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

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  • 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 [...]

  • Compost does good things

Compost does good things

  • April 15th, 2010

Growers can often make their own compost, reducing some of the transportation costs from trucking it in to the orchard or vineyard.

Good stuff happens from adding compost to the soil or mulching it under the drip line, says Glenn McGourty, University of California Cooperative Extension. Growers can make their [...]

  • Organic fertilizer calculator

Organic fertilizer calculator

  • April 15th, 2010

Oregon State University has developed a tool to help growers compare the cost, nutrient value, and nitrogen availability of organic fertilizers.

The Organic Fertilizer Calculator is an online Excel-based calculator designed to help farmers compare organic fertilizers and plan the most balanced and cost-effective fertilizer program for their farm. Growers [...]

  • Drench in the orchard

Drench in the orchard

  • April 1st, 2010

Single-bin drenching with a postharvest fungicide is being tested. Research shows that the sooner a fungicide is applied after harvest, the more effective it is in preventing rot.
DAVID SUGAR, OSU

Drenching single bins of pears with a fungicide in the orchard is a new tactic to help prevent decay [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Tree planter pays dividends

Tree planter pays dividends

  • April 1st, 2010

Yakima Valley Orchards designed and built its own three-row tree planting machine.

Yakima Valley Orchards used to plant trees by hand, with workers digging holes with shovels. Now, it has a three-row planting machine that has cut labor costs in half. But, Travis Allan, operations manager, said the real value [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Chemical thinners are inconsistent

Chemical thinners are inconsistent

  • April 1st, 2010

Penn State’s Dr. Jim Schupp says that the inconsistent results with chemical thinners led to researcher interest in mechanical thinners.

After a decade of searching for effective chemical blossom thinners for Pacific Northwest stone fruit growers, researchers are still empty-handed.

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has evaluated chemical thinners for [...]

  • 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 [...]

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  • April 1st, 2010

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  • Australia testing two new pears

Australia testing two new pears

  • April 1st, 2010

Garry Langford says testers will be licensed to grow trees for five years to produce enough pears for sampling.

Two new pear varieties from Australia are being propagated for testing in the United States.

One is an early-season blushed yellow pear that is ready to eat off the tree; the other [...]