• 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, [...]

  • Florida PEACHES

Florida PEACHES

  • July 1st, 2012

When devastating freezes strike the Florida citrus industry, it becomes national news immediately, as people want to know how it will affect the price and supply of their orange juice.

Nearly 30 years ago, two really hard freezes badly damaged the Florida citrus industry: A freeze in December 1983 caused [...]

  • Living with plum pox

Living with plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

Jim Bittner, pictured with a tour group in his New York orchard, pulled out 20 acres of peaches when a plum pox-positive tree was found in his orchard. He is worried about Canada dropping its eradication effort.
PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT

The question of how plum pox should be ­managed [...]

  • Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

  • July 1st, 2012

In the “usual” journalistic process, reporters find expert sources and ask questions, then ask additional questions as the answers dictate. This process did not work in developing this article.

On both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, phone calls directed to knowledgeable horticulturists involved in the plum pox programs were shunted [...]

  • Last Bite–From Shangri-La

Last Bite–From Shangri-La

  • June 1st, 2012

Apricots are dried on a Hunza Valley rooftop.
On the flanks of the magnificent Karakoram mountain range, a jagged spine of 25,000-foot-high mountain spires, lies the valley of the Hunza—a place so rich in beauty and long-lived people that it is credited as an inspiration for James Hilton’s novel [...]

  • Finding the ideal peach orchard

Finding the ideal peach orchard

  • May 15th, 2012

Jim Schupp (on tractor) took an active role in evaluating the Darwin blossom thinner and considers it a key to peach profitability.
Photo by Richard Lehnert

Peach growers in Pennsylvania are being urged—by some convincing data—along a path that changes the look of their orchards and the methods they use [...]

  • Breeding peaches

Breeding peaches

  • May 15th, 2012

New peach varieties from MSU are expected to fill the gaps in the profile of the Michigan peach industry.
Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

New peach varieties can be expected in the next few years from the Michigan State University breeding program and Dr. Bill Shane. He has more [...]

  • In support of peach breeding

In support of peach breeding

  • May 15th, 2012

Peach breeder Bill Shane (left) and Michigan Peach Sponsors President Kurt Weber enjoyed the annual educational meeting they jointly prepared.
Photo courtesy of Michigan State University

Over the last 20 years, Michigan Peach Sponsors has provided more than $100,000 in support of Dr. Bill Shane’s peach-breeding program. It was an [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • May 1st, 2012

Arctic Snow, patented by Zaiger Genetics and sold by Dave Wilson Nursery, ripens late August to early September. The fruit is freestone, sweet, low acid, with 50 to 60 percent red blush skin color over lime white. It’s said to be a heavy producer and excellent shipper.

The story of [...]

  • Wide scope for rootstock research

Wide scope for rootstock research

  • April 15th, 2012

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, size, and yield efficiency of rootstocks, says Dr. Terence Robinson, horticulturist at Cornell University, [...]