• Mechanical thinner for green peaches

Mechanical thinner for green peaches

  • December 1st, 2010

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 at a field day in Pennsylvania, and, adding some ingenuity, he turned it into [...]

  • Platform transforms orchard work

Platform transforms orchard work

  • December 1st, 2010

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 Lake Ontario Fruit Program, with a Northeast Risk Management grant and funds [...]

  • Pox-resistant plum registered

Pox-resistant plum registered

  • July 1st, 2010

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 plum variety called HoneySweet.

Dr. Ralph Scorza, research horticulturist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s [...]

  • Good Job

Good Job

  • May 1st, 2010

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 Extension educator for the past 25 years, has been named Apple Citizen of [...]

  • Chemical thinners are inconsistent

Chemical thinners are inconsistent

  • April 1st, 2010

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, researchers are still empty-handed.

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has evaluated chemical thinners for [...]

  • Mechanical thinning works

Mechanical thinning works

  • April 1st, 2010

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 been a well-kept secret in Germany. With three years of data by U.S. researchers [...]

  • Ontario faces challenges to plum pox virus eradication

Ontario faces challenges to plum pox virus eradication

  • April 1st, 2010

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 in Ontario, Canada.

The virus was expected to be eliminated in the provinceCanada’s biggest peach [...]

  • Extension educators

Extension educators

  • December 1st, 2009

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 shop or to a neighbor’s orchard to find out what they’re doing. Instead, they’ll [...]

  • Research viewpoint

Research viewpoint

  • December 1st, 2009

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 State University.

“People are being laid off and let go,” Gut said. “I’m afraid it [...]

MSU leads RosBREED project

  • November 1st, 2009

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 RosBREED project, aiming to combine emerging DNA sequence and research findings to improve the [...]

Quick Bites

  • September 1st, 2009

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 last season’s record 109-million-box crop.

The Gala crop will be the largest ever at close [...]

Quick Bites

  • August 1st, 2009

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 –management or nutrient management projects. The funds are offered through the federal Environmental [...]