Mike Robinson is one of three Washington growers who hosted tours at their orchards in June. Growers will have an opportunity to revisit the same orchards in September, just before harvest.
Honeycrisp experts from around the country will share their knowledge during a Washington State University Fruit School workshop on December 5 in Wenatchee, following the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.
The full-day workshop is the culmination of a package of events focusing on production, harvest, and storage of Honeycrisp. The package includes field days during the early summer and just before harvest at three Washington locations. The goal is to allow growers to follow the fruit from early in the growing season, through harvest and storage, and learn how best to grow the tree and produce a crop that will store well and have good eating quality.
“We’re really trying to focus on taking what we’ve learned from science and research and combining it with grower experience,” said Gwen Hoheisel, WSU Extension specialist based in Prosser. “It’s critical to talk about Honeycrisp now because this is an apple that’s being planted more and more. We want to be able to share information so it continues to be a good apple for all of us.”
During the December workshop, Dr. David Bedford and Dr. Jim Luby from the University of Minnesota, where the variety originated, will discuss red strains of Honeycrisp and how the variety performs in various growing regions. Dr. Lailiang Cheng from Cornell University will speak about nutrition management.
Other topics on the agenda will include: the economics of producing Honeycrisp, tips for orchard establishment, soil fertility, crop load and light management, harvest timing and postharvest handling, and storage issues.
The meeting will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will be presented by WSU in partnership with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and the Washington State Horticultural Association.
The second of the field days will be held on September 10 at BMR Orchards, Royal Slope; September 12 at Chiawana Orchards, Gleed, Yakima; and September 17 at Maverick Orchard, Brewster.
For more information or to register for a field day or the December workshop, go to the Hort Association Web site and click on “Events.”