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Broetje Orchards to pay $2.25 million fine for hiring illegal immigrants

June 4th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

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China’s ag agency says yes to all varieties of U.S. apples

May 26th, 2015|1 Comment

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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

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Growers League opens farmworker housing

May 6th, 2015|0 Comments

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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,”

USDA Approves Record-Breaking Purchase of Apples

April 29th, 2015|0 Comments

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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. 

This

Don Mercer to be inducted into Wine Hall of Fame

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

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

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

Another record harvest for wine grapes

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

Washington fruit commission representatives reappointed

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

Apple specialist retires

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

Judge blisters EEOC for "frivolous" case against growers

March 20th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

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Washington governor declares drought in three regions

March 19th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

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Richard Lehnert of Good Fruit Grower earns MSU distinguished service award

March 15th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

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Richard Lehnert of Good Fruit Grower earns MSU distinguished service award

March 11th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

Crab apple pruning demos

March 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

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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

WSU will add to tree fruit faculty

February 27th, 2015|0 Comments

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Washington Stat

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

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

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WAWGG honors grape industry members

February 17th, 2015|0 Comments

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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

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

February 17th, 2015|0 Comments

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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.

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Stark Bro’s testing new apple Scarlet Star

February 13th, 2015|0 Comments

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

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

  • Dr. Mike Willett, Tim Smith Paul Tvergyak and Brooke Peterson

WSU’s Tim Smith honored for 40 years of distinguished service

December 4th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Distinguished Service Award: Harold Thome

November 28th, 2014|1 Comment

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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.

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Sweet Rosa Lynn

November 28th, 2014|0 Comments

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The new apple variety Rosa Lynn is named after the wives of the two people who discovered it in an orchard at Royal City, Washington.

In 1998, José Ramirez, orchard manager at Stein-Manzana, and Dain Craver, general manager, noticed a tree in a mixed apple block that seemed different from the

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Latino Leadership Award 2014: José Ramirez

November 28th, 2014|1 Comment

His philosophy has always been that you can’t wait for things to happen around you. You have to make them happen.

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2014 Silver Apple Award goes to Jerry Haak

November 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Jerry Haak had a passion for growing fruit and finding better ways to do it. He used cutting-edge techniques not only to increase his yields, but to produce higher quality fruit and use labor more efficiently.

  • Jon DeVaney, Washington State Tree Fruit Association

New tree fruit association will expand services

November 28th, 2014|0 Comments

The new Washington Tree Fruit Association plans to expand its services to the industry, says President Jon DeVaney, who will be busy working on legislative affairs in the state capital of Olympia in the coming session.

  • Kirk Mayer

Growers’ advocate ends 42-year career

November 27th, 2014|0 Comments

During his four decades working at the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, Kirk Mayer saw the Washington apple crop grow from 25 million boxes to 140 million and availability of labor become an increasing concern.

Hort Council appoints information specialist

November 21st, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Tree fruit groups do well with new MAP funding

November 20th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Daniel Symms, 1961-2014

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

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Daniel Thomas Symms, great-grandson of the founder of Symms Fruit Ranch in Caldwell, Idaho, died from cancer on October 7. He was 52.

Symms grew up on the Symms Fruit Ranch until his father, Steven Symms, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1972. His father served four terms in the

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Growers sought for Piqa pears

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

New organization to promote Australia’s horticulture industry

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

RosBREED extended with new SCRI grant of $10 million

November 6th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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USDA Announces Loss Adjustment for Late Apple Harvest

November 6th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Schlect: Elections aftermath

November 5th, 2014|0 Comments

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● 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

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China opens to Washington State apples

October 29th, 2014|2 Comments

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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 endorses Newhouse

October 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Oxbo sells vineyard product line

July 28th, 2014|0 Comments

The latest products and services for tree fruit and grape growers.

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UC hires apiculturist

July 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Industry People in the news

  • Carter to retire from Hort Council

Carter retires from Hort Council

July 28th, 2014|0 Comments

Industry people in the news

  • Jon DeVaney, Washington State Tree Fruit Association

Jon DeVaney will head new tree fruit association

July 22nd, 2014|0 Comments

Maintaining services for growers will be a priority after merger of four tree fruit organizations.

Thurlby on radio: 2014 Northwest cherry crop still looking great

June 26th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Warmest spring in 20 years ends with hottest May since 1997

June 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Grim: Washington’s industry consolidation has reached the bell lap

June 16th, 2014|0 Comments

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).

Goodbye, Washington Growers Clearing House; hello, Tree Fruit Association

June 13th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

  • Governor visits new line as cherry harvest begins

Washington Gov. Inslee kicks off 2014 cherry season

June 6th, 2014|0 Comments

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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.

Plath escorted

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WSU researcher wins educator award

May 16th, 2014|0 Comments

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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,

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Honorees announced for Washington Wine auction

May 16th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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NW Cherry Growers expect 19.96m boxes this year, up 39 percent from 2013

May 9th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Quick Bites for April 15, 2014

April 15th, 2014|0 Comments

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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.

The commission

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Mayer named Apple Citizen of the Year

March 26th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Inspiration Awards presented to Yakima area farm families

March 18th, 2014|0 Comments

Four couples from Mexico were honored by the Center for Latino Farmers in Yakima

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Bee expert to retire

March 18th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Cracked dam in WA causes scramble for water

March 14th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Washington Apple Commission revises roles in handling market access issues

March 14th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Commission: More MAP dollars mean cherries go farther

March 13th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Grape growers recognize industry leaders

February 14th, 2014|0 Comments

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.

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Michigan growers vote on creation of Tree Fruit Commission

February 14th, 2014|0 Comments

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Michigan growers of apples, cherries, peaches, and plums are voting this next two weeks on a plan to create the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission. Ballots were to be mailed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, and they needed to be postmarked for return by February 28.

At a meeting last week

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Dawn Drake is Michigan Pomesters’ Fruit Person of the Year

February 12th, 2014|0 Comments

Dawn Drake, manager of the Michigan Processing Apple Growers, has won the Michigan Pomesters’ Fruit Person of the Year Award.

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Billionaire quiet on vineyard plans

January 30th, 2014|0 Comments

Aquilini’s British Columbia company shocked the wine world with the purchase of land at Red Mountain.

Speedy grafting tools

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

GRAS2P record-keeping

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Fruit legends star in minimovies

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Wine foundation honored

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Give feedback on crop insurance

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

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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

Washington State fruit consolidation plan advances

January 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

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

Top 5 global wine trends

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

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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

World fruit watch for January 15, 2014

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Happenings in the world of tree fruit.

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Michigan Apple Queen crowned

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Oregon Cherry Growers promotes Weeden

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

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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

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Jim Archer named 69th Cherry King

January 13th, 2014|0 Comments

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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,

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NFE’s Archer retires

January 13th, 2014|0 Comments

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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.

The

  • Washington Hort Show, day 2

No ban on small cherries

December 19th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

B.J.

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Taylor: FDA will make food rules more farmer friendly

December 19th, 2013|1 Comment

Growers, you were heard. But what's next?

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Michigan’s Expo draws record crowd

December 13th, 2013|0 Comments

Speakers focus on threats to bees, funds for experiment stations, and fruiting walls.

Feedback wanted on Washington’s consolidation plan

December 6th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Hort Association bestows honors

December 5th, 2013|0 Comments

Kent Christensen, president of Independent Warehouse, Inc., in Dryden, Washington, received the Washington State Horticultural Association’s Silver Pear Award during the association’s annual meeting in December.

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Grower comments wanted

November 27th, 2013|0 Comments

Consolidation task force seeks input.

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Colombini, the collaborator

November 27th, 2013|0 Comments

California orchardist has helped bring Northwest and California cherry industries together.

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Learn by doing

November 27th, 2013|0 Comments

Jeff Colombini has learned the hard way that not all growing techniques fit his conditions.

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Meet the 2013 Grower of the Year

November 27th, 2013|0 Comments

California grower has an open door -- Jeff Colombini is always looking for a better way to grow fruit.

Opportunities in olives

November 27th, 2013|0 Comments

California's extra virgin olive oil renaissance is due in part to concern about future labor shortages.

  • Jim McFerson, Washington Tree Fruit Commission

A passion for research

November 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

Jim McFerson is passionate about bringing the benefits of research and extension to the entire tree fruit industry

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Last Bite: What are they talking about?

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

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1 “Our biggest fear was jettisoning good fruit.”  —Paul Koch
a. Overzealous inspector
b. In-field sorting
c. Nondestructive fruit quality
detector
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

  • Moserrchard

In My View: A journalist returns to farming

November 18th, 2013|2 Comments

Kate Moser is a former newspaper journalist who decided to return to and run the family farm. In this essay, she tells why.

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Fernandez and Mullinax join Good Fruit Grower

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

Fernandez will

In The Box

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

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Apple cruncher
Dear Good Fruit Grower:

Chloe is the daughter of my daughter, Andrea, and her husband, Kyle Underwood. Their little family of three is currently living with me and my wife, Kathy. This is a true story about Chloe. Every year during apple harvest, we place a bin of apples outside

First Bite: A new, digital chapter

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

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Welcome to the Good Fruit Grower issue themed on technology. On that topic, I’d like update readers on how we’re using digital tools to serve growers better.

Good Fruit Grower began in print in 1946. The magazine moved into the digital age in 1996 when it launched a Web site. The

Nominate a wine legend

October 30th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Produce shipper recognized for community support

October 30th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Benbrook appointed to Organic Center's new board

October 30th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Underwood retires after 45 years

October 28th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

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Russian retailers see Washington harvest

October 25th, 2013|0 Comments

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Produce buyers from five Russian retail chains, who came to Washington State this week to learn about the tree fruit industry, said they were impressed by the technology in orchards and packing houses, as well as by the openness of the people.

This was the first trip to the United States

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Preparing for change

October 18th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

David Mas Masumoto to address Tilth meeting

October 4th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

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Fall events scheduled at the Clore Center

October 4th, 2013|0 Comments

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Two events scheduled in November at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center will help raise funds for the educational center being built in Prosser, Washington.

Biker Rally Raffle Party, November 1 –  Halloween fun will continue during the Biker Rally Party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Come dressed in

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Video: Governor attends Wine Science Center groundbreaking

September 27th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

 

The groundbreaking

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Lutz returns to Washington’s apple industry

September 23rd, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Rabo AgriFinance grows Washington staff

September 11th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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USDA’s Ramming inducted in Hall of Fame

September 11th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Citizen scientists needed to count stinkbugs

September 10th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

Tracy Leskey,

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Universities collaborate

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Universities collaborate

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

WSU to interview tree fruit physiologists

August 19th, 2013|0 Comments

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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,

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Apple Commission promotes Trovato

August 16th, 2013|0 Comments

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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,

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OSU celebrates 100 years of ag service at Hood River

August 9th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Crunch Pak hires Sargent as CEO

August 6th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Good Stuff

August 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Scott leaves Apple Commission

August 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Good Stuff

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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Book of secrets
Karin Argo of Zillah, Washington, is selling the second edition of her popular The Secrets of Eastern Washington Cookbook. Argo, who grew up on an apple, cherry, and pear orchard in Yakima, said she wrote the book as a way to showcase agriculture in central Washington. It includes

Quick Bites

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Yakima Valley AVA turns 30

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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First Bite

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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As the Northwest cherry season draws closer, for the first time in six or seven years I am thinking that the 2013 harvest has the potential to begin during the first days of June. If you’ve ever seen the movie Money Ball, you know the premise of determining a “winning”

Food Alliance’s future uncertain

May 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Trends in organic tree fruit

May 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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:
Apples

Certified organic acreage declined in 2012 to 13,655 acres.
 Fuji is the

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Cornell releases wine grape varieties

April 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

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Meet Washington State’s new agriculture director

April 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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Bud Hover’s road to directorship of the Washington State Department of Agriculture began in 1938 when his mother and her family loaded their belongings on a truck and left North Dakota, headed west at 35 miles per hour.

Hover calls it a scene from The Grapes of Wrath. His mother at

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WSU seeks licensee

April 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Students tackle tree fruit issues

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Tree fruit program revived

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Another Geneva mixup

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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An educator who teaches hope

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Project objectives

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Bee Care Center

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

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WA 38 will have a name

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Conserving wild pollinators

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Good job

March 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Extension leader has ambitious goals

March 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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Dr. Des Layne, Washington State University’s new and first tree fruit extension team leader, began work on February 1 with no modest ambition in mind.

“I am eager to help the WSU folks raise the profile of their online presence, to add new content, and to create the highest quality tree-fruit

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WSU Grape irrigation bulletin

February 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Good Stuff

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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New managing editor hired for Good Fruit Grower

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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Casey Corr

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

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New winery adds capacity

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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,

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First Bite—Farewell

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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Jim Black

I retire as managing editor as of February 1, having served Good Fruit Grower for over 20 years. Getting to know so many of you has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I think you grow wonderful, healthy, great-tasting fruit, but it’s not the fruit

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Zirkle Fruit moves into wine

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Quick Bites

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Good to Go

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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.

Good Stuff

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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Molded fruit
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

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Auction benefits research

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Red-fleshed apples

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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,

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End of the line

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Spooked by the weather

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Ladders on the run

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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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

Hort awards and recognition

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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The following fruit industry members were honored during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in December.
Silver Apple
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

Juice grape crop down in 2012

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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New player enters Concord juice deal

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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The last berries of a Concord grape delivery make their way from the receiving station to the de-stemmer.
Photo by Melissa Hansen

The Concord grape juice industry, though known for up and down swings in production, is a stable one, with little change from year to year in acreage numbers or new

Good Job

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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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

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Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Organic trade association seeks input

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Cost of growing Reds

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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A new economic study from Washington State University estimates the variable costs  of producing Red Delicious in a mature orchard at $6,436 per acre and fixed costs at another $2,804. On top of that, the grower would pay $12,862 in packing charges, assuming a net yield of 59.50 bins per

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Newest AVA

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Cameron Fries of White Heron Cellars was one of several who worked to create the new Ancient Lakes AVA.
Photo courtesy of White Heron Cellars

When the first wine grapes were planted in Washington State’s newest American Viticultural Area more than 30 years ago, the new crop looked out of place next

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Washington-Chile partnership

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

GAO report documents, but doesn’t fix, H-2A

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Good Point: Real estate activity by region

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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,

Nursery trees are selling fast

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Borton Fruit turns 100

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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)

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Information is key

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Classes for Hispanics

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Des Layne joins WSU

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Washington State University has appointed Dr. Desmond Layne, a professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, to the new position of tree fruit extension team leader. He will start his new job on February 1. The position was created after Washington apple and pear growers voted last year to pay

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New director

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Vineyard and winery courses go online

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Planning for continued success

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Good Stuff

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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U.S. cider takes U.K. honors

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Honeycrisp moves into top six

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Apple pricing will be challenging this year

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Fireblight expert retires

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse.
Geraldine Warner

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

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Good to know: WSU releases WA 38 apple

September 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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The latest release from WSU, WA 38, is an eye-catching, large, dark red apple with a remarkably firm, crisp, and juicy texture. It also has exceptional flavor with ample sweetness and enough tartness to impart real character. When it comes to the combination of taste, texture, and beauty, WA 38

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Good to Know: A gem of a pear

September 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Good Stuff

August 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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,

Canned pear assessment drops

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Northwest pear growers will pay a reduced assessment on canned pears in the coming season. The rate will drop from $7.33 per ton to $7.00 per ton.

The new rate was approved at the annual meeting of the Processed Pear Committee in Portland on May 30. The rate includes $5.50 a

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Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Truitt Brothers helps consolidate pear processing

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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After almost 40 years as a major pear canner, Truitt Brothers of Salem, Oregon, is “bowing out” of the business in order to help the industry consolidate.

The company is no longer processing pears, and its 50 growers will instead take their fruit to Northwest Packing Company (part of the Neil

Canning pear price set for Pacific Northwest

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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The price for processing Bartlett pears grown in the Pacific Northwest has been set for the next three years.

The two remaining Northwest processors that buy pears on the cash market—Del Monte Foods and Northwest Packing (part of the Neil Jones Food Company)—will pay $260 a ton for field run, No.

Bob Koehler promoted by Pear Bureau

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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WA 2 update

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Muscat plantings on the rise

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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.

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B.C. releases blush cherries

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Succession of cherries

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Sustainable program for wineries launched

May 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

New group begins work

May 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Niche product

May 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Growers vote on special assessment

April 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Root2Fruit group will request research funding

April 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Aiming for efficiency

April 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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WSU releases promising apple

April 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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WSU’s newest variety, WA 38, is a cross of Enterprise and Honeycrisp.
Geraldine Warner

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

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Tree Fruit Day in Olympia

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Hort president David Douglas, left, and Jennifer Armen discussed tree fruit interests with Senator Linda Evans-Parlette in her Olympia office.
Jim Black

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.

Meetings with

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B.C. growers propose apple agency

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Kirpal Boparai, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, says his priority is to get money into growers’ pockets.
Terry Edwards

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

New pesticide safety guide released

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Cherry committee up for renewal

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

WSU recruiting

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Good Stuff

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Access to China is near

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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It’s been almost two decades since the U.S. pear industry began pushing for access to China, but it finally appears that the market might open during the 2012-2013 season. “This has been a long-term effort to gain access for pears,” noted Mark Powers, vice president at the Northwest

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Food alliance certifies eastern orchards

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

New fungicides benefit from lessons of Benlate

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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Fruit growers will have new fungicides this year to help manage diseases as diverse as leaf spot in cherries, scab in apples, and brown rot and scab on peaches.      The new materials are so-called second-­generation succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHI), similar in action to boscalid, one of

Good Job

February 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Cherry marketing order passes

February 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

High-tech nursery launched

January 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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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

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Washington’s grape crop down in 2011

January 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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Concord yields varied widely last year, ranging from no crop to 20 tons per acre.
Suphasuk Pradubsuk

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

Committee nominations

January 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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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

Good Stuff

December 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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.

The Snyder

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Vineland launches an apple breeding program

December 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Daryl Somers

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,

Committee to advise on endowments

December 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

B.C.’s strategic plan stymied

November 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

Great Lakes Expo set for December 6–8

November 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

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What is driving change in the tree fruit industry?

November 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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,

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Safety regulations nix customized platforms

November 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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 vote

November 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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,

SweeTango lawsuit settled

November 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

Michigan apple companies join forces

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

Wine industry backs new center

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

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The big picture

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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When the U.S. Apple Association holds its annual marketing and outlook conference in Chicago in August, it’s an occasion to look at the big picture. Not only do the 300 or so apple growers, packers, and shippers evaluate the size and condition of the United States crop, they try for

More late cherries coming

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

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Peach breeder Dick Okie retiring

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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

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Good Stuff

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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.
More stinkbug

Special assessment would fund research

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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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.

The Washington

First forecast of U.S. apple crop

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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It takes true grit to try to assess the size and quality of the United States apple crop on the first day of summer, when the June drop still isn’t over and growers are ­making decisions about whether or not to thin one last time.

But each year, about 150 fruit

Pear assessments drop

July 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Pear growers in the Pacific Northwest will pay less money to the Pear Bureau Northwest for ­winter pear promotions in the coming season.

The Pear Bureau’s board of directors has reduced its assessment rate for winter pear promotions from 44 to 41 cents per box, reflecting the trend for producers and

Opportunities for cherry exports

July 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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The Pacific Northwest cherry harvest is running later than usual this year, which could open up opportunities in export markets.

Because of a late spring, shipments were expected to peak after the Fourth of July weekend, which is a crucial time for cherry promotions and sales. However, the season has been

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H-2A changes add cost, difficulty

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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The McDougall & Sons housing camps are made up of manufactured units for 12 people. This camp at Quincy, Washington, has 96 beds.
GERALDINE WARNER

An increase in the wage rate that employers must pay workers recruited through the H-2A guest-worker program will add well over $1 million to labor costs this

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Good Stuff

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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New spraying book
Dr. Andrew Landers’ new book Effective Vineyard Spraying is now available for purchase from Cornell University. Landers, who directs the application technology program at Cornell, has conducted sprayer workshops for growers from coast to coast. His practical guidebook is filled with suggestions to help growers save money and

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NY seeks marketing strategy

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Those new apples from New York are being prepared to come to market, with the first expected in quantity in direct farm markets in 2014 and in commercial markets in 2015 or 2016.

At least, that’s what’s envisioned in the overall plan that’s in the process of development. The apples have

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Fungicide tools and resistance management guidelines

May 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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As of spring 2011, growers in eastern Washington have several new fungicides at their disposal for managing powdery mildew.

For cherry growers, new products include Adament ­(tebuconazole + trifloxystrobin), Quash (metconazole), and Unicorn (tebuconazole + sulfur).

Four new materials are available for grape growers: Adament, Inspire Super ­(difenoconazole + cyprodinil), Unicorn, and

British cherry breeding to continue

May 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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Cherry breeding at East Malling Research Center in the United Kingdom will continue thanks to a three-way partnership involving East Malling Research, an international nursery group, and a produce marketing company.

Dr. Felicidad Fernández Fernández, plant breeder and molecular geneticist at East Malling Research, said that public funding for cherry breeding

Growers vote on special assessment

April 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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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

Root2Fruit group will request research funding

April 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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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

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Clean plant center has new manager

April 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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James Susaimuthu inspects plant material in the Fruit Tree Clean Plant Center’s greenhouse.

One of the goals of Dr. James Susaimuthu, new program manager of the Fruit Tree Clean Plant Center, is to use his diagnostic skills to find ways to improve virus testing of plant material.

Susaimuthu, with a background in

Manager ready to tackle real problems

April 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Dr. James Susaimuthu, program manager of the Fruit Tree Clean Plant Center at Prosser, Washington, attended ­­college in India before coming to the United States and graduating with a doctorate in plant virology from the ­University of Arkansas.

In his role at the Fruit Tree Network, he sees opportunity to use

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Good Job

March 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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Allan Baugher wins Maryland hort award
The Maryland State Horticultural Society gave Allan Baugher of Westminster, Maryland, its Harry Black Distinguished Service Award during the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in February. The Baugher family operates Baugher’s Farm Orchard Market.

The award was presented by his son Dwight who

Good Stuff

March 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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Sweet success
A new series of scab-resistant apples called “Sweet Resistants” developed by the Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti (CIV) in Italy was among the ten finalists for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award during the Fruit Logistica trade fair in February. The five varieties in the series are Gaia, Gemini, Renoir, Smeralda, and

New food safety law could swallow GAP programs

March 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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When provisions of the new food safety law (the ­American Food Safety Modernization Act) are implemented, Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification ­programs should wither away, no longer needed.

But that’s not likely to happen soon, according to Phil Tocco, a Michigan State University Extension educator who advises fruit growers and food

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Good Job

March 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Jim and Rose King, at left, and John and Betsy King, right, pose with their award and the National Cherry Queen Maria LaCross, who hails from a tart cherry farm close to King Orchards.

Very Cherry Promotion Award
The National Cherry Festival Committee has awarded the Very Cherry Promotion Award to John

Good Job

February 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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John Carter crowned king
The Dalles, Oregon, cherry grower John Carter was named 2010 Cherry King during the annual Cherry Institute meeting held in Yakima, Washington. Carter was the 67th king to be crowned by the institute.

Rick Derrey, who presented the award, said that Carter’s interest and involvement in cherry research

No apple releases imminent

February 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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Washington State University’s apple breeder, Dr. Kate Evans, is not recommending that the university release another variety for at least a year or two.

The breeding program’s first variety, WA 2, was released in 2009, went into widescale evaluation a year ago, and can now be planted commercially. The second variety,

Quick Bites

February 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Pear committee nominations
Nominations for positions on the Processed Pear Committee will be accepted during upcoming fruit industry meetings.

Nominations for an Oregon handler position held by Doug Lowry (with Rob Peterson first alternate and Gary Wells second alternate) will be taken during the Hood River Grower-Shipper Association’s annual meeting at the

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Stepping aside

February 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Tedd Wildman is busy loading grapes during harvest.

It would be easier to list the industry groups that Prosser, Washington’s Tedd Wildman has not been actively involved with than to list the ones he has chaired or served as an officer or board member.

In addition to serving as chair of the

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Good Job

February 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Michelle Moyer, the new viticultural extension specialist for Washington State, visits vineyards in Oppenheim, Germany.

New viticultural specialist hired
Michelle Moyer had a family nursery and landscape business waiting for her in Wisconsin, but instead chose viticulture while working on her master’s degree and doctorate at Cornell University. Moyer will start her

Fumigation improves productivity

January 15th, 2011|0 Comments

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Published January 15, 2011
Over the past 25 years, 130,000 acres of orchards have been replanted in Washington State, requiring a total investment of $1.7 billion, estimates Tim Smith, Washington State University Extension educator in north central Washington.

Sometimes, the trees grew well and recouped the investment, but occasionally they didn’t because

Good Job

January 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Silver Apple
Organic grower and consultant Dain Craver of Royal City received the Washington State Horticultural Association’s Silver Apple award.

Craver grew up in California. His father, a police officer and part-time actor, moved the family to Spokane, Washington, when Craver was young. After attending Washington State University, Craver got a job

Economic outlook for tree fruit

January 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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The economic outlook for the tree fruit­ ­industry in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest is quite good. This conclusion may surprise many readers accustomed to the steady stream of negative stories in the media. However, the reason for this optimism about the fruit industry is that it now services

Learn how to get paid

January 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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Increasing numbers of growers are reporting difficulty in getting paid for their grapes, a result of the trickle effect that the down economy has had on the farm. To help growers improve their chances of payment, a series of “Getting Paid” seminars is planned in ­Washington State.

The first “Getting Paid”

Smaller Washington grape crop in 2010

January 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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A steady trend in juice grape acreage and reduced overall inventory of grape juice should lead to similar—or slightly higher—cash prices for the coming year, predicts agricultural economist Trent Ball. But he warns of big crops for ­Washington and New York in the coming year.

Ball, coordinator of Yakima Valley Community

Pear Bureau to work closer with sales desks

January 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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A pear industry task force is recommending that the Pear Bureau Northwest and pear shippers and marketers work more closely together when setting up retail promotions on the domestic market.

The task force was established early in 2010, following a Pear Bureau strategic planning meeting, to review the way the bureau

Specialty crops will be on center stage

January 1st, 2011|0 Comments

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David Schweikhardt predicts a lively specialty-crops– centered Farm Bill debate will start in Congress soon.

Specialty crops growers, who were pleased that they got “their own title” in the 2008 Farm Bill, will be even more the focus of attention as the new 112th Congress turns to composing a new Farm

Fruit survey coming up

December 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Starting in December, Washington State tree fruit and grape growers will be asked for information on their acreage, varieties, and rootstocks for an industrywide survey that will be compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The last grape and tree fruit acreage survey was published in 2006. Dan Kelly, assistant manager

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WSU seeks to fund priority programs

December 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Dr. Jay Brunner

Washington State University will officially announce a major fundraising campaign this month to fund priority programs.

The university aims to raise a billion dollars over a five-year period, and already raised a significant amount before moving the campaign into the public phase. About 25 percent of the target is

Wine science center campaign begins

December 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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A Washington State University wine science center could be near reality within two years. A fundraising campaign to raise private and public funds to build the center at WSU’s Tri-Cities branch has already garnered significant donations.

Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling, director of WSU’s viticulture and enology program, said that wine industry needs

WSU releases second new apple, called WA 5

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Just a year after the release of WA 2, WSU’s apple breeding program in Wenatchee is releasing its second new cultivar, WA 5. WA 5 is sufficiently different from WA 2 in ripening season, appearance, and eating quality to justify its release.

With a bright orange-red stripe covering 60 to 90

Good Job

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Oregon State University hires research assistant
Preston Brown has been appointed research assistant at OSU’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Hood River. He will assist Dr. Peter Shearer, superintendent of the center, with lab and field studies on the biology, ecology, and management of insect and mite pests, including

Good Job

September 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Scharlau joins grape board
Vicky Scharlau, executive director of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, has been elected to the board of the National Grape Clean Plant Network to succeed Tedd Wildman, owner of Stone Tree Vineyard near Mattawa, Washington.

The National Clean Plant Network was created by the U.S. Department

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Farmworker housing opens in Othello

August 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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The Othello Housing Authority’s new Lugar Seguro (Safe Place) housing development has 19 units designed to accommodate 96 farm­workers and family members. Each unit has two or three bedrooms, a bathroom, and fully equipped kitchen. The development has an on-site ­manager.

The Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing, in Yakima, Washington,

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Good Stuff

August 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Owners change at Burrows Tractor
John Riel, who joined Burrows Tractor Company in Yakima, Washington, 32 years ago as a general helper, has bought the company.

Riel started work there after graduating from high school. He became a mechanic in the service department, was promoted to service manager, and transitioned into sales,

Good Job

August 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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New AgWeatherNet director
Dr. Gerrit Hoogenboom, a professor of agrometeorology and crop modeling, has been appointed director of Washington State University’s agricultural weather network, AgWeatherNet. He succeeds Dr. Gary Grove, who will continue his research and extension program in plant pathology.

Hoogenboom was previously a professor in agrometeorology and crop modeling at

Good Job

July 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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E.W. Brandt & Sons, Inc., of Parker, Washington, has announced a change in leadership roles for owners and brothers Lynnell and Allen Brandt, that was made effective in May. Lynnell, who has served as company president since 2003, is transferring his duties to second vice president with responsibilities to oversee

Good to Go

June 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Cherry Variety Showcase July 8
The annual Cherry Variety Showcase will be held July 8 at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center in Benton Harbor. The showcase starts at 4 p.m. with variety displays and commentary. Speakers will include Dr. Greg Lang, Michigan State University; Dr. Robert Andersen, professor emeritus

Good Stuff

June 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Voliam label expansion
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has approved a label expansion for Voliam Xpress insectide, which allows its use on pome and stone fruits, and other crops. Voliam, developed by Syngenta Crop Protection, contains two active ingredients with different modes of action: the diamide insecticide chlorantraniliprole and the

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New rules govern Michigan irrigators

June 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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Last July, new rules in Michigan required most would-be irrigators to get permission to withdraw water either from groundwater using wells or from flowing streams and rivers.

This was shocking in itself, for Michigan is a riparian state in which both surface and groundwater used to be freely available to all

First Bite

June 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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We’re excited to offer you, our print readers, something new, something interactive, and something, we hope, that will pique your interest, too. In April, we exchanged our old Web site layout for a whiz-bang, state-of-the-art site design that features original news stories, blogs from industry leaders, and topical content for

Good Job

June 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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WSU team writes “best paper”
Washington State University Extension enologist Jim Harbertson and colleagues received an award for the 2009 Best Paper in Enology from the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. The paper, “Chemical and Sensory Effects of Saignée, Water Addition, and Extended Maceration on High Brix Must,” published earlier

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Geneva releases four new rootstocks

May 15th, 2010|0 Comments

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Four rootstocks were released this winter where they join seven others in the stable of Geneva apple rootstocks. Three of the new ones are more vigorous and larger than Malling 9, and one is in the size class with the M.9 Pajam 2 clone, which is slightly more vigorous than

Good Job

May 15th, 2010|0 Comments

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Harold Thome is Pomesters’ Fruit Man of the Year
Harold Thome, a fourth-generation apple grower on Fruit Ridge near Comstock Park, Michigan, has been named Fruit Man of the Year by the Michigan Association of Pomesters.

Now 78, Thome has turned management over to son Steve, but he still works on the

Good to Go

May 1st, 2010|0 Comments

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