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

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  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Mechanical thinning works

Mechanical thinning works

  • April 1st, 2010

The mechanical string thinner knocked off 15 percent or more dormant buds in this Santina block. Right: The Darwin string thinner.

Soft fruit growers in the United States are catching on to what seems to have been a well-kept secret in Germany. With three years of data by U.S. researchers [...]

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  • April 1st, 2010

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  • Ontario faces challenges to plum pox virus eradication

Ontario faces challenges to plum pox virus eradication

  • April 1st, 2010

Symptoms of plum pox virus include chlorotic (yellow) rings on the leaf surface or chlorotic blotches and vein clearing.

A concentrated growing area is complicating efforts to eliminate plum pox virus from the main peach-growing region in Ontario, Canada.

The virus was expected to be eliminated in the provinceCanada’s biggest peach [...]

  • Chamberlain Leads Growers

Chamberlain Leads Growers

  • April 1st, 2010

Lynne Chamberlain was elected 2010 chair of the board of directors of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. Chamberlain, the first woman to lead the organization’s board, is owner of Spofford Station Vineyards and JLC Winery of the Walla Walla Valley appellation.

Todd Newhouse of Outlook was elected vice [...]

Questions to ask a prospective nursery

  • February 15th, 2010

Ask the following questions before choosing a nursery, ­suggests Cameron Nursery’s Paul Tvergyak.

Longevity—How long has the company been in business?

Reputation—Is the company reputable and known for square business dealings?

Guarantees and warranties—What are the guarantees and warranties that go with the trees?

Bud wood source—Where does it source its bud wood?

Rootstock [...]

  • Controlling mildew in organic cherries

Controlling mildew in organic cherries

  • February 15th, 2010

Powdery mildew is a tough disease to control for Pacific Northwest cherry growers, but it’s even tougher for organic growers who have limited fungicides to use. With so few organic tools available, an integrated approach is needed, says a Washington State crop consultant.

Understanding the life cycle of cherry powdery [...]

Moving larger crops in the future

  • February 15th, 2010

Focus on what you can control was the message given to growers by cherry marketers who shared thoughts on how to move larger cherry crops in the future during a panel discussion at the Northwest Cherry Institute meeting in Yakima, Washington.

Last year’s late start of the Northwest cherry season [...]

Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

  • February 15th, 2010

As production volumes increase for Honeycrisp apples, the need for a longer marketing window becomes more important. Researchers like Ines Hanrahan are looking for ways to stretch storage of Honeycrisp beyond Christmas.

With consumers and retailers clamoring for the popular variety, growers have responded to the strong demand by planting [...]

  • Choosing a nursery and trees

Choosing a nursery and trees

  • February 15th, 2010

This is the fourth in a series of articles covering all aspects of planning and establishing a competitive orchard.

Before committing significant money to a nursery order, growers are well advised to do their homework in choosing who grows their trees.

Visit the nursery beforehand to see what type of tree [...]