Techniques & benefits of a fruit wall

Lower costs and better vigor control make them attractive for high-density plantings.

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  • Promoting ecolabel wines

Promoting ecolabel wines

  • May 1st, 2010
A program that began by certifying vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that were following practices to protect and restore salmon watersheds has grown to include more than half the wine grape acreage of Walla Walla Valley in Washington and Oregon and several vineyards in eastern Washington.

Sustainability: imposition or opportunity?

  • May 1st, 2010
With major food companies joining the green movement, a growing number of farmers are being asked questions about their sustainability efforts and/or programs. Growers can either view the movement as opportunity or imposition, says Dr. Cliff Ohmart.
  • Compost tea recipes

Compost tea recipes

  • May 1st, 2010

Tweaking the aeration time, handling, and changing additives can create diverse compost teas—even though they were made with the same compost. Washington State University researchers saw differences in the microbial organisms, nutrients, pH levels, and salt concentrations of compost teas that all started from the same compost and water.

CeCe [...]

What are compost teas?

  • May 1st, 2010

Compost teas have been promised by some companies to be a wonder-all product, protecting plants from disease, increasing growth, breaking down toxins in the soil, enhancing taste of fruits and vegetables, and more. Though few of the claims are supported by science, there may be something to learn from [...]

  • Getting trees off to a good start

Getting trees off to a good start

  • May 1st, 2010

This new planting, pictured at the end of the first season, started out as sleeping eyes and is irrigated with drip. Young trees need to be spoon-fed nutrients, and this can be accomplished through fertigation.

Once the trees are planted in a new orchard, there’s only a limited amount of [...]

  • Solving the woolly apple aphid

Solving the woolly apple aphid

  • May 1st, 2010

Washington Fruit and Produce Company planted alyssum between the rows of this new orchard to attract syrphid flies, which are good predators of woolly apple aphid.

Dain Craver’s plan to produce potted apple trees to sell to city residents was almost derailed by a bad infestation of woolly apple aphids.

Craver, [...]

  • Woolly apple aphid

Woolly apple aphid

  • May 1st, 2010

Syrphid fly larvae attack woolly apple aphids.

The woolly apple aphid overwinters as a nymph on the roots of apple trees, but can also overwinter on the aboveground part of the tree in protected areas on the trunk or main limbs.

In the spring, overwintering aphids produce live young that migrate [...]

  • Good Job

Good Job

  • May 1st, 2010

Apple Blossom Queen Margaret Robinson presented a plaque to WSU Extension Educator Tim Smith when he was named Apple Citizen of the Year 2010.

Tim Smith is Apple Citizen of the Year
Tim Smith, a Washington State University Extension educator for the past 25 years, has been named Apple Citizen of [...]

Growers surveyed on pest practices

  • May 1st, 2010

Washington apple growers are adopting new pest ­management strategies and technologies including safer chemistries, in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency phaseout of ­azinphos-methyl (AZM-Guthion) in tree fruits. Because the new chemistries require more precise timing and better spray coverage, use of predictive models and improved application delivery [...]

  • Meeting the organic challenge

Meeting the organic challenge

  • May 1st, 2010

Harry and Jackie Hoch (center) gather in their orchard for a family photo on Easter weekend, where unusual 80-degree weather advanced the season, requiring sprays for disease control on the apricots and plums. With them are Harry’s mother, Jackie Senior, and their daughters Missy (far left) and Angi.
Photo [...]

  • 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 [...]