Michigan apple industry sets shipment record

  • October 23rd, 2013

The Michigan apple industry set new shipment records two weeks in a row in October, shipping 414,702 boxes of apples the week of October 12. According to the USDA-MDA Market News Service, the organization that tracks shipment numbers, the Michigan apple industry shipped 411,973 boxes of apples [...]

Free ag business training

  • October 22nd, 2013

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is offering a day of free training for agricultural businesses on November 15 in Tumwater, Washington. A total of 19 classes will be offered on many topics including: the nuts and bolts of a business start-up, options for young [...]

Tucker Cellars finds niche

  • October 18th, 2013

Third-generation wine grape grower Randy Tucker has made wine in Washington’s Yakima Valley for 30 years. Through the decades, he’s changed business plans at Tucker Cellars to fine-tune the winery’s market niche, but he’s now facing one of the biggest changes as he approaches retirement.

Randy’s grandparents Melvin and Vera [...]

Finding the sweet spot

  • October 18th, 2013

As a grower and marketer of premium tree fruits for the fresh market, Craig Campbell had to adjust his mindset when he got into the cider-making business.

For fresh apples, he carefully monitors fruit maturity so he can pick at the best time, depending on when they’ll go to market.

For [...]

They like it fresh

  • October 17th, 2013

If you’re a person who doesn’t like tattoos and body piercings, looks suspiciously at people with dark skin, doesn’t like to hear people speaking languages other than English, and hates people who text message while in conversation with you, you’re in for a troubled future.

“Get over it.”

That’s the advice [...]

Apple growers to harvest larger crop

  • October 17th, 2013

The U.S. Apple Association lowered its estimate of the size of the United States apple crop by 3.2 million bushels from an estimate it made August 1.

At its annual Crop Marketing and Outlook Conference in Chicago on August 23, western growers argued that the size of the western crop [...]

Learning from last season

  • October 17th, 2013

The 2012 U.S. apple crop holds some lessons for apple marketers, lessons that are not “intuitive.” For example, consumers will buy apples even at high prices.

Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group, is an analyst who tries to understand people from what they do while shopping [...]

Top 5 things your marketer would tell you

  • October 17th, 2013

We understand your risks and challenges. Mast said marketers understand the huge risks that growers take when planting orchards. Increasing production costs and retailers’ food safety requirements are just adding to the challenges.

“We want to make sure that small family farmers stay in existence,” he said. “If there [...]

Farm markets abound

  • October 17th, 2013

Many growers whose orchards are in or near urbanized or suburbanized landscapes grab the opportunity to sell their fruit directly to consumers. They do so either from markets they operate at the farm or at the growing number of farmers’ markets that dot cities and small towns.

In the northeastern [...]

  • Apple commission hires export coordinator

Apple commission hires export coordinator

  • October 1st, 2013

Randi Harnden will join the Washington Apple Commission as export coordinator starting October 7.

Her appointment is part of a staff realignment following the departure two months ago of Chris Scott, the commission’s export trade specialist. Danelle Trovato, export assistant, was promoted to his position, and Harnden takes Trovato’s place.

Commission [...]

  • Winery showcases estate fruit

Winery showcases estate fruit

  • September 1st, 2013
Kerry Shiels began as Côte Bonneville’s winemaker in 2009, after getting her master’s from the University of California, Davis, and working harvests for five different wineries in California, Australia, and Argentina.