A humble leader (Video)

Throughout his career, WSU entomologist Jay Brunner has turned science into economic reality for Washington State tree fruit growers.


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

  • December 1st, 2012

Adding new fuel to the growing fire over farm labor reform, the Government Accountability Office issued a report in September describing the H-2A program as time-consuming, complex, and challenging. While there are an estimated 1.5 to 1.75 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States each year, H-2A [...]

  • Transition brings uncertainty

Transition brings uncertainty

  • December 1st, 2012

Kevin Moore
Courtesy of University of Missouri, Columbia

In a family farm business, there’s often the hope or expectation that the next generation will return to work on the farm. But young people who are thinking of returning to the family business today face greater uncertainties than at any time [...]

Good Point: Real estate activity by region

  • December 1st, 2012

Beginning in late 2011 and continuing into 2012, there’s been increased real estate activity in the Pacific Northwest, driven by strong fruit prices and expansion within the tree fruit sector. However, in Michigan, there have been few sales of orchard properties in the lake shoreline region the past three [...]

  • The no-family dilemma

The no-family dilemma

  • December 1st, 2012

You’ve invested your life in building a vineyard, winery, or other agricultural enterprise, producing a high-quality product with a topnotch reputation. For some, the business can be left to children to continue the family legacy. But what if you don’t have children interested in the family farm or winery?

Bob [...]

Nursery trees are selling fast

  • December 1st, 2012

Strong prices for apples during the past few seasons have prompted a spurt in orchard renewal and expansion, tree nurseries report. Demand for certain varieties and rootstocks is such that nurseries are taking orders for trees that will be planted as far out as 2020.

Washington nurseries should have a [...]

Tips for succession planning

  • December 1st, 2012

Bob Betz and Steve Griessel offer these suggestions to growers, winemakers, and others involved in agriculture interested in developing a succession plan:
1. Plan ahead.
• Allow several years to develop succession plan.
• Get your financial house in order, trends going in right direction.
• Have available past [...]

  • Information is key

Information is key

  • December 1st, 2012

As incoming president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, Jeff Cleveringa hopes to strengthen the association’s role in keeping growers informed.

For over a century, the association has held its annual meeting each December to apprise growers on the latest issues and research. Cleveringa said the meeting still serves an [...]

  • Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

  • December 1st, 2012

Cox’s Orange Pippin is a firm, juicy, full-flavored apple with an orange-red skin and cream-colored flesh.
Photo by Jacqueline King, WSU

Cox’s Orange Pippin—Britain’s favorite apple for 150 years or so—has been usurped by Gala, one of its grandchildren.

It’s not because Gala is a better apple, British journalist Michael Leapman [...]

  • Newest AVA

Newest AVA

  • December 1st, 2012

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

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

Organic trade association seeks input

  • December 1st, 2012

The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order.

One such forum will be held during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon [...]

  • Not your typical nursery

Not your typical nursery

  • December 1st, 2012

Markus Freepons of Northwest Vinifera, showed his grape callusing pits during a field day held last August sponsored by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.
Photo by Melissa Hansen

Marcus Freepons, owner of the grape nursery Northwest Vinifera, says his business is about making a lot out of a [...]

Cost of growing Reds

  • December 1st, 2012

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