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

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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.
  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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, [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Organic matter matters

Organic matter matters

  • April 15th, 2010

Soils are one of the most complex biological communities. A teaspoon of soil has more than 180 million bacteria, according to USDA’s Hal Collins.

Managing soil organic matter is usually not a priority for most farmers who must worry about yield, pest management, labor, and other things that impact the [...]