Don't give Honeycrisp away

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

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  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Last Bite – The Land of the Yakamas

Last Bite – The Land of the Yakamas

  • December 1st, 2009

Cowin paid careful attention to marketing, and his high-quality fruit stood out in the marketplace.

In 1909-1910, Earle Cowin earned the distinction of being one of first Pacific Northwest fruit growers to plant an orchard on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Established as a result of the Treaty of 1855 between [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • On the fast track

On the fast track

  • November 1st, 2009

Michael Weber picks some samples of Mairac in a Washington State test planting.

With apple variety breeders putting a strong emphasis on accelerating the breeding process, it only makes sense to commercialize the resulting varieties as quickly as possible.

That’s the opinion of Michael Weber, managing director of a Swiss company [...]

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 [...]

  • Novel approach

Novel approach

  • November 1st, 2009

Pete Van Well (left) and Alessio Martinelli of CIV, Italy, admire the color of Rubens apples in Wenatchee, Washington, just before harvest.

Rubens, a new apple variety from Italy, will be commercialized in North America in a novel way that is designed to reduce the risk for producers and to [...]

Five food-safety lessons

  • November 1st, 2009

The tree fruit industry can learn some valuable lessons from past food-safety scares, according to Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of scientific and technical affairs with the United Fresh Produce Association. Growers should be aware of, concerned about, and prepared for the following:

1 Consumers don’t care about relative [...]

M.9 prevails in Poland

  • November 1st, 2009

Malling 9 is the most popular apple rootstock in Poland, closely followed by M.26, but growers are also using dwarfing Polish rootstocks, and Geneva rootstocks are being tested.

Dr. Alojzy Czynczyk at the Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture in Skierniewice, Poland, said the climatic conditions in Poland are variable, [...]

Major organic player

  • November 1st, 2009

Using environmentally sound, sustainable practices to produce tree fruit is one of the core values of supplier-partners of FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, a new marketing firm in Yakima, Washington.

Organic fruit will be an important part of the manifest at FirstFruits. Sales projections for organic fruit sales in the first [...]