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Fewer pears for canners

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The outlook seems positive for the Northwest canning pear industry going into the 2013 season.

The industry is expecting to process 120,000 tons of Northwest pears, down from 126,000 tons last year, and canners’ inventories are

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Should pear growers update?

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While many pear growers in the Pacific Northwest have welcomed Dr. Amit Dhingra’s efforts to push the pear industry into the twenty-first century, some have not.

While some urged the Washington State University genomicist to apply

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Pear industry ripe for change

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When Dr. Amit Dhingra joined Washington State University seven years ago as a plant genomicist, one thing immediately struck him about the tree fruit industry.

Apples were a 2-billion-dollar high-tech industry, and the cherry industry was

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Top Five pear research needs

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Although most pears are grown in traditional orchards, the same way they’ve been grown for many decades, there’s not a great momentum for change. Ray Schmitten, a pear grower in Cashmere, Washington, says that innovation

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Pears: A grower’s advocate

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Pat Burnett, who has been a fruit grower, packer, and marketer in his career—and for many years simultaneously—has always been a champion of the small grower.

Burnett was manager of the Peshastin Hi-Up fruit growing and

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Pear gene bank open house

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Pear growers and others interested in the fruit will have an opportunity to sample hundreds of the more than 1,000 pear cultivars in the national pear gene bank in Corvallis, Oregon, on August 29.
Curator Joseph

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California growers worry about fireblight

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The generally arid conditions in the Pacific Northwest limit the threat of the disease, which needs warm and moist conditions to become established. Some areas in the Midwest and eastern United States, which have more

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China could become big pear market

China could become a significant market for U.S. pears. Louis Ng, who represents the Pear Bureau Northwest in China, believes China could be importing 500,000 to 600,000 boxes of pears annually within the next five to ten years. That would make China the second-largest pear export market after Mexico.

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FruiTrivia: Test your knowledge of fruit varieties

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1  Which of the following cherries is not an offspring of Van?
a.   Lapins
b.   Stella
c.   Summit
d.   Sweetheart
e.   Rainier

2  The Honeycrisp apple was bred in?
a.  1961
b.  1971
c.   1981
d.   1991

3  Which cherry variety is the father of Bing?
a.   Black Republican
b.

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The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

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A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an

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Trends in organic tree fruit

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Washington State University’s sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein keeps tabs on organic tree fruit production statistics, compiling charts and graphs from data supplied by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The most recent statistics from

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Pear growers surveyed on biological control

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Implementing stable biological control programs requires growers and pest managers to have a much better understanding of management actions against not only pests, but also their natural enemies. Sound management strategies must consider the phenology

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Positive trends for Bartletts

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The Pacific Northwest canned pear industry is in a good position now, based on inventory, pricing, demand, and import trends.

The positive outlook for the coming season follows a year that brought significant changes to the

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Calculating the value of biological control

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Washington State University entomologist Dr. Stan Hoyt developed integrated mite control in the late 1960s (see “How integrated mite control works”).

Over the last four decades, integrated mite control has saved Washington fruit growers millions of

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Promotion and management of pear fruiting

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Left: D’Anjou tree sprayed at two weeks after bloom with 80 ppm ReTain relative to an untreated control. Right: Untreated d’Anjou control tree.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TODD EINHORN

Different pear cultivars have unique challenges associated with their

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In My View: Optimistic about pears

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This winter, I was pleased to address a large number of growers at North Central Washington Pear Day in Wenatchee. The title of my talk was “Why I am optimistic about pears,” and I examined

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U.S. pears head to China

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The Pear Bureau Northwest is giving this framed God of Fortune poster to Chinese importers to demonstrate the profit opportunities for U.S. pears.
Photo courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest

U.S. pear producers were allowed to ship fresh

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Growers have several choices in fireblight control

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Pear and apple orchardists have a fairly broad field of products to use in controlling fireblight—and it should get even more crowded in the coming year with new registrations anticipated, says an Oregon State University

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Fireblight, antibiotics, and the NOSB

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Antibiotics have long been key disease control materials for fireblight, one of the few uses of antibiotics in plant agriculture. These materials are natural compounds produced by naturally occurring soil microorganisms. For the past several

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Vigor control and promotion of fruiting of pear trees

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Considerable time is required to recoup the increased establishment costs that accompany higher density plantings given the precocity challenges associated with commercially available pear rootstocks and scions. Limited fruiting and excessive vegetative growth create an

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Turning on a plant’s defenses

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New technology is coming to the apple and pear industry to help control fireblight. Actigard is a systemic compound with a unique mode of action that mimics the natural systemic-activated resistance response found in many

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Coppers are a fit for organics

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Before the 1960s, there were no antibiotics to help orchardists control fireblight, one of the most destructive diseases of pears and apples. Copper materials were the mainstay back then.

But coppers are returning as fireblight control

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In The Box

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Missing Pear Fact
Dear Good Fruit Grower:

I greatly enjoyed your September pear issue of the Good Fruit Grower.

The article “A plethora of pears” was most interesting. But, one major element was missing! That is the great

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The aristocratic Bosc

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For many in the United States, when they think of pears, the image is of the fully ripe, yellow, fragrant, juicy Bartlett pear. But for gourmands who look for the unique in all foods, there

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A plethora of pears

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Four pear cultivars—Bartlett, d’Anjou, Bosc, and Comice—dominate supermarket shelves across the United States, and they’re great pears. But do they deserve 95 percent of the market?

“There are easily more than a hundred varieties with fruit

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Soft spray program for pears

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Though a no-organophosphate codling moth control program is more expensive at first, it’s not long before growers are saving money, says Bruce Kiyokawa, a pest control advisor with Chamberlin Distributing Company in Hood River, Oregon.

Kiyokawa

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Curator’s choice

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Pear trees growing at the repository In spring (inset) and fall. As unique and individually colorful as are the fruit midseason.

As curator of the nation’s largest collection of pear cultivars, Joseph Postman is often asked,

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Good to Know: A gem of a pear

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US 71655-014 has been tested in Hood River, Oregon, for ten years, and is expected to be released soon.

A new fireblight-resistant, European pear selection bred by Dr. Richard Bell at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s

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Canned pear assessment drops

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Northwest pear growers will pay a reduced assessment on canned pears in the coming season. The rate will drop from $7.33 per ton to $7.00 per ton.

The new rate was approved at the annual meeting

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Truitt Brothers helps consolidate pear processing

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After almost 40 years as a major pear canner, Truitt Brothers of Salem, Oregon, is “bowing out” of the business in order to help the industry consolidate.

The company is no longer processing pears, and its

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Canning pear price set for Pacific Northwest

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The price for processing Bartlett pears grown in the Pacific Northwest has been set for the next three years.

The two remaining Northwest processors that buy pears on the cash market—Del Monte Foods and Northwest Packing

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U.S. canned pear industry is in flux

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The canned pear world is in the midst of change. With more than a decade of declining Bartlett pear production, a shrinking number of pear processors, and declining consumption by consumers, the outlook for Bartlett

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More predictability with MCP needed

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Jake Gutzwiler said pear packers need to be able to use MCP accurately, effectively, and efficiently.

Fruit packers in Washington State say they’d like to feel more confident about using SmartFresh (1-methylcyclopropene) on pears to reduce

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What is known about MCP

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More is known about treating Bartlett pears than d’Anjous, Bosc, or other varieties, says ­Welcome Sauer, president of AgroFresh, which markets SmartFresh.

In general:

• MCP-treated pears sold earlier in the season take longer to ripen.
• Pears stored longer

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Does MCP affect flavor?

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A question that scientists say needs to be researched further is whether MCP (1-methylcyclopropene) affects the flavor and aroma of fruit after storage.

Dr. Enrique Sanchez, researcher with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology in General

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Saving resources

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Rod Grams obtained EQIP funding to upgrade his irrigation system, and is now using less water and fertilizer in his pear orchard.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NRCS

Rod Grams, a pear grower at Monitor, Washington, no longer has

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MCP results influenced by temperature

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Jim Mattheis

Many factors influence how SmartFresh (1-methylcyclopropene) works, which means that there are several potential tools that packers can use that will result in more predictable ripening of pears at different points in the season,

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Good to Know

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VG is a substituted amino acid derived via fermenting the naturally occurring antibiotic rhizobitoxine. After its activity was discovered in 1972, it received a federal Experimental Use Permit in 1995 and a Section 2C label

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Future pear research area

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AVG could be a valuable new tool, along with NAA, for preventing premature fruit drop in pears. Some questions for future research are:

Can the initiation of internal ethylene development in pear be predicted to better

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Good to Know

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Premature fruit drop can cause 20 percent or more yield loss in pears without intervention. Natural drop signals fruit maturity and the onset of tree dormancy. Losses are  incurred directly via fruit drop and indirectly

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Wide scope for rootstock research

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International Fruit Tree Association members tour a research plot at Wapato, Washington, where a wide range of apple rootstocks are being compared.

Rootstock development is a huge area of research that goes beyond studying the survival,

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Contain root growth

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Four-year-old Packham trees on Winter Nelis rootstock planted 22.5 cm (9 inches) apart on Open Tatura (9,876 trees per hectare, or 4,000 trees per acre). Although tree density is excessively high, this simple experiment clearly

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MCP alternative tested

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Amit Dhingra’s research shows that the new product delays ripening differently than MCP.

An organic compound that has the potential to enhance storability of pears and apples is being patented by the Washington State University Foundation.

Glycinebetaine,

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EU regulations stifle fruit exports

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Pacific Northwest apple and pear exports to Europe have dropped dramatically since pesticide ­regulations were harmonized among members of the European Union. Restrictive pesticide residue limits of the European Union have required U.S. producers to

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Tools growers should be using

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To stay in business for the long haul, orchardists must produce exceptional quantities of exceptional fruit. Fortunately, there are many tools available to help growers reach target fruit goals, and increase profitability while decreasing costs,

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New options for fireblight control

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Fireblight in apple.

New products could be registered in the United States this season to manage fireblight in apples and pears.

One is Blossom Protect whose active ingredient is the yeast Aureobasidium pullulans. It was developed by

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Access to China is near

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It’s been almost two decades since the U.S. pear industry began pushing for access to China, but it finally appears that the market might open during the 2012-2013 season. “This has been a

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Exports boost pear returns

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James Foreman advocates expanding exports and giving up segments of the U.S. market to Argentina Lowering f.o.b. prices in a big crop year does nothing to benefit growers, says James

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Committee nominations

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Nominations for board positions with several Pacific Northwest fruit industry groups will be held during upcoming horticultural meetings.
Cherry Marketing Committee
Nominations for three grower positions in District 1 will be held during the North Central Washington

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Self-rooted trees cut costs

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This is not a story out of a horticultural book of fables. It is a story to ruffle your imagination.

While the search goes on unabated for the elusive size-controlling precocious pear rootstock, an experiment at

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