• Play to win

Play to win

  • March 1st, 2011

Oregon State University agricultural economist Clark Seavert, pictured in a high-density pear trial block at Hood River, Oregon, says most growers are playing not to lose, rather than playing to win.
PHOTO BY GERALDINE WARNER

The three key aspects for successful orchard renewal are still price, yield, and cost, but [...]

  • Cougarblight model updated

Cougarblight model updated

  • March 1st, 2011

Washington State University is working to help growers be better prepared to fight fireblight.

Washington State University’s Cougarblight model is being updated to improve its ability to predict when conditions are conducive to fireblight.

The model uses information on temperature, wetness, and presence of fireblight bacteria to predict infections and was [...]

  • Researchers tackle apple weevil

Researchers tackle apple weevil

  • March 1st, 2011

Small and black, the apple flea weevil looks a bit like its larger snout beetle relative, the plum curculio.
Photo by matt grieshop, michigan state university

A coalition of partners in four Midwestern states has applied for grant funding to respond to three new insect threats—spotted wing drosophila, brown marmorated [...]

WA 2 ready for commercial plantings

  • February 15th, 2011

Washington growers can now obtain licenses to plant WA 2 on a commercial basis. WA 2 is the first apple variety from Washington State University’s breeding program.

The commercialization phase is the fifth phase in WSU’s variety evaluation and commercialization program. Only growers who have already signed up to take [...]

  • Last Bite — Discovering Gold

Last Bite — Discovering Gold

  • February 15th, 2011

Top: The russet-resistant Smoothee, discovered in 1958, is the widest planted strain of Golden Delicious in the United States. Photo courtesy of Willow Drive Nursery Bottom left: A promotion card that the Washington Apple Commission used in 1958–1959. Bottom Right: Goldspur, shown in the Van Well Nursery catalog of [...]

Tackling scab resistance

  • February 15th, 2011

Apple growers in the Midwest who stuck by the “old ways” of applying fungicides have not faced the problem of apple scab becoming resistant to fungicides. The old ways employed protectant fungicides like captan and ­mancozeb; the new ways used curative chemistries.

Now what should growers do? Dr. Janna Beckerman, [...]

Scab-resistant varieties need protection, too

  • February 15th, 2011

When apple breeders in New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois came together in 1926 to form the Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois university collaboration called PRI, their ­number-one goal was to create new apple varieties that were scab resistant.

They did it, too, and about 20 resistant varieties have been released. While several varieties have [...]

  • Opportunistic fungi

Opportunistic fungi

  • February 15th, 2011

Disease organisms invade injured tissue and develop cankers that release spores. Some red strains of McIntosh are susceptible, for reasons unknown, to opportunistic diseases that kill branches.
Photos courtesy of george sundin, Michigan State University

Starting in 2006, an epidemic of sorts started in apple orchards in Michigan. It was [...]

  • A program for scab control

A program for scab control

  • February 15th, 2011

Photos courtesy of kerik cox, cornell university

Growers producing apples in the cool, damp northeast quadrant of the United States need to take a step-by-careful-step approach to apple scab control—starting early and being meticulous—or they can be in for a long summer of expensive spraying and still lose part of [...]

No apple releases imminent

  • February 15th, 2011

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

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

  • Get it right at planting

Get it right at planting

  • February 15th, 2011

To achieve a yield of 50 to 70 bins per acre, the canopy of a new orchard must be established by the third season after planting, says Tom Auvil.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

A wrong decision at planting is something a grower has to live with for the life of [...]

WA 2 traits, evaluation and commercialization

  • February 15th, 2011

The evaluation and commercialization process
Phase 1:     Initial seedling selection and evaluation by WSU
Phase 2:    Small-scale on-farm trials with five trees at about two sites
Phase 3:     Midscale on-farm trials with 10 to 100 trees at about four sites
Phase 4:     Widescale evaluation
Phase 5:    [...]