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Stemilt will use virtual reality for tours at PMA show

October 17th, 2017|0 Comments

Those attending the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit will get a glimpse of Stemilt Growers without having to leave the conference.

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European Cherry Fruit Fly found in NY

October 16th, 2017|0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed that European Cherry Fruit Fly is now present in Niagara County, New York. The invasive pest was first detected in North America in Ontario, Canada, in 2015.

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Good Fruit Grower earns grant for Spanish coverage

October 11th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington State Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced this year's recipients of Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds.

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Ferguson joins Pear Bureau

October 11th, 2017|0 Comments

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Neil Ferguson has joined Pear Bureau Northwest as a communications specialist.

Ferguson recently worked as a media content developer for Coroflot, a site that connects creative professionals with work opportunities. He has also worked as a freelance journalist and editor.

Kevin Moffitt, President and CEO of Pear Bureau Northwest, added, “Neil’s versatile

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Produce Safety training courses set for Wenatchee

October 11th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association will hold Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training courses on Oct. 24 and 25 in Wenatchee, Washington.

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Mid-Columbia CORE pesticide training set

October 5th, 2017|0 Comments

Mid-Columbia CORE pesticide training is scheduled for Dec. 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop will be held in the Columbia Gorge Community College Lecture Hall, Building 2 in The Dalles.

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Michigan State Extension seeks survey participants

October 5th, 2017|0 Comments

Michigan State University Extension is looking for participants in its Fruit Team Impact Survey.

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House bill would revamp H-2A program

October 3rd, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest tree fruit industry groups tentatively praised Monday’s effort by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, to revamp the nation’s agricultural guest worker program.

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Wa Tree Fruit Research Commission is hiring

September 28th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, an agency whose work is invaluable to the tree fruit industry, is hiring a Special Projects Coordinator.

The coordinator will work on projects that are central to the organization’s mission.

The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with colleagues, board members, growers, faculty and staff of

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Justices hear arguments on farmworker piece-rate wages

September 14th, 2017|0 Comments

Washington State Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Sept. 14 at the Temple of Justice in Olympia on the question of whether employers should be mandated to pay their piece-rate workers a separate hourly rate for work not directly connected to production, such as training or waiting for equipment.

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Grape & Wine Issues Caucus set for Nov. 14 in Yakima

August 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Washington Winegrowers and the Washington Wine Institute will hold their Grape & Wine Issues Caucus on Nov. 14 in Yakima.

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WAEF hosting ESL forum in Central Washington

August 29th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington Apple Education Foundation will host its fifth adult English as a second language forum on Sept. 13 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. The forum is open to providers of adult ESL located in Central Washington.

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Perry, cider’s understated cousin, making its own name

August 29th, 2017|0 Comments

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by Linda Weiford, WSUNews

An alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears that was a favorite drink of Napoleon’s is gaining popularity in the United States, thanks to a wave of hard apple cider producers in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington and Oregon grow more pears than any other region in the nation. So

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Cosmic Crisp field day rescheduled

August 28th, 2017|0 Comments

Washington State University has rescheduled its field day for the WA 38 apple, better known as Cosmic Crisp.

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NAFTA is the talk of USApple Outlook conference

August 24th, 2017|1 Comment

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The three parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement — the United States, Canada and Mexico — have entered negotiations on a new deal, so it’s no surprise NAFTA is the hot topic this week at the 2017 USApple Outlook conference in Chicago.

The stakes are high for the U.S.

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Unusual property coming on market near Walla Walla

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

A land brokerage has announced a call for bids on a roughly 6,000 contiguous acre plot near Walla Walla, Washington.

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European Union predicts down year for apples

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

The European Union is estimating a 9.343 million metric ton apple harvest for the 2017-18 growing season, down 21 percent from 2016, according to a press release from Interpoma. The total is equivalent to about 10.3 million U.S. tons, or 1.03 billion 20-pound boxes.

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Free event in Yakima for growers Sept. 21 on intellectual property management

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

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A free Intellectual Property Washington Summit for growers will be held Sept. 21 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Yakima, Washington.

The event will feature presentations by Proprietary Variety Management, a patent attorney, a trademark attorney, an expert on product naming and brand development, and an expert on enforcement topics with

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Wine Spectator donates $1 million to WSU wine program

August 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

The Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation will donate $1 million to the Washington State University Viticulture & Enology program.

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California eyes changes to chlorpyrifos regulation

August 21st, 2017|0 Comments

The California Environmental Protection Agency has announced that two state agencies are pursuing actions that could lead to increased restrictions on chlorpyrifos, a widely used agricultural pesticide.

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Cherry pesticide residue survey results available

August 17th, 2017|0 Comments

The results of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission’s seventh annual cherry pesticide residue survey are now available.

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WSTFA releases hand washing training video

August 17th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association has released a training video on hand washing for tree fruit packing house employees.

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New version of UC Produce Facts app released

August 15th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Postharvest Center at the University of California, Davis has released a new version of its “UC Produce Facts” app for Android devices.
The app, which joins an iOS version released in January, includes storage recommendations, maturity and quality indices, and physiological and physical disorder identification tools for 132 fruits, vegetables

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Steinbach named Michigan Apples dietician

August 15th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Michigan Apple Commission has named Shari Steinbach the official dietician of Michigan Apples.
Steinbach is president of Shari Steinbach & Associates and previously worked as a dietician for major retailers in the Midwest, including Meijer for 26 years. In those roles, she managed consumer health communication, health influencer partnerships, nutrition

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Washington state authorities find live female gypsy moths

August 14th, 2017|0 Comments

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After more than 40 years of trapping, the Washington State Department of Agriculture has discovered live female gypsy moths for the first time, according to a news release.

“This is an extraordinary find for our team,” said Jim Marra, WSDA Pest Program Manager. “While we have found evidence of reproducing gypsy

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Report: European apple forecast down 21 percent

August 11th, 2017|0 Comments

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The World Apple and Pear Association is forecasting a 2017 European apple crop that will be 21 percent less than the previous year. 

The association expects the crop at 9.34 million metric tons, or 489 million 42-pound cartons, according to a news release. Of the total crop, about 324 million cartons are

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Big cherry crop came with surprises

August 10th, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest cherry growers produced a record crop this season, but they’ll be looking for ways in the offseason to improve fruit size and quality next year following complaints that some of the fruit didn’t meet the industry’s usual high standards.

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Northwest pear growers announce 2017 fresh market volume estimate

August 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest pear growers anticipate harvesting about the same volume of fresh market pears as last year, but organic production is expected to skyrocket.

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Board mulling lower assessments for Oregon brine cherries

August 7th, 2017|0 Comments

The Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission is considering a proposed administrative rule change to reduce the assessment rate on brine cherries.

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Washington apple crop expected to be big, but not a record

August 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Washington apple growers expect a large, but not record, fresh volume for the 2017 harvest, which has begun in some of the earliest locations.

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Cornell berry workshop set for Aug. 29

July 31st, 2017|0 Comments

Cornell University will hold a berry crop field workshop at Aug. 29 at the Berry Patch in Stephentown, N.Y.

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Washington wine commission sets research priorities

July 26th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington State Wine Commission has approved a list of research priorities for the coming year.

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WSU Transitioning to Organic tour set for Aug. 2, 3

July 24th, 2017|0 Comments

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Washington State University and the Next Generation Tree Fruit Network will hold a pair of tours focusing on transitioning to organic farming.

The first tour will be from 3-5 p.m. on Aug. 2 at Brownfield Orchards in Chelan. Mike Brownfield has farmed organic apples, pears and cherries since 1990. Jeff Collins,

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NY Apple Association makes staffing changes

July 14th, 2017|0 Comments

The New York Apple Association has announced that its president and CEO Cynthia Haskins will direct the association's marketing and promotional activities for the 2017 apple crop.

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Lake Ontario Tour shows wide range of New York tree fruit farming

July 12th, 2017|0 Comments

The only consistency on the Lake Ontario Fruit Program tour this summer was the humidity. Otherwise, the five-farm tour organized by Cornell University Cooperative Extension covered a remarkably diverse swath of tree fruit farming in a narrow band along Lake Ontario’s shores: new high density apple plantings and apple orchards far older than this reporter, along with high density peaches, berries, and a brand new cidery.

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Bryant Christie Inc. celebrates 25th anniversary

July 12th, 2017|0 Comments

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Bryant Christie Inc., a company that helps agricultural, food and beverage producers open and expand foreign markets, celebrated its 25th anniversary on July 1.

The company was founded in 1992 as W.L. Bryant Co. by Bill Bryant, who was previously a vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council in Yakima, Washington.

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Scholarships offered for United Fresh Washington Conference

July 12th, 2017|0 Comments

The application period for the 2017 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship is now open.

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IFTA seeks new management and staffing proposals

July 5th, 2017|0 Comments

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The International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) seeks proposals from individuals or management companies to provide executive management and staffing functions effective no later than January 1, 2018.  

This Request for Proposals has information on the scope of services requested as well as relevant deadlines and timelines.

Interested parties may submit questions

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Mite threatening honeybees in New York

June 29th, 2017|0 Comments

A tiny mite is being blamed for major honeybee losses in New York, threatening the state’s $500 million agriculture industry.

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Five companies honored with Produce Innovation Awards

June 29th, 2017|0 Comments

Five products were honored with Produce Innovation Awards at the United Fresh Produce Association’s event in June.

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WSU wine researchers win distilled spirit honors

June 29th, 2017|0 Comments

A team from Washington State University took home top honors at the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, for research on spirits using a technique traditionally used on wine.

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New estimate points to record NW cherry crop

June 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

Now that cherry harvest is in full swing, growers have updated their estimate of the crop size.

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Cornell professor wants you to name his new grape

June 20th, 2017|0 Comments

At twice the size of a Concord, a new grape developed in New York is certainly a mouthful. So is its current name: NY98.0228.02.

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Oregon State to fill 2 vacant hort positions

June 19th, 2017|0 Comments

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Oregon State University will hold two meetings this summer to discuss the filling of two vacant horticultural positions in the extension program. 

The Hood River County spot was previously held by Steve Castagnoli, who is now the director of Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, also in Hood

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Amazon purchase of Whole Foods a sign of big disruption in food retailing

June 16th, 2017|0 Comments

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America’s grocery stores are undergoing tremendous change.

Profits face downward pressure. Consumers are buying more from outside of traditional supermarkets. Online purveyors such as Blue Apron are on the rise. Two big German chains are expanding their presence in the U.S.

Then there’s Amazon, the online juggernaut that has turned its gaze to food

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Northwest cherry harvest begins

June 16th, 2017|0 Comments

The Northwest cherry season has begun with growers picking early varieties like Early Robin, Chelan and Santina, among others, according to Northwest Cherry Growers.

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Interpera Congress addresses industry inertia

June 15th, 2017|0 Comments

About 150 people attended the first day of Interpera 2017, this year’s World Pear Congress meeting, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Wenatchee.

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U.S. congressmen ask for analysis of Polish apples

June 14th, 2017|0 Comments

Two Republican lawmakers from apple producing states have asked for a full pest and disease risk analysis of fruit imported from Poland, a nation that has not previously met U.S. requirements.

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Chelan Fresh, Columbia Valley Fruit enter agreement

June 13th, 2017|0 Comments

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Six weeks after announcing a merger with another fruit company, Chelan Fresh has entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Columbia Valley Fruit of Union Gap, Washington.

Under the agreement, Chelan fresh will be the exclusive marketer of Columbia Valley Fruit’s organic and conventional apples. The fruit will be marketed under

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Oregon Cherry Growers processing business purchased by California cooperative

June 7th, 2017|0 Comments

The processing side of Oregon Cherry Growers, a grower cooperative, has been purchased by Pacific Coast Producers, a California co-op that processes and packages produce for retail and food service.

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Northwest pear growers predict smaller crop

June 1st, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest pear growers are estimating a fresh crop of about 17.6 million boxes for the 2017 season, down 2 percent from last year and down 10 percent from the five-year average.

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A Long goodbye for Oregon horticulturalist

June 1st, 2017|0 Comments

Thursday’s preharvest cherry tour, held every year in the Columbia Gorge areas of Washington and Oregon, concluded with a farewell celebration to Lynn Long, the horticulturist who usually leads it.

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Same grapes, different names

June 1st, 2017|0 Comments

A long running debate over grapes in Missouri and Arkansas has been put to rest by researchers at Missouri State University.

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L.A. Times: Trump promised a ‘big beautiful door’ in his border wall. California farmers are ready and waiting

May 25th, 2017|0 Comments

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From the Los Angeles Times:
More than 11,000 foreign guest workers like Betancourt were approved last year to harvest the lettuce, fruit and vegetables for California’s $47-billion agricultural industry — a fivefold increase from 2011, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of U.S. Labor Department data.

If this year’s hiring pace

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Vanguard International buys Pride Packing

May 25th, 2017|0 Comments

The Vanguard International Group of Issaquah, Washington, has purchased Pride Packing Co. of Wapato, Washington, to further its goal of developing a vertically integrated fresh-fruit organization.

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Holtzinger Fruit changes name to Fourth Leaf

May 25th, 2017|0 Comments

Holtzinger Fruit Co., the only packer in Washington that works solely with independent growers, has changed its name to Fourth Leaf Fruit Company.

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Sanitation workshops set for May 31, June 1

May 24th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission will host cleaning and sanitation workshops on May 31 in Naches, Washington, and on June 1 in East Wenatchee, Washington.

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Ag groups respond to Trump’s proposed budget

May 24th, 2017|0 Comments

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Here is an ongoing roundup of responses to President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal, which was released Tuesday, May 23.
Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance:

“We are very disappointed to see the President’s budget, released yesterday, call for draconian cuts, or even total elimination of programs that are important to the specialty

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Pscheidt: How to rate viruses

May 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

With three-dozen different viruses that can be found on cherry trees, which ones do growers need to worry about?

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What’s hiding in your orchard?

May 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

A survey of cherry viruses in Oregon has turned up none that are new to the Pacific Northwest, which is a good thing. However, at least two new viruses, and possibly a third, have been detected in Oregon for the first time — and two of the three could have a significant impact on cherry production if not controlled.

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Thurlby: Looking ahead to the Northwest cherry season

May 19th, 2017|0 Comments

In Washington, we just came through the rainiest March on record, and the view from the window tells me the season has yet to give way to what most of us would call “springtime conditions.”

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Seattle Times: Tree Top uses surplus peaches to feed hungry

May 19th, 2017|0 Comments

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From The Seattle Times:
There’s the old adage, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Tree Top, the food processing co-op based in Selah, Yakima County, has its own version: When life gives you peaches, make peach-flavored squeeze tubes that help feed the poor.

Tree Top, the nearly 60-year-old growers’ co-op, had a

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Scholarships available for IFTA trip to New Zealand

May 11th, 2017|0 Comments

IFTA has reserved a limited number of spots on its 2018 New Zealand Study Tour and Annual Conference for recipients of Young Professional Scholarships.

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WSU offering free soil testing

May 11th, 2017|0 Comments

WSU Extension is offering free soil health testing to a limited number of growers in Eastern Washington.

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WSDA to dedicate state-of-the-art greenhouse

May 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington Department of Agriculture will formally dedicate on May 11 a $750,000 greenhouse intended to support the tree fruit industry.

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Washington state’s Borton Fruit, Chelan Fresh to merge

May 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Two longtime Washington state fruit companies will join forces when Chelan Fresh merges with Borton Fruit this summer.

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Oregon State researcher Wang has died

April 28th, 2017|0 Comments

Dr. Yan Wang, who led postharvest physiology research at Oregon State University, died unexpectedly on Thursday, April 27. His age was not immediately available Friday.

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FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshops

April 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Registration for the Washington State FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshops is now open. The Washington State Tree Fruit Association will host two workshops in collaboration with the Western Center for Food Safety (WCFS) from UC Davis, the Northwest Horticultural Council and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, on May 9 in Yakima and May 11 in Wenatchee.

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Sorry about the label confusion

April 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Good Fruit Grower ran a story in our April 15 issue about the Washington Apple Commission discussing uses of its apples logo and sticker.

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Who knew? DNA research shows honeycrisp has a royal ancestor.

April 26th, 2017|0 Comments

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A University of Minnesota researcher has found new answers to the origin of Honeycrisp and if apples had blood, this blood would be blue.

Released in 1991, Honeycrisp was thought to be the child of Macoun and Honeygold, but researchers in 2004 discovered that the original parentage information was wrong. Determining

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Washington’s 2015 drought losses estimated at $700 million

April 20th, 2017|3 Comments

State agriculture department releases final estimate

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Northwest pear growers will continue marketing order

April 20th, 2017|0 Comments

Overwhelming majorities in favor of order

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Sorry about the label confusion

April 19th, 2017|0 Comments

Good Fruit Grower ran a story in our April 15 issue about the Washington Apple Commission discussing uses of its apples logo and sticker.

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Healthy cherries from the ground up

April 5th, 2017|0 Comments

Diagnostic tools will prevent you from paying for too much fertilizer.

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Researcher convinced he can replace honeybees

March 29th, 2017|0 Comments

WSU horticulturist secures three more years of funding for mechanical pollination research.

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Where can I get training to be prepared for FSMA?

March 29th, 2017|0 Comments

Answers to your food safety questions

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What’s killing these trees?

March 29th, 2017|1 Comment

Pathologists hope a survey of Northeast apple growers will provide clues in the case of rapid apple decline.

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Growers, packers meet with lawmakers

March 29th, 2017|0 Comments

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Members of the Washington Apple Commission and Columbia Fruit Packers were among a group of apple industry leaders from across the country who met with members of Congress on March 23 in Washington, D.C.

The meetings were part of the U.S. Apple Association’s annual fly-in.

Todd Fryhover and Lindsey Huber of the

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Don’t invest in unwanted shoot growth

March 23rd, 2017|1 Comment

With spring approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, a new season for orchardists starts with flowers, new leaves and shoots — and much anxiety.

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Yakima pear handler nominations set

March 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

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Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Yakima, Washington, handler position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.

The position will be filled at the Fresh Pear Election Meeting at 2 p.m. on April 27 at the Washington State Fruit Commission (105 S. 18th Street, Yakima, WA 98901).

The position

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Fighting honeybee decline with instrumental insemination — Video

March 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

WSU researchers hope to breed better bees

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A new, old bee

March 21st, 2017|0 Comments

From high in the Tien Shan Mountains of Central Asia, Washington State University entomologists Steve Sheppard and Brandon Hopkins have brought home semen from a new strain of honeybees that evolved right alongside the wild apple tree.

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Disaster loans available in Pennsylvania

March 16th, 2017|0 Comments

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The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced eligibility for disaster loans related to a frost and freeze in Pennsylvania in April 2016.
Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations located in Pennsylvania. The declaration includes

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Mulch madness at Oregon soil workshop

March 16th, 2017|6 Comments

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At a soil health workshop organized by Oregon State University in the Dalles, Oregon, several speakers sang the praises of mulch.

Mulch works to damp down weeds, protect soil moisture, and keep the soil surface cool, but it also provides a long-lasting carbon source that stimulates many key soil organisms, said

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Gillison’s donates mechanical planter to Michigan State researchers

March 16th, 2017|0 Comments

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A donated piece of equipment will help Michigan State University fruit research stations plant more trees faster.
Gillison’s Variety Fabrication donated the mechanical planter to the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission, which in turn gave it to MSU.
The planter was designed to plant 300 to 500 trees per hour, which reduces labor

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National Grape & Wine Initiative names new president

March 15th, 2017|0 Comments

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Donnell Brown has been named president of the National Grape & Wine Initiative, succeeding Camron King.
Brown will begin her duties on April 3.
Brown has worked in the wine industry since 2009. She has operated a private consulting firm, Between the Vines LLC; served as senior marketing director for Wolffer Estate

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Wasps released to eat stink bug eggs

March 15th, 2017|0 Comments

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Brown marmorated stink bugs show no signs of stopping their advance in the Pacific Northwest. But last fall, Oregon launched the first attempt to stop the voracious invasive pest with the help of a longtime foe — a tiny wasp with a taste for its eggs.
Scientists have studied the parasitoid

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Mercer Canyons settles H-2A lawsuit

March 9th, 2017|0 Comments

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A Central Washington farm that grows tree fruit and wine grapes has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit related to its use of H-2A workers.

Mercer Canyons, located south of Prosser, Washington, was sued in U.S. District Court by two domestic employees for failing to inform them of

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Safe spaces the focus of Ag Safety Awareness week

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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The theme of this year’s Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week is “Get Out of My Space!” The week runs from March 5-11.

The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is urging respect for the safety spaces around hazardous farm equipment and tasks.

Grain bins, wagons,

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Medford fresh pear handler nominations set

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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An election for the Fresh Pear Committee handler position for Medford, Oregon, will be held March 28 in Medford, Oregon.

The election for the two-year term will be at 2 p.m. at Naumes, Inc. (2 W. Barnett Street) in Medford.

The position is held by Laura Naumes, with Mike Naumes and Gerald May as first and second alternates, respectively.

The

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Wine grape research seminar set for April 19

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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Registration is open for Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology, a research-focused seminar designed for grape growers and winemakers.

The research day is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Clore Center in Prosser, Washington. The seminar will be sponsored by the Washington State Wine Commission and Washington

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WSU to host event on climate’s effect on grapes

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

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In the Pacific Northwest, the warm spring and summer of 2016 led to the earliest and largest harvest on record, followed be one of the toughest winters in recent years.  Washington State University researchers are finding that the lengthy cold-snap has caused more bud damage than expected.

What can we expect for the 2017 harvest,

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Spanish irrigation workshop set for Hood River

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

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An irrigation management workshop in Spanish is scheduled for March 29 in Hood River, Oregon.

The event has been organized to educate Spanish speaking agricultural workers on comprehensive irrigation water management for improved fruit production and responsible water use.

The workshop, which is free, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Pear handler election set for Wenatchee, Washington

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

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Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Wenatchee, Washington, district position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927.

The position will be filled at the Washington Pear Marketing Association meeting at noon on March 28 at the Washington Apple Commission conference room.

The Apple Commission is located at 2900 Euclid Avenue

  • Julia Kock at Klipsun Vineyard

Washington wine grape harvest sets record

March 1st, 2017|0 Comments

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Washington state’s wine grape harvest set a record in 2016, according to the Washington State Wine Commission’s Annual Grape Production Report.

The report shows the 2016 harvest totaled 270,000 tons, an 18.9 percent increase over 2014, which was the previous high.

Red varieties accounted for 58 percent of the total harvest, with Cabernet Sauvignon

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Washington wine fundraiser nets $145,000

February 24th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Washington Wine Industry Foundation raised more than $145,000 at its Feb. 8 fundraiser event in Kennewick, Washington. The foundations supports the wine industry by advancing research, education, and leadership. 

More than 300 people involved in the Washington wine industry attended the event, made possible by support from Northwest Farm Credit Services, Wine Press

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ITFA Day 3: “From Bud to Bin”

February 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

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The second day of tours for the International Fruit Tree Association’s 60th annual conference in Washington took its theme – “From Bud to Bin” – a step further to look at the industry’s life cycle from nursery to packing house.

At Willow Drive Nursery in Ephrata, co-owner Jim Adams explained how mechanization

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First day of IFTA tours focuses on the future

February 21st, 2017|0 Comments

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The first day of orchard tours at the International Fruit Tree Association’s 60th annual conference in Washington featured a central theme: the future.

Washington is the top producer of apples in the United States, with a diversified mix of more than 30 commercial varieties grown today, on more than 20 apple

  • Beekeeper Justin Vincett holds a frame of honeybees.

Discussion in Seattle March 29: Exploring how mushrooms can help bees survive

February 17th, 2017|0 Comments

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Can the mushroom hold a key to survival of honeybees?

That topic is the focus of a talk in Seattle March 29 at the Moore Theatre by Paul Stamets and Louie Schwartzberg.

National Public Radio reported in 2015 on interest in how mushrooms relate to bee health:
In recent years,  research has shown that

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Growers needed for cherry index chart survey

February 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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Washington State University and Oregon State University are looking for growers to complete a survey regarding the development of an index chart for Pacific Northwest dark sweet cherries.
To participate in the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/cherrycolor

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NGWI picks 13 board members, 3 officers

February 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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Thirteen board members and three officers were elected at the National Grape & Wine Initiative annual meeting last week in Sacramento, California.
The group is made up of grape growers, academic institutions and government agencies to help focus on grape research.
The board members elected to three-year terms are:
Commodity Sector Representative-Wine: Jerry

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Arkansas fruit breeder Moore dies at 85

January 27th, 2017|0 Comments

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Jim Moore, a longtime fruit breeder, who was influential in the tree fruit industry died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at age 85, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas.

Moore, who held a doctorate from Rutgers University, established the fruit breeding program at the University of Arkansas in

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Sweethearts beat Bings in 2016 cherry shipping numbers

January 27th, 2017|0 Comments

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For the first year ever, Bing was not king.

In 2016, Northwest cherry growers shipped more Sweetheart cherries than any other variety, including the historically dominant Bing, according to a board of directors update from the Washington State Fruit Commission.

The Northwest cherry industry shipped 3.49 million 20-pound box equivalents of Sweethearts,

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New webcast talks about fire blight resistance to antibiotics

January 25th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Plant Management Network has released a new web presentation called “Fire Blight and Streptomycin Resistance.”

The webcast covers the biological mechanisms of fire blight and its history of growing resistance to streptomycin antibiotics.

The presentation also discusses management techniques such as: overwinter pruning, copper spraying and canker treatments; in-season antibiotic applications,

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Oregon Grower Bob Bailey named 2017 Cherry King

January 20th, 2017|0 Comments

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Bob Bailey of Orchard View Farms in The Dalles, Oregon, was named the 2017 Cherry King at the Cherry Institute in Yakima, Washington in January.

Bailey is the 73rd Cherry King, an honor created to recognize growers and industry leaders for their dedication to the cherry industry.

A 1963 graduate of Oregon

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Empire State Producers Expo: Thursday wrapup

January 19th, 2017|0 Comments

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When placing the end post of your orchard trellis system, think of a game of tug of war.

The human body, when asked to play tug of war, will naturally lean at 60 degrees. (Champion teams average 58, but don’t get too literal.)

That’s why 60 degrees is the recommended angle for

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Washington grower and packer Gary W. Hansen dies at 73

January 19th, 2017|0 Comments

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Gary W. Hansen, the former president of Hansen Fruit and Cold Storage of Yakima, Washington, died Jan. 15 after a yearlong battle with cancer. He was 73.

He began his career in agriculture as an employee of his father’s orchards called Valley Roz Orchards in Parker Heights, Washington, in the Lower

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Grape and wine research review rescheduled for Jan. 30-31

January 18th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Washington State Grape and Wine Research Program’s research review has been rescheduled for January 30 and 31 at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington.

The research review features 28 presentations by viticulture and enology researchers. They will share findings and pitch new research proposals to the

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Empire State Producers Expo: Wednesday wrapup

January 18th, 2017|0 Comments

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A sparsely attended but lively discussion about H-2A guest workers highlighted Wednesday’s proceedings at the Empire State Producers Expo in Syracuse, New York.

One New York apple grower complained during the question and answer portion of a labor session that New York State labor officials force them to hire bad workers

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Empire State Producers Expo: Tuesday wrapup

January 17th, 2017|0 Comments

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No more theory. No more hypothetical examples.

Four apple growers, as well as a few vegetable farmers, drafted their real-life food safety plans Tuesday with the guidance of industry experts during one of the workshops at the Empire State Producers conference in Syracuse, New York.

The day-long workshop, sponsored by the Produce

  • empirestateproducers

Empire State Producers Expo: Monday wrapup

January 17th, 2017|0 Comments

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About 50 farmers, many of them apple growers, took one of their first official first steps toward complying with the intricate U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act regulation called the Produce Safety Rule at a workshop Monday in Syracuse, New York.

“You have successfully completed 112.22(c),” said Elizabeth Bihn, director of the

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Oregon’s largest apple grower sells to Washington company

January 13th, 2017|0 Comments

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Earl Brown & Sons, the largest apple grower and packer in Oregon, has been sold to the Foreman Fruit Co. of Wenatchee, Washington, according to the East Oregonian newspaper.

The deal keeps allows the Browns to remain as managers of local operations, which include more than 1,000 acres of apples and

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Washington state expands apple maggot quarantine area

January 10th, 2017|0 Comments

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After finding apple maggot in the southeastern corner of Lincoln County, the Washington State Department of Agriculture has expanded its quarantine area to include the area.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of homegrown or foraged fruit from the quarantined area into a pest-free area.

WSDA held public meetings as part of the

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Public input requested on labor practices charter

January 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association are seeking public input on a draft framework for responsible labor practices in the fresh produce and floral supply chains.

The boards of the two groups established a joint committee last year to look into the issue amid growing interest in transparency

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GMO Arctic Apple gets new logo and higher profile

January 5th, 2017|0 Comments

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Okanagan Speciality Fruits continues to raise the profile of its genetically modified Arctic Apples with a new marketing logo and test marketing of its packaging at select stores.

As a genetically modified organism,  Arctic Apples are controversial within the fruit industry and more broadly with certain environmental groups. However, Okanagan Speciality Fruits believes

  • 2017-ahof-ad

Mercer to be honored with Rising Star Award

January 4th, 2017|0 Comments

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Rob Mercer, owner of Mercer Estates Winery, will be honored with the Rising Star Award from the Pasco, Washington, Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Mercer is a graduate of Washington State University and served in the U.S. Marines before returning to work on the family’s farm in the Horse

  • Rob Blakey joins WSU

Finding the right people

December 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Orchards and packing houses aren’t the only places in the fruit industry with a labor shortage. Universities also are struggling to hire researchers and educators needed to keep the industry ahead of pest pressures, prepared for food safety requirements, growing new varieties and in tune with emerging technology.

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U.S., New Zealand win WTO ag dispute with Indonesia

December 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

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A World Trade Organization settlement panel on Dec. 22 ruled that Indonesia’s restrictions on horticultural products, animals and animal products are inconsistent with WTO rules.

The dispute, which was filed by the United States and New Zealand, sought to address trade barriers that restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables; such

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Pazazz hits market early

December 21st, 2016|0 Comments

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Pazazz, a new apple variety from Honeybear Brands, was expected to hit stores early.

The apple was expected in grocery stores in the second week of December, with availability through February, according to a news release.

The variety is in its third year of commercial production.

“(It’s) already showing incredible potential for our retail

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Trinka, Veliquettes honored at Great Lakes Expo

December 16th, 2016|0 Comments

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Dave Trinka and twin brothers Gene and Dean Veliquette, were honored by the Michigan State Horticultural Society with its Distinguished Service Award during the Great Lakes Expo Dec. 7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Trinka is the vice president of agri-research and horticultural services for MBG Marketing. He oversees all horticulture and

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Fresh Pear Committee nominations set for January meeting

December 14th, 2016|0 Comments

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Pear growers will elect nominees for positions on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order No. 927.

The committee is responsible for the collection of assessments for research and the promotion and advertising of all pears marketed in the domestic and export markets.

The FPC grower position for the Wenatchee, Washington, district

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Washington horticulturalist Fred Valentine dies

December 12th, 2016|0 Comments

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Fred Valentine, a longtime field horticulturist and former president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, died December 4. He was 81.

Valentine was born in Tennessee, and his family moved to Peshastin, Washington, when he was a child.

He worked as a field horticulturist for Blue Star Growers for more than 30

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WSTFA annual meeting — Wednesday wrapup

December 7th, 2016|0 Comments

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Farm transfer planning and lending were the topics in one Wednesday morning session about “Future Farmers” at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association annual meeting in Wenatchee, Washington.

Farming families must view transition planning as a process, not an event, said several speakers. Start talking to attorneys, accountants and consultants several

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Industry giant Bill Evans dies

December 6th, 2016|0 Comments

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Bill Evans, co-founder and president of Evans Fruit Co., died early Tuesday morning. He was 87. His death was confirmed to the Yakima Herald-Republic by his daughter, Vicki Loges.

Founded in 1949, Evans Fruit started with a 10-acre apple orchard on Naches Heights, near Yakima, Washington.

In 1959, the company built its first

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Introducing our Spanish website

December 1st, 2016|0 Comments

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I’m pleased to announce that Good Fruit Grower has launched a Spanish language website, www.goodfruit.com/es. There you’ll find translations of articles from past issues, new essays by researchers and others and videos of horticulture experts. All in Spanish.
The Spanish site follows months of discussion and collaboration with growers, researchers and

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Good Fruit Grower launches website to serve Spanish speakers

November 29th, 2016|0 Comments

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Good Fruit Grower, the Yakima, Washington-based magazine serving tree fruit and wine grape growers, has launched a Spanish-language website of articles, essays by researchers and videos of best horticulture practices.

“Our new site is one more way we serve the grower community, and Spanish speakers are a vital part of that

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Washington annual meeting 2016 schedule

November 28th, 2016|0 Comments

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The opening day of the 112th annual meeting will kick off at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2016. Early packet pick-up will be available Sunday between 2 p.m.  and 6 p.m. at the Wenatchee Convention Center, Wenatchee Coast Hotel and the Red Lion Hotel. Annual meeting registration will open

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Washington Apple Commission board accepting nominations

November 14th, 2016|0 Comments

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The Washington Apple Commission is accepting nominations to replace Barbara Walkenhauer on the board of directors.

Walkenhauer, the current chairwoman, has served nine years on the board and will not seek re-election when her term expires in March 2017, the Apple Commission said in a news release.

Nominations for her Grower Position

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Washington’s 2016 Concord grape harvest is up, as are prices

November 11th, 2016|0 Comments

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Washington Concord juice grape growers expect to harvest about 194,000 tons of fruit in 2016, up from last year’s drought-stunted crop but just below the 10-year average.

That’s according to Trent Ball at his “State of the Grapes” presentation today (Nov. 11) at the Washington State Grape Society annual meeting in

  • 2015 Mechanical pollination trials

Orchard Bee Association meets Dec. 9 in Hood River

November 2nd, 2016|0 Comments

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The Orchard Bee Association is meeting Dec. 9 in Hood River, Oregon.

Here’s their announcement:
People who are interested in bees, particularly blue orchard bees, and the challenges they face can learn more at the 2016 International Orchard Bee Association Meeting on December 9, 2016, including the Pollinator Symposium and Expo, held

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November events of note

October 26th, 2016|0 Comments

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While a lot of growers have their focus on the various regional horticulture expos and trade shows starting in December, there are quite a few interesting gatherings on the schedule in November.

Here are some highlights in chronological order:

• Agronomics: Vision for the Future runs from Nov. 7-11 in Indian Wells,

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USDA Reminds Fruit Producers of Crop Sales Nov. 20 Closing Deadline

October 14th, 2016|0 Comments

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 The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put out a reminder that Nov. 20 is the final date to apply for crop insurance for the 2017 crop insurance:

SPOKANE, Wash., Oct 13, 2016 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Idaho, Oregon, and Washington fruit producers the final date to apply for crop

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Northwest Farm Credit Services gives positive report on region’s tree fruit and wine grapes crops

October 6th, 2016|0 Comments

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Northwest Farm Credit Services, the lending cooperative, reports a positive outlook for tree fruit and wine grape growers in its latest Market Snapshot. 

Here’s the report for tree fruit:
Apples – Most apple producers are optimistic for new-crop quality and pricing. After last year’s 114.6 million box crop, the new apple crop

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Washington Winemakers Mike Wallace and Scott Pontin, RIP

October 3rd, 2016|0 Comments

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Two prominent Washington State winemakers have died in recent days. The Yakima Herald reports that Mike Wallace owner of Hinzerling Winery and one of Prosser’s original winemakers, died over the weekend after complications from pneumonia. And Scott Pontin, 53, died Monday, reportedly from a heart attack. He was the owner and winemaker

  • wen-usda_logo

FDA awards Pennsylvania $6.3 million FSMA grant

September 27th, 2016|0 Comments

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced  that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture  received a $6.3 million grant from the Food & Drug Administration to share the administration and enforcement costs for the Food Safety and Modernization Act produce safety rule. 

The money will allow the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to triple

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State finalizes rules to kill maggots before shipping compost

July 8th, 2016|0 Comments

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Washington state regulators have finalized special permit requirements for composters seeking to transport feed stocks outside the apple maggot quarantine area.

The state Department of Agriculture today (July 8) released its “Guidance for Requesting a Special Permit.”

The state requires the special permit to prevent the apple maggot from hitching a ride

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Meet candidates for WSU’s “crucial” Food Safety Specialist position

June 16th, 2016|0 Comments

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WSU is inviting growers and others to participate in the selection of its Food Safety Specialist.

Here is the announcement:
During the week of June 20th, the School of Food Science is conducting on-site interviews to fill the WSU Food Safety Specialist position with Extension and Research components (formerly
held by Dr. Karen

  • wen-usda_logo

July 1 is deadline for USDA producer grants

June 13th, 2016|0 Comments

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Growers who might be interested in building a cidery or a packing facility or a processor or a grower-owned co-operative looking to expand or build operations to produce value-added products should look into USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants.

USDA allotted $44 million this year to kick-start efforts to generate new agricultural products,

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Mexico dismisses dumping complaint against U.S. apple growers

June 7th, 2016|2 Comments

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The Mexican government has terminated an antidumping case filed by growers in the border state of Chihuahua and will not impose antidumping duties on U.S. apples.

The decision reverses a provisional ruling in January under which all but three U.S. exporters would have had to pay duties ranging from 2.44 percent

  • California and Oregon tree fruit

Pear growers again hold the line on marketing assessment

June 1st, 2016|0 Comments

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For the fifth year straight, the assessment charged to growers for the federal marketing order for processed pears will remain at $7 per ton.

The Processed Pear Committee board of directors unanimously agreed to the assessment rate Wednesday at the annual board meeting in Portland, Oregon.

The group also kept its current

  • Young Washington cherries 2016

Northwest cherry growers expect larger crop in first estimate

May 3rd, 2016|0 Comments

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Cherry growers throughout the Northwest expect to harvest 207,460 metric tons, or 20.7 million 20-pound equivalent boxes, in 2016, according to the industry’s first estimate of the year.

If the figure holds, the volume would represent a 7 percent increase over the 2015 crop of 19.3 million boxes, according to an

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California council schedules June MRL workshop

March 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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The California Specialty Crops Council will hold its 2016 MRL Harmonization Workshop June 1-2 in San Francisco.

The interactive seminar based on maximum residue levels (MRLs) will address critically important issues for stakeholders with interests in exporting agricultural products. Registrants, growers, packers, shippers, PCAs, regulators, trade experts, and other stakeholders in

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Washington growers can dispose of unwanted pesticides in May events

March 8th, 2016|0 Comments

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The Washington State Department of Agriculture has schedule two events for growers to dispose of unwanted pesticides.

Here’s the announcement:
Currently, the WSDA Waste Pesticide Program has scheduled two unusable/unwanted pesticide collection events this spring. These events are located near Yakima on Tuesday, May 17 and near Pasco on Thursday, May 19.

People

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Wine Foundation scholarships deadline is March 15

February 24th, 2016|0 Comments

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The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is offering over $30,000 in scholarships for undergraduate and post-graduate students studying viticulture, enology or related disciplines. All applications are due March 15 with awards for the 2016-2017 school year awarded by May 15.

New This Year:  The Bill Powers Travel Sabbatical

Thanks to the family and associates of

  • 4seneca

Seneca Foods buys Diana Fruit Co.

February 17th, 2016|0 Comments

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Seneca Foods Corporation said today that it has purchased Diana Fruit Co.  Seneca said the purchases represented “a significant commitment to the cherry industry.” 

Seneca is a public company based in Marion, New York.  Diana Fruit, one of the leading providers of maraschino cherries and fruit cocktail cherries, is based in

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Michigan tart cherry growers switching to high-density plantings

February 12th, 2016|1 Comment

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The cherries in that slice of pie most likely came from an orchard in Michigan, probably one in the northwest corner of the state near Traverse City.

On Michigan’s “glove” shape, that would be at the tip of the ring finger, home to about 50 percent of the nation’s production of

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Consumers will not tire of new varieties, Washington grower tells IFTA conference

February 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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Fruit growers need look no further than the beverage aisle at their local convenience store for inspiration.

That’s according to Jeff Cleveringa, one of the speakers today (Wednesday) at the International Fruit Tree Association conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Consumers will not tire of new fruit varieties anytime soon, said Cleveringa of

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IFTA growers feel the big chill in Grand Rapids

February 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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The word of the day Tuesday, Day 4 of the IFTA conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was brrr.

With temperatures in the mid-20s and sideways snow flurries, about 385 attendees loaded onto seven busses for eight stops at orchards and facilities around the Grand Rapids area.

Orchard managers, owners and researchers showed

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WSU’s WA 2 apple will be re-launched and marketed as Sunrise Magic

February 9th, 2016|0 Comments

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Washington State University’s WA 2 apple will be marketed as Sunrise Magic, the university announced today.

This a re-launch of the apple, this time in partnership with Proprietary Variety Management. The goal is to give

a more effective push to the variety, using consumer research and other techniques. The variety is a cross

  • 1

MSU researcher to growers: fire blight is just “bad, bad, bad”

February 8th, 2016|0 Comments

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A Michigan State University researcher gave a bleak view of fire blight as one of the highlights today (Monday), Day 3 at the International Fruit Tree Association in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dr. George Sundin, minced few words about the threat of fire blight, a quick-spreading bacterial infection that attacks apple and

Growers visit plots of cherries and apples during IFTA conference

February 7th, 2016|0 Comments

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Tours, wine tasting and receptions all were on tap today (Sunday) on Day 2 of the International Fruit Tree Association conference here.

Two tour buses full of growers, researchers and consultants visited research plots of cherries and apples at Michigan State University’s Clarksville research station.

Schlopping through a little

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IFTA conference opens in Grand Rapids, celebrates “moneymaker” apple varieties

February 6th, 2016|0 Comments

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Tree fruit growers from all over the world have converged on Grand here for the International Fruit Tree Conference.

A total of 291 people attended the first activity Saturday, a day-long pre-conference intensive workshop called “Growing the Moneymakers: Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp.”

Growers, nursery managers and marketers stressed

  • Pesticide decontamination

Washington Association offers Spanish language training workshops

February 4th, 2016|0 Comments

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The Washington State Tree Fruit Association is hosting a series of educational training workshops in collaboration with its industry partners, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L & I), Washington State University Extension and sponsors.

The sessions are intended for Spanish speakers, but

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Lawyer asks: can the EEOC be an ally of fruit industry?

January 29th, 2016|0 Comments

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As a prominent Washington grower agrees to pay a fine, its lawyer asks why can’t U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, treat the industry like an ally rather than an adversary?

The quote comes from a Yakima Herald article on a fine being paid by Evans Fruit, one of Washington

  • Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.19.04 AM

Gamache Vineyard sold to Allan Brothers

January 27th, 2016|0 Comments

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Naches, Washington-based Allan Brothers Incorporated announced the purchase of Gamache Vineyard near Basin City, Washington, today.

The purchase of the White Bluffs area vineyard will be the second major wine grape investment by Allan Brothers in the past two years.

In a release from Allan Brothers, the prominent tree-fruit grower and packer

  • Red Delicious

Mexico to impose duties on U.S. apples

January 6th, 2016|0 Comments

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The Mexican government is imposing provisional duties on most U.S. apple exports, beginning Jan. 7, as its investigation continues into an antidumping complaint brought by growers in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua.

Mexico is the leading export market for U.S. apples, and roughly 85 percent of those exports come from

  • QuickBite-Winners

Readers win GFG prizes

December 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

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Scott Jacky, manager of orchard operations for Valley Fruit in Wapato, Washington, won the Great Gator Give-A-Way contest co-sponsored by Wilbur-Ellis and Good Fruit Grower.

Scott received his 2015 John Deere Gator TX 4X2 from Kyle Dillon, right, field technician with Wilbur-Ellis and from Casey Corr, managing editor of Good Fruit Grower.

In another contest sponsored

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Funds issued for more farmworker housing in Washington State

December 3rd, 2015|0 Comments

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The state of Washington today awarded the Washington Growers League $3 million to build a seasonal farmworker housing complex in Mattawa, Wash., while another Washington labor organization is making plans for its own farmworker housing facility.

The funding for the Growers League’s 120-bed facility is part of $50.1 million worth of

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Wine grape growers invited to meetings on pest management plan

November 24th, 2015|0 Comments

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Representatives from Oregon’s wine grape industry are collaborating to create a Pest Management Strategic Plan to document current pest management challenges and needs within the industry and to create a cohesive plan for focusing the industry’s time, money and energy in the future.

The group is gathering regional input and feedback

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Senate panel approves $92m for Yakima Basin water plan

November 20th, 2015|0 Comments

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A massive plan to improve irrigation for growers who tap the Yakima River system passed a major hurdle when a Senate panel approved $92 million in funding.

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 19 approved a bill authorizing funds over the next 10 years for the Yakima

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Ross Courtney named Associate Editor at Good Fruit Grower

November 12th, 2015|0 Comments

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Good Fruit Grower is gaining a new associate editor. Ross Courtney, an award-winning writer with the Yakima Herald Republic, joins Good Fruit Grower as associate editor December 1.

“Ross is a very talented writer who already has earned a great reputation covering the tree fruit industry. He’s committed to our mission of providing

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New “alien” wasp found in Washington State; could be bad news for stinkbug

October 23rd, 2015|1 Comment

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Washington State University has announced the discovery in Washington State of a wasp from Asia that eats the eggs of the brown marmorated stinkbug.

The discovery raises the prospect of an effective response to the bug that threatens tree fruit.
Here’s the press release:

PULLMAN, Wash. – The discovery in Washington state of a

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24 specialty crop proposals in Wa State receive $4.1m

October 16th, 2015|0 Comments

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The Washington State Department of Agriculture says that it will award approximately $4.1 million in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

The 2015 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant will fund 24 projects managed by WSDA in partnership with other organizations. Washington ranks second in

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WSU reports on growth in organic tree fruit

September 14th, 2015|0 Comments

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Organic apples grown and packed in Washington state in the 2013-14 season had a total f.o.b. value of more than $295 million, according to the report “Recent Trends in Certified Organic Tree fruit” just released by Elizabeth Kirby and David Granatstein at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and

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WAEF honors Shindler as volunteer of the year

August 27th, 2015|0 Comments

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Mallory Shindler is a volunteer of the year

The Washington Apple Education Foundation has named Mallory Shindler its volunteer of the year in recognition of the many ways she supports the foundation.

Shindler, who is relationship support manager with Rabo AgriFinance in Richland, Washington, said she also encourages colleagues, friends, and family

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Des Layne takes new WSU position in Pullman

August 26th, 2015|0 Comments

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Dr. Desmond Layne, hired by Washington State University three years ago as its tree fruit extension leader, has moved from Wenatchee to the Pullman campus to take a new administrative position affective September 1.

Layne has been named director of the Agricultural and Food Systems and Integrated Plant Sciences programs, a

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McFerson named director of WSU Tree Fruit Research Center

August 26th, 2015|0 Comments

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Dr. Jim McFerson assumed the new role of director of Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in August, while still working as manager of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission—a move that both organizations see as positive.

McFerson signed a contract with WSU that will allow him to

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C&O Nursery restructures management

August 24th, 2015|0 Comments

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The board of C&O Nursery in Wenatchee, Washington, has restructured management of the company.

Todd Snyder, formerly company secretary, succeeded Jack Snyder as president and chief executive officer. Jack remains chair of the board. Shad Snyder was named vice president, and Gary Snyder took Todd’s place as secretary. Ty Snyder is

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WA Supreme Court: Pay farm workers for rest breaks

July 16th, 2015|0 Comments

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The Washington Supreme Court today ruled that piece-rate workers must be paid separately for rest breaks.

The Yakima Herald Reports:
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Piece-rate farm workers must be paid separately for rest breaks, the state Supreme Court said in a ruling issued this morning that is expected to drastically change the way

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We’re on the road with IFTA’s Regional Tour in WA State

July 16th, 2015|0 Comments

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Good Fruit Grower has a team covering the International Fruit Tree Association’s 2015 Regional Summer Tour in Washington State.

We’ll have forthcoming reports on our web site and in our print magazine. You can catch live tweets from the tour this week on our Twitter account at https://twitter.com/goodfruitgrower

The tour ends Friday.

 

 

 

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Northwest cherry growers have shipped a record 15.2m boxes

July 8th, 2015|0 Comments

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Through July 6th, Northwest cherry growers have shipped 15.2 million 20-lb. boxes of fruit. That’s 21 percent more than the previous record and 124 percent more than the 15-year industry average.

Here’s the report issued yesterday by B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers:

 

Through yesterday, July 6th, the Northwest cherry industry

Broetje Orchards 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|1 Comment

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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

  • Jose Martinez, latino award winner 2014

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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John Daniel Gebbers, 1930 – 2014

October 31st, 2014|0 Comments

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John “Danny” Gebbers, 84, patriarch of the Gebbers family that has been growing apples near Brewster for more than 100 years, died October 21 of complications from a fall last summer during the region’s forest fires.

Gebbers Farms, with more than 5,000 acres of tree fruit, is one of the largest

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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.

Obama goes without Congress on immigration reform

June 30th, 2014|0 Comments

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President Barack Obama will announce today his plan to use executive authority to move on immigration reform.

Obama has said the immigration system is broken and that he will use administrative powers to move on issues where Congress has not acted.

Reuters has the story.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce

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

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Northwest cherry growers gain airlift capacity into Shanghai

June 11th, 2014|0 Comments

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Northwest cherry growers gained airlift capacity into China with the launch today of weekly service between Seattle and Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines.  The new service serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will carry more than 400 metric tons of cherries to China from Northwest shippers.

In addition, China Eastern runs an e-commerce

  • 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

Knock wood. NW cherry crop still looking big

May 21st, 2014|0 Comments

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The Northwest’s cherry crop remains on track to be the third biggest crop in history.

Northwest Cherry Growers held their five-state cherry commission meeting on Wednesday and largely validated a previous forecast of nearly 20 million boxes expected this year.

Forecasts can be proven wrong by surprises such as rain that can

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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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David Geen named Outstanding Grower by IFTA

February 26th, 2014|0 Comments

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KELOWNA, B.C. — British Columbia orchardist David Geen was named Outstanding Grower of the Year by the International Fruit Tree Association at its annual meeting here this week.

Geen owns Coral Beach Farms, near Kelowna, B.C., where he has 400 acres of cherries, making him the biggest cherry grower in Canada.

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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

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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|2 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|1 Comment

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.

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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

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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,