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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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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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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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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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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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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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Bob Koehler promoted by Pear Bureau

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The Pear Bureau Northwest has promoted Bob Koehler to lead regional marketing manager. In this new position, he will serve as the liaison between Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau president, and the regional managers in territories

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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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U.S. canned pear industry is in flux

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The canned pear world is in the midst of change. With more than a decade of declining Bartlett pear production, a shrinking number of pear processors, and declining consumption by consumers, the outlook for Bartlett

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DS 22 planned for this fall

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A new apple will debut in September (weather permitting), one that the breeder and marketer hope will become a signature apple of the upper Mississippi River Valley growing region.

The marketer is Fred Wescott, Elgin, Minnesota,

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World awaits B.C. cherries

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High quality, self-fertile cherry varieties developed in British Columbia, Canada, have become standards in the international cherry industry.

British Columbia’s own cherry industry is comparatively small, with just 4,500 acres planted, but cherry varieties developed in

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New group begins work

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A new marketing and research group has consolidated the California cherry industry into one voice, says Chiles Wilson, chair of the new organization that became effective in early April.

The California Cherry Marketing and Research Program

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Later and later cherries

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Sweetheart, a late-season cultivar developed at the Summerland research center in British Columbia, Canada, is the second-most planted variety in Washington State.
Photo courtesy of Willow Drive Nursery

Last year’s record volume of Northwest cherries shipped in

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Organic plantings drop

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Organic tree fruit acreage in Washington State is on the decline overall, although plantings of organic Honeycrisp have increased significantly over the past few years, David ­Granatstein, Washington State University’s sustainable agriculture specialist, reported this

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Going without sulfites

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Greg Powers knows viticulture and enology from the ground up and was manager for the family estate vineyard before taking on winemaker duties.
Melissa Hansen

Greg Powers, winemaker for Washington State’s largest organic winery, didn’t initially make

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Pests sneak into U.K.

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Two new pests—the brown marmorated stinkbug and spotted wing drosophila—have snuck into the United Kingdom but are not yet established there.

Two adult brown marmorated stinkbugs were intercepted at a U.K. airport in 2010 in passenger

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Eye-to-eye with consumers

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The bin porch offers customers a wide choice, and they can buy any mixture at a fixed price for a full bag. On this day, there were 17 varieties of apples and pears for sale.
Richard

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From pie to health food

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New, healthy products include dried cherries and tart cherry juice.

If you hear the words, “tart cherries,” and a nice oozy red, lattice-topped cherry pie springs to your mind, you’re going to really disappoint some people.

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It’s still a family industry

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Consolidation within the Washington apple industry over the years has led to a dramatic drop in the number of growers, says Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission.

Consolidation within the Washington State apple industry

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Export focus is not new

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The Washington apple industry was exporting a significant percentage of its crop, long before the Washington Apple Commission was formed. In 1930, seven million boxes, or 25 percent of the crop, were sold overseas.

Until the

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EU regulations stifle fruit exports

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Pacific Northwest apple and pear exports to Europe have dropped dramatically since pesticide ­regulations were harmonized among members of the European Union. Restrictive pesticide residue limits of the European Union have required U.S. producers to

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Cherry research project progresses

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WSU engineers are developing a vibrating actuator that will be used with a mechanical harvester to shake limbs and remove fruit without damaging the trees.

A four-year research project that aims to make sweet cherry production

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Rise and fall of the apple empire

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While Harold Copple managed the Apple Commision between 1947 and 1957, most of the apples produced in Washington were Winesap. During that period, the commission hired a larger, year-round merchandising staff of up to 12

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Cripps Pink is in expansion mode

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Lady in Red is one of several highly colored strains of Cripps Pink that will be marketed as Pink Lady. Lady in Red will be the variety name marked on the shipping cartons
Photo courtesy Coregeo

About

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Easier access to MRLs

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Growers using Washington State University’s online Decision Aid System this season will be able to consider pesticide maximum residue limits (MRLs) of top foreign markets when they make their crop protection chemical decisions.

In recent years,

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Heed global trends

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The global food business is increasingly complex, with new players, new linkages, and cause-and-effect reactions that impact food supply and prices, says Paul Roberts, journalist and author of The End of Food.

Growers need to

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Flavor and quality still paramount

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Of all the attributes consumers are looking for today in their food—freshness, organic, local, and sustainable—flavor and quality are still paramount. Growers, shippers, and marketers involved in delivering fruits to consumers should focus on flavor

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B.C. growers propose apple agency

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Kirpal Boparai, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association, says his priority is to get money into growers’ pockets.
Terry Edwards

British Columbia, Canada, apple growers took an initial step towards establishing a national apple and promotion

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Parallel PEAKS

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Orchardist John McQuaig hopes hisbook will help people hold onto their dreams and keep heading upward in their business pursuits.
Geraldine Warner

Entrepreneur, orchardist, and mountaineer John McQuaig dreamed for years of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

He

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Cherry committee up for renewal

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Michigan tart cherry growers will cast mail-in ballots between March 12 and March 25 to determine whether the Michigan Cherry Committee, which is organized under Michigan law to operate a checkoff program and conduct research

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Access to China is near

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It’s been almost two decades since the U.S. pear industry began pushing for access to China, but it finally appears that the market might open during the 2012-2013 season. “This has been a

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Exports boost pear returns

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James Foreman advocates expanding exports and giving up segments of the U.S. market to Argentina Lowering f.o.b. prices in a big crop year does nothing to benefit growers, says James

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A flair for selling fruit

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Left: Sidney Kuhn, 32, owns the direct marketing arm of Kuhn Orchards. Right: David Wenk and uncle carry on the family farm that dates to 1796. Richard Lehnert Sidney

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New generation finds marketing niche

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Sidney, left, her father David, and Katy Lesser Clowney sort apples that have come back from the market unsold. They may go to Knouse Foods, the cider mill, or into the cull bin. Richard

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Food alliance certifies eastern orchards

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Last year, Three Springs Fruit Farm, operated by Dave, John, and Ben Wenk in Aspers, Pennsylvania, was certified by Food Alliance. An Oregon-based organization, Food Alliance provides third-party certification

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Retail is cool

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Ben, 26, carries on the transition from growing fruit for processing to growing fruit for retail sales Richard Lehnert What Ben Wenk is building on has been a long time

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Economy down, wine sales up

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Despite a bleak economic picture for many Americans, it’s a good time for Washington State wines. Grocery story data collected both nationally and within the state show consistent growth in the wine category for the

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Globalization threatens wine terroir

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Globalization has brought the world of wine to our front door, offering endless choices for consumers and great opportunities for wine producers. But the global mass market of wine also brings challenges of quantity over

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MAP funds granted for stone fruits

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Dissolution of the California Tree Fruit Agreement created opportunity for Washington State stone fruit, says Ingrid Mohn, FAS market development specialist. About $250,000 was redirected to a new market access program for Washington’s stone fruit.

With

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Cherry marketing order passes

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Washington State sweet cherry growers voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates sweet cherries.  During the referendum held in November, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating

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Outlook improves for N.C. growers

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It took some land leveling to make a place for the Apple Wedge packing house.
Richard Lehnert

The view from the high hill behind the packing shed at Apple Wedge Packing is worth climbing to see. Until

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Grape nursery sales remain strong

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Cabernet Sauvignon vine sales are still strong, though Merlot and Chardonnay sales softened last year, says Jeff Sample.
Melissa Hansen

Nursery grapevine sales have been strong the last three years, with volumes ranging from 2 to 2.5

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Who’s in charge?

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Roles of industry organizations

Organization
Responsibility

Washington State Horticultural Association
•Education (annual meeting)
•State legislative and regulatory issues
•GRASSP food safety program

Northwest Horticultural Council
Federal legislative, regulatory, technical,   and food safety issues
•Foreign trade and phytosanitary issues

Washington Growers Clearing House Association
Statistics on fruit

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Why do new varieties fail?

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In spite of the 70 breeding programs around the world developing new tree fruit cultivars, most new varieties are disappointments and don’t succeed, says a European researcher. Growers, packers, and marketers have responded well to

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