China opens to Washington State apples

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Good time for renewal or expansion

  • January 1st, 2011

Honeycrisp apples flow through the new three-lane Compac packing line at Lake Ontario Fruit Company. The company expanded last summer, and found funding available at a good interest rate.

The United States fruit industry—especially the apple portion—is continuing its renewal program, replacing old varieties with new ones and revamping storage [...]

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 [...]

In The Box

  • January 1st, 2011

Geraldine Warner’s article “How Do Your Returns Stack Up?” in the November Good Fruit Grower included several helpful comments about our new information service, Packer Data.com. Roger Pepperl noted that warehouses don’t all pack the same Extra Fancy grade, and some don’t pack Premium grade. He is correct on [...]

Smaller Washington grape crop in 2010

  • January 1st, 2011

A steady trend in juice grape acreage and reduced overall inventory of grape juice should lead to similar—or slightly higher—cash prices for the coming year, predicts agricultural economist Trent Ball. But he warns of big crops for ­Washington and New York in the coming year.

Ball, coordinator of Yakima Valley [...]

  • Breeders seek input  from supply chain

Breeders seek input from supply chain

  • December 1st, 2010

The apple, cherry, peach, and strawberry breeding activities of RosBREED are located across the United States at university, federal, and private sector locations.

What do genomics and socioeconomics have to do with deciding which fruit cultivar to plant next year?  Until now, not very much, but that is about to [...]

  • 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 [...]

Last Bite — The rise and fall of the fruit box label

  • December 1st, 2010

As this is the last article in this series, I decided to provide a brief overview of the history of the fruit box label, as described in The Ultimate Fruit Label Book, which I authored (with the help of many others).

Between the years of about 1880 and 1956, millions [...]

Gearing up for a new season

  • October 1st, 2010

Several years ago, National Apple Week was expanded into National Apple Month, which is actually three months long and involves intense promotion of apples during the harvest season of September, October, and November.

But for apple growers and marketers, marketing of the new crop kicks off the month before. More [...]

The apple world in 2020

  • October 1st, 2010

A panel of experts took a look ahead at what the apple industry might be like in 2020, ten years from now.

It was part of the U.S. Apple Association’s outlook and marketing ­conference in Chicago in August.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the marketing side of the apple business seems a little [...]

Keeping the customer satisfied

  • October 1st, 2010

Over the past ten years I have initiated a number of research trials that, when taken together, tell an important story about the link between apple quality and profitability. I often quote my mantra that “we are in the food business” along with McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and even the slow [...]

  • Last Bite – Exponential growth

Last Bite – Exponential growth

  • October 1st, 2010

Capitalizing on Native American images to sell fruit, Skookum and Yum-Yum labels were developed in competing regions of Washington State.

After large-scale irrigation systems and a railroad network became operational in the Pacific Northwest, there was an exponential growth in the amount of fruit being harvested and marketed. This put [...]

  • Totally RED

Totally RED

  • October 1st, 2010

Because the red pigments are antioxidants, red-fleshed apples do not turn brown when sliced.

Swiss nursery owner and fruit breeder Markus Kobelt hit the headlines across Europe with the ­latest apple varieties he released. They are among the first red-fleshed apples in the world to go into commercial production.

Kobelt, who [...]