Techniques & benefits of a fruit wall

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

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  • Research viewpoint

Research viewpoint

  • December 1st, 2009

Soft fruit breeder Ralph Scorza and colleagues developed this pitless plum.

Continuing budget constraints at U.S. universities will result in fewer scientists and less research for growers to draw upon, predicts Larry Gut, entomologist at Michigan State University.

“People are being laid off and let go,” Gut said. “I’m afraid it [...]

  • Surviving the cold

Surviving the cold

  • December 1st, 2009

These grapevines await their winter pruning. Mechanically pruning vines that have severe bud damage from cold may be a cost-effective option, says Vincor’s Frank Hellwig.

Reports of vine death in British Columbia, Canada, following last winter’s bitter cold spells may have been greatly exaggerated. Initial reports from Vincor Canada’s field [...]

  • Field sorting could bring a bonus

Field sorting could bring a bonus

  • December 1st, 2009

The recently planted WSU research orchard will allow study of planting designs for the future.

One of the new technologies Washington State University entomologist Dr. Jay Brunner expects and hopes to see in the next decade is automated sorting of fruit in the field. Apart from reducing a grower’s costs [...]

Australia’s water crisis forces changes

  • December 1st, 2009

Dealing with rising temperatures may be a conundrum for fruit growers confronting ­climate change, but in Australia it’s been ­complicated by widespread drought since 2003.

Two years ago, participants in the annual International Fruit Tree Association conference and tour heard how competition for water rights, a relatively new phenomenon here [...]

  • Past, present, and future

Past, present, and future

  • December 1st, 2009

Chuck Peters designed his new pear orchard with mechanization and new technologies in mind.

It might be possible to develop apples with yet-to-be-identified health benefits, says orchardist Chuck Peters.

When Chuck Peters, a pear grower from Yakima, Washington, was asked in 1987 to predict what the fruit industry would be dealing [...]

  • Invite the whole community

Invite the whole community

  • December 1st, 2009

Mason bee nests in the orchard of Robert Schreiber at Poysdorf, Austria, pictured during an International Fruit Tree Association tour

Growers should think not about species of beneficial insects, but develop strategies, such as insectaries, to benefit the whole community of natural enemies and pollinators, advises Paul Jepson, director of [...]

  • Growers foresee change

Growers foresee change

  • December 1st, 2009

There are too many new apple varieties, says Polish orchardist Krzysztof Hermanowicz.

New market niches, more emphasis on eating quality, technological advances in the orchard, more regional focus on food, and closer relationships with retailers are changes that a handful of tree fruit growers across the globe envision in the [...]

  • Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

  • December 1st, 2009

Agricultural economist

Two decades ago, at a time when the industry had yet to produce more than 60 million boxes of apples and Red Delicious made up almost 75 percent of the crop, agricultural economist Dr. Des O’Rourke warned that it would be difficult for Washington to hold onto its [...]

  • Cultivating beneficials

Cultivating beneficials

  • December 1st, 2009

Mike Omeg checks for beneficial insects in goldenrod plants in an insectary alongside a Regina cherry block. He’s watched by (from left) Drew Merritt and Kristin Currin of Humble Roots Farm & Nursery at Mosier, Oregon, and Gwendolyn Ellen of Oregon State

Oregon cherry grower Mike Omeg is worried about [...]

Video touts fruit industry jobs

  • December 1st, 2009

Jobs in the tree fruit industry aren’t limited to the obvious ones of picking or packing fruit. That’s the message conveyed in a new video called “Pick of the Crop” made for the Washington Apple Education Foundation, which plans to show it to high-school students to demonstrate the breadth [...]

Apple marketing incentive

  • December 1st, 2009

“If an apple were to explode like a hand grenade when it reached a stage of ripeness not permitting it to reach the consumer in good condition, we would have a red-hot incentive to do a better job. In some orchards pickers could not be induced to put a [...]

  • Growing nitrogen on the side

Growing nitrogen on the side

  • December 1st, 2009

Dr. Steve Fransen points out that the ladino clover had pink root nodules, indicating that it was fixing nitrogen.

As commercial nitrogen fertilizers become more expensive, and potentially more limited in supply, the idea of growing fertilizer in the orchard is being explored.

Quincy, Washington, fruit grower Warren Morgan, who is [...]