Eye on the Middle East

  • April 15th, 2010

Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, is the major fruit import port in the Persian Gulf with its trade tentacles reaching to Yemen in the south, Iraq in the north, and Sudan in the west. It’s difficult to separate out ­specific countries as independent and uninfluenced by the [...]

  • Last Bite – Pioneer of exports to Europe

Last Bite – Pioneer of exports to Europe

  • April 15th, 2010

The firm of Simons, Shuttleworth, and French Company, Inc., was one of the first to specialize in exporting apples from the Pacific Northwest to England and the European continent.

The company was organized under the laws of the State of New York in 1907 and formally incorporated in 1908. The [...]

  • Renewal on the Ridge

Renewal on the Ridge

  • April 15th, 2010

Orchardists on Fruit Ridge northwest of Grand Rapids, Michigan, suffered mightily when the market for processing apples weakened in the last decade of the twentieth century, and it looked like the damage might be permanent.

Real estate developers jumped on the best sites, putting houses on the tops of these [...]

  • A remedy for blind wood

A remedy for blind wood

  • April 15th, 2010

The branches of this young Fuji tree suffer from blind wood.

Blind wood is a growth characteristic of certain fruit varieties, where buds at the basal ends of shoots remain dormant or blind. Apple varieties such as Granny Smith and Fuji and the pear variety Beurre Bosc suffer badly from [...]

  • Effective fruit thinning

Effective fruit thinning

  • April 15th, 2010

To evaluate thinning effectiveness using the “fruitlet model,” individual apples must be labeled and measured two or three times to assess their rate of growth.

While chemical fruit thinners can work fairly well on apples, the thinning effect is variable year to year.

Growers are reluctant to make repeated thinner applications [...]

  • Apple Lines–Full access to China needed

Apple Lines–Full access to China needed

  • April 1st, 2010

China is open to Red Delicious apples from Washington. Whereas Red Delicious can be shipped direct to major markets in China, Gala and Granny Smith apples reach China through the gray market via Hong Kong.

Gala and Granny Smith apples grown in Washington State remain officially excluded from China. The [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]