• Cherry production in China

Cherry production in China

  • May 15th, 2011

Up to 20 acres of cherries were seen being grown under greenhouse covers during a trip to learn about China’s cherry production taken by the Northwest Cherry Growers. The greenhouse entry doors were often locked and guarded by mean-looking dogs.

A country the size of China could overwhelm U.S. cherry [...]

More export focus needed

  • February 15th, 2011

Because of an increasingly competitive U.S. market, the salvation of the Washington apple industry will be overseas markets, and the industry will need to become more export oriented than in the past, says agricultural economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke.

O’Rourke sees little promise in the domestic market, where per-capita consumption of [...]

  • Export funding increase unlikely

Export funding increase unlikely

  • February 15th, 2011

Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, is concerned about a possible decrease in federal funding for export promotions.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

Since generic apple promotions in the U.S. market are a thing of the past, export markets seem to offer better opportunities for selling more apples, Washington [...]

  • Small orchards, but big impact

Small orchards, but big impact

  • January 15th, 2011

South Tyrol extension advisor Bernhard Botzner shows the concrete poles used for trellis supports.

Published January 15, 2011
Don’t let the small size fool you. Individual apple orchards near Merano, in Italy’s Vinschgau Valley, may only be a few acres in size, but the valley has trees planted wall to [...]

  • Why Italian orchards are so productive

Why Italian orchards are so productive

  • January 15th, 2011

Dr. Martin Thalheimer says the South Tyrol’s high productivity in apples is due to a combination of factors—uniform, high-density plantings, a strong extension service, and adoption of modern orchard management techniques.

Published January 15, 2011
The high apple yields in Italy’s South Tyrol region are a result of improved management [...]

Italian extension service is well funded

  • January 15th, 2011

Published January 15, 2011
The South Tyrol Advisory Service performs many of the same services that Cooperative Extension does in the United States—educating growers about integrated pest management, irrigation, fertility, and nutrition. The biggest difference is funding.

The budgets of Cooperative Extension in the United States are often squeezed when [...]

  • Staying profitable

Staying profitable

  • January 15th, 2011

Hillsides near Bolzano are planted to apples and wine grapes, utilizing every meter of land.

Published January 15, 2011

An international group of tree fruit industry members traveled to northern Italy last November to see how mechanization has been adopted in high-density tree fruit plantings. The group saw the latest technology [...]

Economic outlook for tree fruit

  • January 1st, 2011

The economic outlook for the tree fruit­ ­industry in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest is quite good. This conclusion may surprise many readers accustomed to the steady stream of negative stories in the media. However, the reason for this optimism about the fruit industry is that it now [...]

  • More quantity than quality in China

More quantity than quality in China

  • December 1st, 2010

Chinese packers have been unable to convince growers to update orchards to improve yields and color. Shandong growers are unwilling to lose production in the short term in order to improve future production.

Although China is the world’s top apple producer in terms of volume, its apple producers have a [...]

Quick Bites

  • September 1st, 2010

Large apple crop forecast
The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a record 108.8 million boxes of fresh apples this fall. That’s six million boxes more than during the 2009-2010 season that just ended, but only slightly more than the 108.3 million boxes shipped two years ago.

“This number, even [...]

  • Apple Lines

Apple Lines

  • August 1st, 2010

John Baker, center, talks with supermarket staff in Dubai, a major market for Washington apples.

The Washington Apple Commission is running a training ­program for supermarkets in export markets to help retailers boost their sales of Washington apples and to ensure that consumers receive a high-quality product.

The commission began the [...]

  • China: big country, small wine market

China: big country, small wine market

  • August 1st, 2010

Wine importer and distributor Scott Hitchcock, left, sampled Butch Milbrandt’s wines (Milbrandt Vineyards) during the Washington Wine Commission’s Wine Experience. Hitchcock came to learn about the potential of importing Washington wines into China.

China and its 1.4 billion population is one of the world’s largest markets for many products. For [...]