How to harvest and store WA 38 (Cosmic Crisp) apples

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Smaller Washington grape crop in 2010

  • January 1st, 2011

A steady trend in juice grape acreage and reduced overall inventory of grape juice should lead to similar—or slightly higher—cash prices for the coming year, predicts agricultural economist Trent Ball. But he warns of big crops for ­Washington and New York in the coming year.

Ball, coordinator of Yakima Valley [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • January 1st, 2011

Richared, one of the first red strains of Delicious, was such an exciting discovery that a box full was sent to U.S. President Herbert Hoover.

Red Delicious is a persistent apple. It started out 140 years ago as an unwanted seedling in an Iowa orchard and became the most widely [...]

Figuring out profitability

  • January 1st, 2011

High yields or high prices alone are not enough to ensure that a Gala apple grower will see a profit, two Washington State University ­agricultural economists report.

Drs. Karina Gallardo and Mykel Taylor recently published a WSU extension fact sheet estimating the costs of establishing and producing Gala apples in [...]

  • Same wine, softer tannins

Same wine, softer tannins

  • December 1st, 2010

Stems, leaves, seeds, shot berries, and other material end up in a dump truck to be later composted.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery’s Joshua Maloney says they are already seeing quality differences in their wine since upgrades were made to the red wine grape crush pad at the Canoe Ridge Estate [...]

Last Bite — The rise and fall of the fruit box label

  • December 1st, 2010

As this is the last article in this series, I decided to provide a brief overview of the history of the fruit box label, as described in The Ultimate Fruit Label Book, which I authored (with the help of many others).

Between the years of about 1880 and 1956, millions [...]

  • The Monster MASH

The Monster MASH

  • December 1st, 2010

As grapes vibrate across the MOG separating table, seeds and shot berries fall through the screen. The bar in the front is a newly added air knife to remove light material as the grapes fall.

The relatively new processing station at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate winery—with its one-of-a [...]

  • Maintain a hierarchy in tree framework

Maintain a hierarchy in tree framework

  • December 1st, 2010

The framework of these 12-year-old Packham trees (2,082 trees per hectare) on mini-Tatura is simple and very productive (55 to 61 tonnes per hectare annually, with 93 percent packout).

Our society is built on intricate hierarchical systems. Whether it is a private business, a government institution, the army, or a [...]

  • Carbon footprints: How do apples fare?

Carbon footprints: How do apples fare?

  • December 1st, 2010

This tree in a plastic wrapping is being used to collect and measure gases—oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. This experiment is to measure water loss to develop a model for irrigating apple trees in New York State.

In the ongoing debate about carbon footprints and global warming and how [...]

  • Destiny Ridge Vineyard puts the wind to work

Destiny Ridge Vineyard puts the wind to work

  • December 1st, 2010

Jarrod Boyle, winemaker at Alexandria Nicole Cellars and managing partner of Destiny Ridge Vineyards, likes the looks of the new turbines.

The vertical wind turbines look more like artwork than they do wind machines, Jarrod Boyle says of the renewable energy project installed at Destiny Ridge Vineyards/Alexandria Nicole Cellars.

Since September, [...]

  • The Aussie Bush for cherries

The Aussie Bush for cherries

  • December 1st, 2010

To get cherry trees into production quickly and produce large firm cherries, it is generally accepted that we must:

• Grow each tree close to its natural form.

• Allow good penetration of sunlight through the entire canopy.

• Prune minimally. The less pruning you do, the higher the yields of early crops.

• Control vegetative vigor [...]

  • Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

Vacuum harvester passes bruising tests

  • December 1st, 2010

Critical components of the DBR harvester are the vacuum tubes (green ones carry apples), the decelerator wheels (circular steel), and the elephant-ear fruit distributor (fan-like device above apples). Here, a full bin is being lowered to the ground during a demonstration at Mike Rasch’s orchard in August.

The vacuum system [...]

Wine science center campaign begins

  • December 1st, 2010

A Washington State University wine science center could be near reality within two years. A fundraising campaign to raise private and public funds to build the center at WSU’s Tri-Cities branch has already garnered significant donations.

Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling, director of WSU’s viticulture and enology program, said that wine industry [...]