• Last Bite

Last Bite

  • March 15th, 2011

Jonagold combines the Jonathan red color splashed over a Golden Delicious background, but some strains are so red they cover the yellow completely.

Jonagold is one of 76 named offspring of the Jonathan apple and one of at least 25 named offspring of Golden Delicious, but the only other variety [...]

Good Stuff

  • March 15th, 2011

Sweet success
A new series of scab-resistant apples called “Sweet Resistants” developed by the Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti (CIV) in Italy was among the ten finalists for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award during the Fruit Logistica trade fair in February. The five varieties in the series are Gaia, Gemini, Renoir, [...]

  • Good Stuff

Good Stuff

  • March 1st, 2011

The Digi-Test is a new instrument for assessing the internal quality of apples. It probes deeper into the fruit than the standard Magness-Taylor firmness tester.

Labor-saving taste tester
The measure of crispness correlates with perceived eating quality.

Washington State University’s apple breeding program is using a new instrument to judge the [...]

  • Play to win

Play to win

The three key aspects for successful orchard renewal are still price, yield, and cost, but the winning strategy is to focus on increasing revenue, rather than minimizing costs, says Oregon State University agricultural economist Clark Seavert.

Innovation is one way growers can remain competitive, Seavert said during the Washington State [...]

  • 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 [...]

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:    [...]