion, will continue to operate for another five years.
The Michigan Cherry Committee is supported
Washington State University is beginning the hiring process for two new endowed position supported by the special assessment that apple and pear growers will begin paying this year through the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.
One position is an applied physiologist position, which will likely be based at WSU’s Tree Fruit Research
Tote bagger Graybill Machines, Inc., of Lititz, Pennsylvania, which specializes in designing and building automated machinery, has introduced the Graybill Apple Bagger, a packing-house machine that gently handles and fills 1,000 half-peck (five-pound) tote bags per hour. It is a compact, self-contained unit
Last year, Three Springs Fruit Farm, operated by Dave, John, and Ben Wenk in Aspers, Pennsylvania, was certified by Food Alliance. An Oregon-based organization, Food Alliance provides third-party certification that sustainable agricultural and food handling practices are used in a farm’s operation. Since
Lewis receives Latino award
Karen Lewis, Washington State University tree fruit regional extension specialist, has been honored with the first annual Latino Leadership Award from the Washington State Horticultural Association.
The award was established at the suggestion of retiring association president West Mathison to recognize Latino people working in the tree fruit
Washington State sweet cherry growers voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates sweet cherries. During the referendum held in November, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating volume, favored continuing the marketing order that was established in 1957. A referendum is required
Dr. Amit Dhingra, genomicist with Washington State University, has set up a new company to produce fruit varieties, rootstocks, and nursery trees faster and cheaper through tissue culture. In addition, the identities of the plants are guaranteed through high-resolution genetic fingerprinting.
The company, called Phytelligence, is a spinoff of WSU. Dhingra
Concord yields varied widely last year, ranging from no crop to 20 tons per acre.
Washington State’s juice and wine grape crop will likely be the smallest since 2005 for wine grapes and 2004 for juice grapes, reports agricultural economist Trent Ball. Grapes got a double hit this past season—cold
Nominations for board positions with several Pacific Northwest fruit industry groups will be held during upcoming horticultural meetings.
Cherry Marketing Committee
Nominations for three grower positions in District 1 will be held during the North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center on January 19. Current members are: Dave
Ty Snyder promoted
C & O Nursery of Wenatchee, Washington, has promoted Ty Snyder to the position of orchard manager. Snyder has worked at the nursery since 2006 and earned an associate degree in agriculture from Wenatchee Valley College. He is managing the company’s Rocky Reach and Grant Road orchards.
A new apple breeding program was born this year, on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, Canada.
While operation of the infant program is just beginning, it has nurturing parents. The Ontario Apple Growers are backing the program; they want new varieties that potentially could be produced for export in Ontario,
An industry advisory committee has been formed to work with Washington State University to decide how to spend the money that will be generated by a special research assessment on Washington apples and pears.
The $1-per-ton assessment, which goes into effect with the 2012 crops, will provide $11 million for six
When the British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association launched its strategic plan four years ago, the priorities were to develop new varieties, increase fruit quality, strengthen market position, attract and retain human resources, and increase profitability. No factors served to hijack those goals more drastically than the impact of the rising
The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo will be held in the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from December 6–8.
Last year, nearly 4,000 people from 34 states and five Canadian provinces attended the educational programs and the trade show, which attracted 380 exhibitors and covered
The Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting will inform growers about a wide range of issues and innovations that are driving change in the tree fruit industry both in the United States and abroad.
The meeting is scheduled for December 5–7 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.
West Mathison, retiring Hort Association president,
A worker uses a Girette to prune trees.
Courtesy Flathead Cherry Growers, Montana
Regulators in British Columbia, Canada, have developed safety documentation for the elevated, mobile work platforms widely used in the province’s orchards—but have sidelined locally designed equipment that reflected local farming conditions.
WorkSafeBC, the organization that regulates workplace safety and workers’
Cherry growers vote this month to continue or end a federal marketing order that regulates handling of sweet cherries grown in designated counties in Washington State. Regulations require that a continuation referendum be held once every six years.
Federal Marketing Order 923, established in 1957, authorizes minimum grade, size, maturity, pack,
An out-of-court settlement of the lawsuit challenging the exclusive marketing arrangement for the SweeTango apple has been reached.
The lawsuit ended in victory for the University of Minnesota, which bred the apple, and Pepin Heights Orchard, which bought rights to the apple and organized Next Big Thing, a 64-grower cooperative, to
Three Michigan apple companies have linked up to form All Fresh GPS, a limited liability company that will market fresh apples across the United States and into export markets.
GPS is short for growers, packers, and shippers, which describes the activities of the three entities. They will market about 10 percent
The Washington Wine Commission’s commitment of $7.4 million towards the cost of building a Wine Science Center at Washington State University’s Tri-Cities campus gives the fundraising effort an important boost, says Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling, director of WSU’s viticulture and enology program.
The center will house WSU’s rapidly expanding viticulture and enology
A new tree-fruit acreage survey in Washington State shows a decline in all tree fruits except cherries over the past five years, and suggests that the state will be harvesting more late-season cherries in the future.
The survey, compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, shows that Washington has 234,000 acres
After 30 years breeding peaches for the South—15 in the Prince series alone—W.R. (Dick) Okie retired this year. He is still working until a successor is decided upon.
Courtesy of W.R. Okie
W.R. (Dick) Okie, the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s stone fruit breeder in Byron, Georgia, for more than 30 years, retired earlier
Jack Everhart, left, New Holland, Inc., congratulates John Riel, right, of Burrows Tractor.
Recognition for Burrows
The New Holland dealership Burrows Tractor, Inc., in Yakima, Washington, has earned membership to New Holland’s President’s Club in recognition of outstanding achievement in business facilities, management, sales, parts and service support, and customer satisfaction.
A referendum will be held soon to find out if growers are willing to pay a special assessment to enhance tree fruit research at Washington State University.
The university has launched a major fundraising campaign to help strengthen priority programs and hopes to raise $42 million for tree fruit research.