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China could become big pear market

China could become a significant market for U.S. pears. Louis Ng, who represents the Pear Bureau Northwest in China, believes China could be importing 500,000 to 600,000 boxes of pears annually within the next five to ten years. That would make China the second-largest pear export market after Mexico.

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Undercover production in China

Greenhouses or high tunnels can advance the ripening of peaches and nectarines. (Video and Photo Gallery at bottom of story)

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Bing dethroned

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The Bing cherry, long the king of the Northwest industry, is losing ground to the newer Canadian varieties.

In the 2000 season, Bing represented almost 75 percent of the Northwest cherry crop. By 2012, cherries sold

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New model for variety release

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RiverBelle
Courtesy of Wescott Agri Products

Two new apple varieties, Pazazz and RiverBelle, are growing in some apple orchards and coming to market through a new development process.

The apples are being commercialized by Apple Varietal Development LLC,

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Good Point: China

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I have talked about the immediate threat of the excessive increases in apple production from Washington State and went so far as to say that while we worry about foreign imports, we need to be

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First Bite

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As the Northwest cherry season draws closer, for the first time in six or seven years I am thinking that the 2013 harvest has the potential to begin during the first days of June. If

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Chelan Fruit gears up

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Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier.
PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS

Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative

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Nurseries invest in Phytelligence

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Four major nurseries that form the North American group of the International New Varieties ­Network (INN) have made a significant investment in a new biotechnology company called Phytelligence.

Phytelligence, which is based in Pullman, Washington, was

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Food Alliance’s future uncertain

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A lack of funding has forced the Food Alliance to suspend its operations, though its licensed producers will be able to use the eco-label through the end of the year.

The Food Alliance, based in Portland,

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Trends in organic tree fruit

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Washington State University’s sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein keeps tabs on organic tree fruit production statistics, compiling charts and graphs from data supplied by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The most recent statistics from

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Plantings set record pace

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If Washington’s 129-million-box apple crop took you by surprise last fall, consider this.

If there hadn’t been hailstorms throughout Washington State during the growing season, there could have been 12 to 15 million more boxes by

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Why organic cherries are in decline

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Organic cherry acreage in Washington State was up. Now it’s down. What’s behind the flux in acreage?

Organic cherry acreage reached a high of nearly 2,450 acres in 2009, according to data from the Washington State

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The BIG Stomach

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RIGHT: Workers pack apples in the modern facility built two years ago at Crist Bros. in Walden, New York. The packing plant serves only their own production from more than 500 acres. LEFT: This is

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Meet Washington State’s new agriculture director

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Bud Hover’s road to directorship of the Washington State Department of Agriculture began in 1938 when his mother and her family loaded their belongings on a truck and left North Dakota, headed west at 35

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Positive trends for Bartletts

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The Pacific Northwest canned pear industry is in a good position now, based on inventory, pricing, demand, and import trends.

The positive outlook for the coming season follows a year that brought significant changes to the

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Good to Know: Consumer expectations of apple quality

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Everyone has a favorite apple variety but what makes it so? How do Washington State University’s new apple varieties WA 2 and WA 38 compare with each other, and with existing commercial varieties?

Consumers and producers

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Focus on next season

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The 2012 Northwest cherry season was a challenging one, but growers need to focus on next season and not worry about the things they can’t control, B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, said during

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Got FRUIT?

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It’s a simple, two-word question: Got milk?

But that question marked a turning point in how consumers thought about milk. No longer was it just a healthy beverage, it was . . . essential.

Milk deprivation occurred

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No fruit, no funding

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The short fruit crop in the eastern United States last year had a dramatic impact on research and promotion programs organized under state and federal market orders. These programs are funded by checkoffs collected on

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WA 38 will have a name

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The commercialization plan for WA 38 will be different than for its first release, WA 2.

Washington State University is finalizing a plan for how its ­second apple variety, WA 38, will be commercialized.

The university will

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Apple name delights grower

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Bob Meyer, an apple grower in Toppenish, Washington, is one of the first in the state to produce Washington State University’s first apple release, WA 2. Meyer, who already grows Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden

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Good Point: Forecasting future Asian import demand

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More information on the study is available on the Web site www.e-belrose.com or by sending an e-mail to belrose@pullman.com.

Leading ­deciduous fruit exporters around the world are seeing demand in many traditional markets either stagnant or

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In My View: Optimistic about pears

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This winter, I was pleased to address a large number of growers at North Central Washington Pear Day in Wenatchee. The title of my talk was “Why I am optimistic about pears,” and I examined

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U.S. pears head to China

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The Pear Bureau Northwest is giving this framed God of Fortune poster to Chinese importers to demonstrate the profit opportunities for U.S. pears.
Photo courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest

U.S. pear producers were allowed to ship fresh

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B.C. co-op seeks higher returns

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Fruit growers in British Columbia, Canada, centered in the Okanagan Valley but with sizeable operations in the Similkameen and Creston valleys and other regions, enjoy natural barriers that have limited the spread of pests and

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B.C. cooperative plans upgrades

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Unrealistic expectations of sale value contributed to delays in the disposal of surplus properties held by the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative, says Alan Tyabji, who was appointed chief executive officer of the British Columbia, Canada,

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Wine industry in a growth spurt

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Washington’s wine industry is in another growth spurt, though it’s not as obvious as the big boom in the late 1990s to mid-2000s when acreage tripled, winery numbers quadrupled, and it seemed every Seattle wine

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Bulk wine prices stay strong

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Washington wine producers can expect strong prices for red bulk wines for the next several years, Josh Maloney, winemaker with Wahluke Wine Company in Mattawa, Washington, said during a grower caucus last November. He attributes

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Good Point: New kid on the block

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Steve Warner

In the worldwide winemaking community, Washington State’s wine industry is the 187-year-old new kid on the block.

Although our state’s first wine grapes were planted in 1825, we’re still considered a teenager in the global

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Birth of the Washivores

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It all began over French fries. I was eating lunch with a group of professional women in Washington State. There was a university dean, a bank president, several attorneys, and more.

I made a comment about

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The future of Rainier cherries

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The blush color of Rainier cherries sets the fruit apart in the marketplace. But color is also one of the cherry’s biggest challenges. Consumers must be educated that the light-colored cherries are sweet and ripe.

Production

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IS Early Robin too red?

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The 2012 season marked the first time there was ­significant quantity of the early Rainier-type cherry Early Robin in the market, says Robert ­Kershaw, president of Domex Superfresh Growers in Yakima, Washington. But there were

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Why it matters where you sell your grapes

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Colin Morrell

With 700 wineries in Washington State and numerous more in neighboring states, wine grape growers have plenty of options when considering where to sell their grapes.

The entry of E.J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest

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Red-fleshed apples

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The red trait, which is common in crab apples and ornamentals, produces flesh colored anywhere from pink to deep red. Skin color and flesh color are inherited separately, so yellow apples can have red flesh.
Photos

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Wine Wheel of Fortune

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California is facing an emerging wine shortage, according to Stephens Moody with Turrentine Brokerage in Novato, California.

Turrentine, which handles bulk wines, grapes, and bottled wines, has developed a model of the typical wine cycle, which

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Where is the juice grape market headed?

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Greg MacGill

On the surface, Washington State’s juice grape industry looks the picture of good economic times—crop inventories are in balance with demand and cash prices are strong, setting a record in 2012. But growers aren’t

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Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

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Cox’s Orange Pippin is a firm, juicy, full-flavored apple with an orange-red skin and cream-colored flesh.
Photo by Jacqueline King, WSU

Cox’s Orange Pippin—Britain’s favorite apple for 150 years or so—has been usurped by Gala, one of

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Organic trade association seeks input

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The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order.

One such forum will be held during the

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Factors affecting profit

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Tree density has a highly significant positive effect on yield.
Tree density has a highly significant effect on trunk diameter.
Profitability increases with increasing tree density up to 1,000 trees per acre.
Fruit yield has a large effect

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Washington-Chile partnership

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Washington State fruit growers and packers Gebbers Farms of Brewster and Chelan Fruit Cooperative have purchased a 50-percent stake in four fruit-producing companies in Angol, Chile. All are partners in a new company called Chilean

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Blueberry explosion

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The blueberry industry has had a growth curve that growers would love to see for any fruit.
From a relatively minor industry producing about 100 million pounds of fruit annually a generation ago, production reached 887

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Salish launched in B.C.

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Courtesy of Rich MacDonald (AAFC)

A new apple variety from British Columbia, Canada, called Salish was launched in the marketplace this fall under a new brand called “Born in BC, Raised in the Okanagan.”

Salish (formerly known

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Land is scarce and costly

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Farmland has become scarce and expensive as growers plow their profits back into their operations.

Tree fruit growers who have been making good profits in recent years and might be looking to expand are competing for

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Good Point: Real estate activity by region

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Beginning in late 2011 and continuing into 2012, there’s been increased real estate activity in the Pacific Northwest, driven by strong fruit prices and expansion within the tree fruit sector. However, in Michigan, there have

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Transition brings uncertainty

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Kevin Moore
Courtesy of University of Missouri, Columbia

In a family farm business, there’s often the hope or expectation that the next generation will return to work on the farm. But young people who are thinking of

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The clubs of Quebec

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Apple growers in Canada’s Quebec Province march to the beat of a different drummer. They are much more tightly organized than are growers in the United States.

At the provincial level, all apple growers must be

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Co-op launches management venture

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Fruit packing cooperatives are becoming something of an oddity in the Washington tree fruit industry, which is dominated today by large, ­private, vertically integrated companies.

But Chelan Fruit Cooperative is taking steps to make sure it

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Apple growers’ union gives market power to Quebec growers

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For a relatively small industry with annual apple production of about 6 million bushels, the apple growers of Quebec have a very substantial market power and are backed by loyal consumers who’d rather eat a

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Truitt Brothers helps consolidate pear processing

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After almost 40 years as a major pear canner, Truitt Brothers of Salem, Oregon, is “bowing out” of the business in order to help the industry consolidate.

The company is no longer processing pears, and its

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Canning pear price set for Pacific Northwest

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The price for processing Bartlett pears grown in the Pacific Northwest has been set for the next three years.

The two remaining Northwest processors that buy pears on the cash market—Del Monte Foods and Northwest Packing

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