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In-orchard sorting

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Storing apples is expensive, and storing bad apples is even more so. If you’re going to toss out a cull apple, the best time to do it is immediately.

Some packers have gone to prestorage sorting

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Top 5 Technologies to use now

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New technologies that will allow orchardists to grow fruit more efficiently and deliver a better product to the consumer are becoming available. Below are five technologies that you can use now.
1 New chemistries
Two plant bioregulator products

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Crop load affects flavor of Honeycrisp

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Marketers says taste, rather than appearance, is what drives consumers to buy apples, and at a pre-harvest Honeycrisp field day in Washington, growers had a chance to compare apples picked from trees with a moderate

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Cider business flourishes

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Hard cider is a burgeoning industry in the Pacific Northwest, with 32 cideries at last count. But most people who learn how to make cider don’t give a thought to where they’re going to obtain the

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Lottery planned for WA 38

Washington State University expects big demand for trees of its latest apple release.

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WSU offers tannin training for cider makers

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Washington State University is offering free online training for cider makers on how to test tannin levels in apple juice. Hard cider is one of the fastest growing segments of the alcoholic beverage market, and

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From Bologna to Wenatchee

Grower support was key in Stefano Musacchi’s decision to move to Washington State.

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Preparing for change

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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

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Finding the sweet spot

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As a grower and marketer of premium tree fruits for the fresh market, Craig Campbell had to adjust his mindset when he got into the cider-making business.

For fresh apples, he carefully monitors fruit maturity so

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They like it fresh

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If you’re a person who doesn’t like tattoos and body piercings, looks suspiciously at people with dark skin, doesn’t like to hear people speaking languages other than English, and hates people who text message while

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Apple growers to harvest larger crop

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The U.S. Apple Association lowered its estimate of the size of the United States apple crop by 3.2 million bushels from an estimate it made August 1.

At its annual Crop Marketing and Outlook Conference in

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Learning from last season

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The 2012 U.S. apple crop holds some lessons for apple marketers, lessons that are not “intuitive.” For example, consumers will buy apples even at high prices.

Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group,

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Michigan growers asked to support research

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The Michigan tree fruit industry is exploring the idea of creating a commission to collect money from growers to strengthen research efforts.

The new Michigan Tree Fruit Commission would be authorized to collect assessments from the

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Michigan apple growers appeal for pickers

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Seasonal workers able to pick apples are in somewhat short supply in Michigan this fall. Michigan Farm Bureau, working with the apple industry, has put out a call to farm labor contractors across the eastern

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Introducing Isaaq

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More than 30 people from seven European countries were in Bolzano in Italy’s South Tyrol region yesterday (September 4) to view and discuss the new apple variety Isaaq.
The variety (cultivar CIV323) was developed by Consorzio

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Michigan announces price schedule for processing apples

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Manageable apple crop forecast

Washington State apple producers expect to harvest 120 million packed boxes of apples this fall, according to the industry’s August forecast, the first official tally of the season.

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New spray concept proves feasible

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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

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New York apples names

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Those two new apple varieties formerly called New York 1 and New York 2 and now named SnapDragon and RubyFrost were named “the good fashioned way, with hard work.”

That’s according to Jeff Crist, vice chair

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Precise disease management is complicated

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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,

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Pears: A grower’s advocate

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Pat Burnett, who has been a fruit grower, packer, and marketer in his career—and for many years simultaneously—has always been a champion of the small grower.

Burnett was manager of the Peshastin Hi-Up fruit growing and

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New estimate pegs U.S. apple crop at 243.3 million bushels

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The U.S. Apple Association this week lowered its estimate of the size of the United States apple crop by 3.2 million bushels from an estimate it made August 1. At its annual Crop Marketing and

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WSU apple breeder screens for fireblight resistance

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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

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Celebrating cider in Seattle

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The Northwest Cider Association is planning its third annual Washington Cider Week, a ten-day celebration of craft hard cider beginning September 5 in Seattle.

Fourteen Washington cideries will participate in the event, which features more than

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New York apples get their names: SnapDragon and RubyFrost

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Names have been given to two new apple varieties formerly called New York 1 and New York 2. The names are SnapDragon and RubyFrost.

Jeff Crist, vice chairman of the board of directors of NYAG (New

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Good Stuff

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Closer receives registration
Dow AgroSciences has received federal registration of its sulfoxaflor insecticide, sold under the brand name Closer, which is designed to control sap-feeding insects, such as aphids, in tree fruits and other crops. It

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Cider history repeated?

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Reputedly, hard cider is America’s historic beverage, once considered safer to drink than water and easy to produce since apples grow readily. In 1726, according to one source, average per-capita consumption of hard cider was

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How many apples?

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When the U.S. Apple Association convenes in Chicago later this month for the Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference, three things will be on the minds of the more than 300 growers, packers, and shippers

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The Wafler-Cornell apple harvester

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This earlier prototype was photographed in August 2010, during an International Fruit Tree Association tour to Wafler Nursery. The new machine has a more finished look. Patent issues have limited picture availability.
Richard Lehnert

The owner of

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The French connection

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At least a dozen orchardists along the Hudson River from New York City north to Albany are developing cideries—the apple cider equivalent of grape wineries.

They’ve developed the Hudson Valley Cider Alliance, are putting together a

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The top 5 ways to ensure apples store well

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For good storage life, apples must be picked at optimum maturity. The standard starch iodine test is the easiest approach. The best levels for Honeycrisp are different.

Apple growers are preparing to bring in a moderately

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Consumer pull

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Proprietary Variety Management, a new company helping to commercialize  two new red-fleshed apple varieties developed by Bill Howell of Prosser, Washington, is using a different strategy from how varieties have been introduced in the past.

The

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Hot tips for Honeycrisp

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Growers visited the Honeycrisp orchard of Mike Robinson (right) in June and will have the opportunity to return near harvest to see the impacts of various growing practices.
Geraldine Warner

When Washington State growers began planting Honeycrisp

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Export promotions need shipper support

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Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, says the industry needs to increase demand.
Geraldine Warner

The Washington Apple Commission is strengthening its export program in anticipation of larger volumes of apples coming onto the U.S.

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Marked for progress

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The four-year, $14.4 million RosBREED plant breeding project, funded in 2009 under the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, is coming to a new stage, winding down, wrapping up, summarizing, and telling people what’s been accomplished. But

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The path to commercialization

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For seven years now, Rutgers University of New Jersey and Adams County Nursery in Aspers, Pennsylvania, have been working under a “formal relationship” in which the nursery brings new fruit selections developed by the university

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Risky business

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Apple growers in New York, and in the northeastern quadrant of the United States generally, are moving toward higher production of fresh market varieties grown in more expensive high-density orchards.

Some observers think New York’s average

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5 things to consider when selecting a variety

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photo by John Clements, University of Massachusetts

Win Cowgill, horticulturist at Rutgers ­University and area fruit agent located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, is working on a project to help growers choose varieties.

He and Jon Clements

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New model for variety release

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RiverBelle
Courtesy of Wescott Agri Products

Two new apple varieties, Pazazz and RiverBelle, are growing in some apple orchards and coming to market through a new development process.

The apples are being commercialized by Apple Varietal Development LLC,

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Apple variety network

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Variety and cultivar selection is the largest economic decision a grower can make when establishing a new high-density orchard block where a thousand trees or more per acre are planted.

Win Cowgill and Jon Clements want

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B.C. growers hope for compensation

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A review of the Columbia River Treaty, which the United States and Canada entered in 1964, has British Columbia growers hoping for compensation for the impact it’s had on their industry.

While the treaty has been

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FruiTrivia: Test your knowledge of fruit varieties

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1  Which of the following cherries is not an offspring of Van?
a.   Lapins
b.   Stella
c.   Summit
d.   Sweetheart
e.   Rainier

2  The Honeycrisp apple was bred in?
a.  1961
b.  1971
c.   1981
d.   1991

3  Which cherry variety is the father of Bing?
a.   Black Republican
b.

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Tougas Family Farm

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Mo Tougas asks a question of Oregon State University sweet cherry expert Lynn Long on an IFTA tour of his farm. The pruning demonstration was held in a persistent snow event that occasionally approached blizzard

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Good Point: China

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I have talked about the immediate threat of the excessive increases in apple production from Washington State and went so far as to say that while we worry about foreign imports, we need to be

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Science on the Hudson

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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

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Chemical thinning is getting more precise

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As with precision pruning, the thinning process starts by knowing how many fruit buds are on the tree and how many fruit are desired, as Steve Hoying described (see “Achieving the optimal crop load”).

Cornell University

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Achieving the optimal crop load

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Precision pruning is a good first step to adjusting crop load and producing fruit of the best size and quality. Pruning to a specified number of buds starts the fruit thinning process at the earliest

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The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

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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

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Organic hurdles

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Growing apples in the eastern United States under USDA organic certification standards is not easy, and it’s still not clear whether there is much future in it outside of a few niche markets.

The recent invasion

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Optimizing production

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With some new apple varieties, like Honeycrisp, selling for more than $50 a box wholesale, suddenly orchards are capable of producing levels of annual income before only dreamed of previously, with revenues above $30,000 per

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