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Blossom thin peaches

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Katy Lesser Clowney, while working at the Adams County extension office, found the Darwin at a show in Europe and suggested it be tried out. She has been involved in testing it.
Steve Hollabaugh

The Darwin mechanical

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On a FasTrack

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Horticulturist Ralph Scorza pollinates plum flowers while geneticist Ann Callahan measures sugar content and molecular biologist Chris Dardick measures fruit size. FasTrack allows scientists to pollinate flowers and evaluate fruit from the same plants in

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South Carolina peach breeder wants better peaches, faster

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Ksenija Gasic heads Clemson University’s peach-breeding program, which was recently revived after a 25-year hiatus.
Richard Lehnert

One of the great things about being a peach breeder in a new peach breeding program is no hangover—nothing left,

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More late cherries coming

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A new tree-fruit acreage survey in Washington State shows a decline in all tree fruits except cherries over the past five years, and suggests that the state will be harvesting more late-season cherries in the

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Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

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H-2A workers in the Titan Farms packing plant cheered when they found their peaches were going to their home country.
Richard Lehnert

For the first time since 1994, peaches from the southeastern United States moved into stores

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Michigan grower sees bright future for plums

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Some of Rood’s older plum trees show there can be problems. This tree shows rootstock compatibility problems, and the bark cracks persistently, even when painted and several years old.
Richard Lehnert

While Paul Rood is known in

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Last Bite

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Elberta is not highly colored, but it has good flavor, bears dependably, and is widely adapted—traits the helped it dominate the peach industry for nearly a century.

Elberta, probably the most widely known peach variety ever,

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Peach breeder Dick Okie retiring

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After 30 years breeding peaches for the South—15 in the Prince series alone—W.R. (Dick) Okie retired this year. He is still working until a successor is decided upon.
Courtesy of W.R. Okie

W.R. (Dick) Okie, the USDA-Agricultural

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Peaches on ridges

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Impressed by early research results, Titan Farms planted 200 acres of peaches on ridges to try out this new approach to Armillaria root rot.
Richard Lehnert

Since coming to Clemson University in 2000, Dr. Guido Schnabel has

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Mr. Peach

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Chalmers Carr III is active in the South Carolina peach industry, as well as his own business. His efforts have been recognized by the South Carolina Peach Council, which this year named him Mr. Peach.

He’s

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Titan Farms

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Amancio Palma, right, manages the huge crew of more than 400 H-2A workers who work in the peach orchards. With Chalmers Carr III, they look over peaches ripening in mid-May.
Richard Lehnert

When you have 4,900 acres

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Last Bite

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The Santa Rosa plum was the most widely grown plum in California until the mid-1970s.

The Santa Rosa plum, one of the most popular and widely known plum varieties in America, was named after the northern

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Everything about PEACHES

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Desmond Layne’s work in peach cultivar evaluation means tasting a lot of peaches. “It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it,” he quips.
Richard Lehnert

Desmond Layne looks younger than he is, and he thinks

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Clemson peach team

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More peaches—about 17,000 acres— are grown in South Carolina than any other state east of California, and Clemson University, the ­land-grant university of South Carolina, provides a robust staff of academic professionals who serve the

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Fast, easy test reveals fungicide resistance

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When disease organisms become resistant to a fungicide, spraying is like hitting them with rainwater—expensive rainwater.

In the last three years, Georgia and South Carolina peach growers have saved money from what would have been wasted

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Virus-free peach trees

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Simon Scott moves plants at the Musser Fruit Research Farm’s greenhouse, where about 300 trees of a hundred low-chill cultivars will be grown.
Richard Lehnert

Until plum pox virus (PPV) appeared in Pennsylvania peach orchards in 1999,

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Patterson, an all-round apricot

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The late private fruit breeder Fred Anderson, known as father of the modern-day nectarine, is credited with the development of yellow-fleshed nectarines in California. But he also made a mark on the apricot industry with

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Hopes were high

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A colorful sampling of interspecific plum selections bred by Glen Bradford of BQ Genetics.
BQ Genetics

When modern varieties of plums crossed with apricots were first commercially released in the late 1980s, the new fruit offered great

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Peaches aplenty

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For more than a century, the freestone peach market in the eastern United States was dominated by two varieties. First was Elberta, a peach from Georgia that dominated production from 1880 to about 1950. Then,

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Varieties that are changing the peach industry

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The New Jersey Peach Festival has been held in July for the past 25 years, at which peach varieties can be tasted and discussed. “We usually have about 20,000 to 30,000 people attend,” said Jerry

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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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Last Bite

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In 1966, Michigan placed this historical marker at the South Haven Experiment Station com­mem­orating Stanley Johnston’s work and the peaches he released. Johnston is pictured with the marker.

Until the Redhaven peach came along in 1940,

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Good Stuff

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Sweet success
A new series of scab-resistant apples called “Sweet Resistants” developed by the Consorzio Italiano Vivaisti (CIV) in Italy was among the ten finalists for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award during the Fruit Logistica trade

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Mechanical thinner ready

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Darwin used on perpendicular vee peach orchard in California (Family Tree Farms).

Researchers who studied the Darwin string thinner found it does a good job on peaches, saving growers time and labor and generating high-quality, valuable

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Ready for drosophila

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Spotted wing drosophila larvae that hatch from eggs inside the fruit sometimes pop out and walk around on the surface. The spotted wing drosophila can pupate inside the cherry, outside the cherry, or halfway out.
PHOTOS

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Organic bubble hasn’t burst

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The entry of Walmart into organic fruit retailing five years ago helped fuel the demand for organic fruit, and demand is still growing despite the economic recession, according to David Granatstein, Washington State University’s organic

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Mechanical thinner for green peaches

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The Bin Bandit hauls bins during the harvest season, and a platform sits on it for use in thinning, pruning, and tree training.

Todd Furber jumped on an idea when he saw a prototype fruit harvester

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Platform transforms orchard work

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Tom DeMarree bought this Blosi platform and uses it for many tasks, including installing trellis wire.

Workers crimp stabilizer wires onto trellis wires. The stabilizer wires eliminate the need for additional stakes
or posts.
Two years ago, the

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Pox-resistant plum registered

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The HoneySweet plum is sweet and flavorful and highly resistant to the plum pox virus.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced its conditional registration of a plum pox virus resistance gene contained in a new

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Good Job

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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

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Chemical thinners are inconsistent

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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,

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Mechanical thinning works

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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

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Ontario faces challenges to plum pox virus eradication

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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

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Extension educators

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WSU Extension educator Karen Lewis expects to see more technologies used in orchards to augment workers, in addition to platforms.

In the future, growers won’t need to get in the truck and drive to the coffee

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Research viewpoint

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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

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MSU leads RosBREED project

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Michigan State University researchers will lead a four-year, $14.4-million grant-funded research project aimed at improving fruit quality, collaborating with nearly a dozen U.S. ­institutions and six international partners.

Dr. Amy Iezzoni, MSU cherry breeder, heads the

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Quick Bites

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Big Gala crop

The Washington State apple industry expects to harvest 107 million boxes of fresh apples this fall, according to the first official estimate compiled in August. That would be a 2 percent drop from

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Quick Bites

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EQIP deadline
The Natural Resources Conservation Service has funds to help growers meet the cost of implementing conservation practices, including the installation of windbreaks and beneficial insect habitat plantings, updating an irrigation system, or for pest

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New peach varieties

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FlavrBurst has less acidity than typical peach varieties.

SummerFest and FlavrBurst are two new peach varieties created by fruit breeder Dr. Ralph Scorza at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia. They have been

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Cherums and peacotums

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Children enjoy novel hybrid fruits during a tasting at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Zaiger Genetics, Inc., internationally acclaimed for developing interspecific fruit, is breeding cherries and plums together in the search for

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Stone fruit crisis

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Changes in the fruit industry are related to changes in the global economy, says Terry Bacon of Sun World.
California’s stone fruit industry is in a deep crisis. Growers and marketers are being squeezed out of

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