Apple Matters –USApple launches program

  • April 1st, 2010

As I travel the country visiting apple growers and apple companies, one question keeps coming up: Who will be the next generation of apple leaders, the ones to lead the apple industry beyond the next decade?

USApple’s 2009 Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference, held last August in Chicago, featured [...]

  • Last Bite — Legacy of labels from Montana

Last Bite — Legacy of labels from Montana

  • April 1st, 2010

The Big M Brand is a beautiful example of a rare Montana label; it bears the production date of September 30, 1932, by Traung Label Company. Bitterroot Valley, printed by Schmidt Lithographic Company, and Equity are equally attractive apple labels.

Most fruit box label collectors focus on the Pacific Coast [...]

  • Fruit from the Prairie

Fruit from the Prairie

  • April 1st, 2010

The five members of the Romance series of sour cherries, released in 2003, surround Carmine Jewel, which was released in 1999. All are very dark and sweeter than the tart cherries produced in the United States.

Fruit production doesn’t get much attention at Canada’s 52° north latitude, but plant breeders [...]

  • Apples from the prairie

Apples from the prairie

  • April 1st, 2010

Autumn Delight (right photo) and Misty Rose.

Three apple cultivars released by the University of Saskatchewan fruit breeding program are being recommended for commercial production in that prairie province this year, according to fruit breeder Dr. Bob Bors. They are Autumn Delight, Prairie Sensation, and Misty Rose.

Autumn Delight (top photo [...]

  • Retrofitting an apple packing line

Retrofitting an apple packing line

  • April 1st, 2010

A Yakima, Washington, grower-packer operation wanted to upgrade its optical sorting capability but didn’t want to make expensive changes to the entire line. By retrofitting the outdated optics with a new system, color and size grade adjustments can now be made quickly with a few computer keystrokes.

Mike Saunders, Apple [...]

  • Last Bite – From timber to apples

Last Bite – From timber to apples

  • February 15th, 2010

Arden Harris was a member of a family that pioneered in the development of the lumber resources of the Entiat and Waterville regions of north central Washington State. His father was Charles Albert Harris, a native of Hannibal, Missouri, who was an engineer on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, a [...]

  • Storing organic apples is not easy

Storing organic apples is not easy

  • February 15th, 2010

As Washington growers have ramped up production of organic apples, the volume of apples going into storage has also increased, and with it, the need to for longer storage. With few postharvest tools available for organic fruit, more research is needed to find ways to improve organic fruit storage, [...]

  • Fireblight without antibiotics

Fireblight without antibiotics

  • February 15th, 2010

Orchards that have secondary bloom or have later-blooming varieties are more at risk for fireblight infection.

Controlling fireblight without antibiotics is doable, but it requires an integrated approach combining delayed dormant copper sprays with frequent applications of biological agents, says a plant pathologist from Oregon State University.

The antibiotics streptomycin and [...]

  • Scab control more challenging

Scab control more challenging

  • February 15th, 2010

Apple scab overwinters in infected leaves on the orchard floor. Spores from the dead leaves are produced in the spring and can cause primary infection of fruit.

The Michigan growing season was wet last year. As a result, apple growers had a tougher-than-usual time controlling scab. But the weather was [...]

Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

  • February 15th, 2010

As production volumes increase for Honeycrisp apples, the need for a longer marketing window becomes more important. Researchers like Ines Hanrahan are looking for ways to stretch storage of Honeycrisp beyond Christmas.

With consumers and retailers clamoring for the popular variety, growers have responded to the strong demand by planting [...]

  • Choosing an orchard system and density

Choosing an orchard system and density

  • February 1st, 2010

An example of a highly organized V trellis system used by Washington’s Auvil Fruit Company

With the site, rootstock and variety selected, the next major decisions involve the type of orchard system and density.

To be competitive in today’s global apple market, orchard systems must provide early returns, produce uniform fruit [...]

  • Time to test drive WA2

Time to test drive WA2

  • February 1st, 2010

WSU selections available for tasting, during a new variety showcase at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.

Washington apple growers are being offered the opportunity to evaluate Washington State University’s new variety WA2 in their orchards.

WSU has licensed the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission to make WA2 available to [...]