• 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 [...]

  • 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, [...]

  • Contain root growth

Contain root growth

  • April 1st, 2012

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 shows that tree vigor can be controlled, because growth of roots has been restricted. [...]

  • Strategies for controlling bacterial spot

Strategies for controlling bacterial spot

  • February 15th, 2012

The O’Henry peach variety is a poster child, highly susceptible to bacterial spot. Symptoms include fruit spots, leaf spots, and twig cankers. Bacterial spot is a serious problem for peach growers in the eastern United States, but no big worry for western growers. This [...]

  • MAP funds granted for stone fruits

MAP funds granted for stone fruits

  • February 1st, 2012

Dissolution of the California Tree Fruit Agreement created opportunity for Washington State stone fruit, says Ingrid Mohn, FAS market development specialist. About $250,000 was redirected to a new market access program for Washington’s stone fruit.

With federal budget cuts looming, the future is murky for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s [...]

  • Quality fruit is Rice heritage

Quality fruit is Rice heritage

  • January 1st, 2012

Mark Rice chose to go with Kiku, a high quality Fuji fruit strain that is easier to grow than Honeycrisp but can sell at a similar price.
Richard Lehnert

Members of the Rice family are slow to return to the family ­business, says Mark Rice. They sometimes take long detours, [...]

Georgia peach growers use H-2A

  • January 1st, 2012

Peach growers were conspicuously absent from the list of fruit and vegetable producers who suffered crop losses when some 11,000 seasonal farm workers failed to show up for harvest.

The reason? Most of Georgia’s peach crop is picked by H-2A workers. They didn’t shun Georgia after the state passed anti-illegal-immigrant [...]

  • Blossom thin peaches

Blossom thin peaches

  • December 1st, 2011

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 string thinner, developed in Europe for thinning organic apples at blossom time, has [...]

  • On a FasTrack

On a FasTrack

  • November 1st, 2011

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 the greenhouse year round.

FasTrack is the name of a new plant breeding process developed [...]

  • South Carolina peach breeder wants better peaches, faster

South Carolina peach breeder wants better peaches, faster

  • November 1st, 2011

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, no seedlings to evaluate, no big shoes to fill.

That’s the situation Dr. Ksenija [...]

More late cherries coming

  • October 1st, 2011

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 future.

The survey, compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, shows that Washington has 234,000 [...]