• Preparing for change

Preparing for change

  • October 18th, 2013

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 [...]

  • New spray concept proves feasible

New spray concept proves feasible

  • September 1st, 2013

If we had to irrigate orchards by pulling tanks of water down the alleys, would we do it?

We do that now with pesticides and plant growth regulators, hauling loads of water with small amounts of chemicals in them, then blasting the mixtures into the trees.

Only about a year ago, [...]

  • Peach growers challenges

Peach growers challenges

  • September 1st, 2013

Growing peaches is getting easier in some ways, harder in others, a rather normal description of many orchardists’ efforts. Take two steps forward, then one back, and call that progress.

Clemson University professor of horticulture Dr. Greg Reighard talked about the challenges peach growers face during the International Fruit Tree [...]

Precise disease management is complicated

  • September 1st, 2013

Like insects, diseases develop in predictable ways based on ­growing-degree accumulations, but diseases are driven more by moisture than are insects, which makes management more complicated. For both insects and diseases, predictive models are used, but insect models are more precise than disease models.

The models used by New York [...]

  • Growers need to adjust sprayers for deposition and drift

Growers need to adjust sprayers for deposition and drift

  • September 1st, 2013

Precise application of pesticides in orchards provides growers with better crop protection, less environmental pollution, and better use of resources. It costs less when pesticides are not wasted.

Since coming to Cornell University in 1998, Dr. Andrew Landers has been working to make airblast canopy sprayers, designed more than 50 [...]

  • WSU apple breeder screens for fireblight resistance

WSU apple breeder screens for fireblight resistance

  • August 9th, 2013

Washington State University’s apple breeding program is now screening seedlings and selections for fireblight resistance.

During WSU’s annual field day at Sunrise Orchard, near Wenatchee, this week, Dr. Kate Evans, pome fruit breeder, described her program’s efforts to find new apple varieties specifically suited to Washington conditions.

The program uses genetic [...]

Fire blight concerns ease in Medford, Oregon

  • July 23rd, 2013

  Concerns that fireblight would cause significant damage to this year’s pear harvest in the Medford, Oregon, region have eased in recent days. Fireblight, the contagious bacteria most commonly found in apple and pear trees, had been discovered in certain pear trees, with Comice trees showing [...]

  • California growers worry about fireblight

California growers worry about fireblight

  • July 1st, 2013

The generally arid conditions in the Pacific Northwest limit the threat of the disease, which needs warm and moist conditions to become established. Some areas in the Midwest and eastern United States, which have more humid weather, simply can’t grow pears because of fireblight. Some varieties are more susceptible [...]

Five ways to make sure people eat fewer peaches

  • July 1st, 2013

1
Grow just one variety. Growing one variety will limit your marketing season and the number of times consumers can come back to buy more peaches.

On the other hand, growers who want to sell lots of peaches will select multiple varieties that will ripen over a six- to eight-week [...]

Good Stuff

  • May 15th, 2013

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

  • Science on the Hudson

Science on the Hudson

  • May 15th, 2013

Modern apple tree plantings have been made at the Hudson Valley Lab.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

Workers at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Laboratory at Highland, near Poughkeepsie, New York, tend to see themselves as guardians of the gate. Whenever new diseases and insects come to challenge fruit growers in New [...]

The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

  • May 15th, 2013

A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an NOSB board member.

The antibiotic oxytetracyline will no longer be approved for use on organic [...]