China opens to Washington State apples

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • WSU releases its first apple variety

WSU releases its first apple variety

  • October 1st, 2009

Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard.
Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, which plans to make it available to any Washington State [...]

Tough cherry deal refocuses industry

  • September 1st, 2009

The 2009 season should have been a banner year for Northwest cherries, judging by the volume and quality of cherries shipped, the amount of retail shelf space and advertising devoted to cherries, and the feedback from the market. But for growers, it was a dud. An oversupplied market resulted [...]