Don't give Honeycrisp away

Growers must deliver quality and marketers must hold out for high prices.

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Apple marketing incentive

  • December 1st, 2009

“If an apple were to explode like a hand grenade when it reached a stage of ripeness not permitting it to reach the consumer in good condition, we would have a red-hot incentive to do a better job. In some orchards pickers could not be induced to put a [...]

  • Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

  • December 1st, 2009

Agricultural economist

Two decades ago, at a time when the industry had yet to produce more than 60 million boxes of apples and Red Delicious made up almost 75 percent of the crop, agricultural economist Dr. Des O’Rourke warned that it would be difficult for Washington to hold onto its [...]

Identity crisis

  • December 1st, 2009

The flood of new apple varieties will continue until the consumer is so confused about the Washington apple identity that they might turn to something else that they can identify, predicts Dr. Don Heinicke, a grower at Orondo in north central Washington. Heinicke was asked to revisit the 1987 [...]

  • Blast from the past

Blast from the past

  • December 1st, 2009

Robots harvesting fruit, scientists creating the perfect apple trees in petri dishes, and a fruit industry run by conglomerates were just some of the changes envisioned for the next half century by industry leaders, as the Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1987.

Because [...]

  • Growers foresee change

Growers foresee change

  • December 1st, 2009

There are too many new apple varieties, says Polish orchardist Krzysztof Hermanowicz.

New market niches, more emphasis on eating quality, technological advances in the orchard, more regional focus on food, and closer relationships with retailers are changes that a handful of tree fruit growers across the globe envision in the [...]

  • Nursery perspective

Nursery perspective

  • December 1st, 2009

These finished nursery trees will soon be harvested and prepared for later planting by growers.

With the proliferation of new tree fruit varieties released in the last decade, the next ten years should spark consumer interest and excitement in the tree fruit category, say nursery representatives.

The most important change that [...]

  • Exotic varieties, new regions

Exotic varieties, new regions

  • December 1st, 2009

A new interest in clones and lesser-known varieties will drive vineyard plantings in Washington State in the next ten years, say industry experts.

Limited retail shelf space could impact the success of new varieties.

by Melissa Hansen

Crystal ball visions given by a cross section of Washington State’s wine grape industry show [...]

Australia’s water crisis forces changes

  • December 1st, 2009

Dealing with rising temperatures may be a conundrum for fruit growers confronting ­climate change, but in Australia it’s been ­complicated by widespread drought since 2003.

Two years ago, participants in the annual International Fruit Tree Association conference and tour heard how competition for water rights, a relatively new phenomenon here [...]

Good Point – Chris Schlect

  • November 1st, 2009

America’s system of delivering food to retail customers is a marvel. Without a cadre of governmental central planners dictating production levels, schedules of deliveries, or prices, our population has easy access to needed safe, convenient, and affordable nourishment. Every day.

The economic freedom and flexibility that allows for this beneficial [...]

Optimistic about the crop

  • November 1st, 2009

The Washington Apple Commission is focusing its export efforts this year on markets that have the potential to take more large-sized apples.

The commission is matching its strategy with the 2009 crop. The volume appeared to be below the initial industry estimate of 107 million boxes, commissioners reported at their [...]

  • Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

  • November 1st, 2009

Walter Bolinger became a fruit grower and packer after working for many years as a shopkeeper.

Merchant, politician, real estate developer, orchardist—each of these terms could be used to describe Walter Albert Bolinger. Bolinger was a pioneer mercantile businessman in north central Washington State, helped plat the new town site [...]

Industry veteran is new CEO

  • November 1st, 2009

With more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the tree fruit industry, Keith Mathews became CEO in October for the new marketing firm, FirstFruits Marketing of Washington.

Mathews was executive director of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association for the past two years, and for five years in the [...]