China opens to Washington State apples

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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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

Cherry Institute looks to the future

  • December 1st, 2009

As the Pacific Northwest sweet cherry industry moves toward larger crops in the future, it will take the industry working together to achieve success, says the president of Northwest Cherry Growers. The Cherry Institute, scheduled for January 15 at the Convention Center in Yakima, Washington, aims to bring all [...]

  • 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 [...]

How many is too many?

  • December 1st, 2009

When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth slot to feature seasonal varieties, like Honeycrisp in the early autumn months and other [...]

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 [...]

  • Embracing change

Embracing change

  • December 1st, 2009

Laura Mrachek works to make a difference in the tree fruit industry.

Laura Mrachek, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, likes change.

So, when she predicts that orchardists are going to have to do things differently in the future, she sees the positive side of that.

“There’s a lot of [...]

  • Should WAC come back?

Should WAC come back?

  • December 1st, 2009

A rack card developed by CMI tells consumers about the health benefits of eating apples, with a focus on fiber content.

If the Washington apple industry wants to avoid losing shelf space, it should consider reinstating a general promotion program for the domestic market, suggests Steve Lutz, former president of [...]

  • Produce expert

Produce expert

  • December 1st, 2009

With an office in Yakima, Washington, Wal-Mart plans to keep prices lower and buy directly from growers, cutting out the middleman, says a former Wal-Mart executive.

Former Wal-Mart insider Bruce Peterson sees the company’s recent move to do more direct buying from apple growers as one of several issues that [...]

  • Market limitations

Market limitations

  • December 1st, 2009

How new varieties will coexist with those that have already carved out shelf space is the million-dollar question.

The biggest change from a marketer’s standpoint in the next decade will be the influence of the club varieties on the marketplace, says Bob Mast, marketing director at CMI (Columbia ­Marketing International) [...]

  • 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 [...]