• Tougas Family Farm

Tougas Family Farm

  • June 1st, 2013

Mo Tougas asks a question of Oregon State University sweet cherry expert Lynn Long on an IFTA tour of his farm. The pruning demonstration was held in a persistent snow event that occasionally approached blizzard conditions.
Richard Lehnert

“Let’s all go to my place.” That was one of the things [...]

  • Peaches from Arkansas

Peaches from Arkansas

  • June 1st, 2013

Arkansas plant breeder John Clark.
Photos courtesy of John Clark, University of Arkansas

New nectarine varieties and a peach variety developed by fruit breeder Dr. John Clark at the University of Arkansas are high chill and should be adapted not only for Arkansas growers but for more northerly production areas [...]

  • Smart cherry breeding

Smart cherry breeding

  • June 1st, 2013

Breeder Nnadozie Oraguzie stands in a Phase 1 block planted in 2011 and 2012. He’ll begin collecting fruiting data when the trees are three to four years old.

Breeding new varieties of fruit is all about numbers—it takes thousands of crosses to find one worthy of commercialization. Researchers [...]

Career comes to late fruition

  • June 1st, 2013

For more than two decades, Dr. Tom Toyama quietly got on with his work as stone fruit breeder at Washington State University.

Though no variety was released during his tenure from 1963 to 1985, his work has had a significant impact on the Northwest cherry industry. Ten of his cherry [...]

  • Shorten laterals to cut thinning costs

Shorten laterals to cut thinning costs

  • March 1st, 2013

Peach and nectarine trees will always set more fruit than the trees can size.
For most orchardists, thinning peach and nectarine trees is one of the most expensive yearly orchard operations. It does not need to be, if you prune your trees ­correctly in winter and shorten the laterals.

Good [...]

  • Saving water in early peaches

Saving water in early peaches

  • February 15th, 2013

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, looking for ways that growers can save water without affecting fruit quality or yields, see potential for using deficit irrigation on early season California peach trees. Their research includes development of a tool that can tell farmers precisely when irrigation is needed.

USDA [...]

  • Prune for size

Prune for size

  • December 1st, 2012

Producing fruit today requires higher and higher degrees of innovation. Profit margins are small, and quality demands are high. Exact standards and specifications regarding fruit size, skin color, texture, firmness and concentration of sugar, shelf life, and blemishes must be met.

Virtually everything that you do in the orchard affects [...]

Cherry research needed

  • December 1st, 2012

Washington cherry and stone fruit growers will have another opportunity in the coming weeks to vote on a special assessment to fund research at Washington State ­University.

A year ago, in a tree fruit industrywide referendum, a majority of apple and pear growers voted in favor of a special assessment. [...]

  • Des Layne joins WSU

Des Layne joins WSU

  • November 1st, 2012

Washington State University has appointed Dr. Desmond Layne, a professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, to the new position of tree fruit extension team leader. He will start his new job on February 1. The position was created after Washington apple and pear growers voted last year to [...]

  • Good to Know—What growers want in new varieties

Good to Know—What growers want in new varieties

  • November 1st, 2012

Adopting a new scion cultivar is a crucial decision for tree fruit growers, who must consider both horticultural and market performance. Apple growers have mostly figured out how to produce high yields of excellent quality fruit for many standard varieties like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Empire, but market [...]

Good Stuff

  • October 1st, 2012

Bayer purchases AgraQuest
Bayer Crop Science, headquartered in Germany, has purchased the U.S. biological crop-protection company AgraQuest, Inc., for $425 million plus milestone ­payments, according to a Bayer news release.

AgraQuest, headquartered in Davis, California, is a global supplier of biological pest management products derived from natural organisms. Its production [...]

  • Last Bite–A peach with longevity

Last Bite–A peach with longevity

  • August 1st, 2012

Unlike apples and pears, where new varieties are slow to appear and stay forever, new peach varieties come, and most of them go, in a continual parade. But sometimes, a new variety comes and stays a long time. Varieties like Elberta and Redhaven fit that description, and so, too, [...]