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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Reds likely to reign overseas

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As the Washington State apple crop shifts in terms of varieties and volumes, the Washington Apple Commission must match its export efforts to what is happening in the industry, says Todd Fryhover, commission president.

The big

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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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Committee nominations

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Nominations for board positions with several Pacific Northwest fruit industry groups will be held during upcoming horticultural meetings.
Cherry Marketing Committee
Nominations for three grower positions in District 1 will be held during the North Central Washington

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Washington’s grape crop down in 2011

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Concord yields varied widely last year, ranging from no crop to 20 tons per acre.
Suphasuk Pradubsuk

Washington State’s juice and wine grape crop will likely be the smallest since 2005 for wine grapes and 2004 for

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Hort leaders discuss top issues of coming year

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David Douglas
President, Washington State Horticultural AssociationDavid Douglas, 37, works for the family growing and packing operation, Douglas Fruit Company, which is located in Pasco, Washington.

Douglas earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in

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Markets shrink for upscale pear

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Comice is the perfect pear for gift boxes, but the gift business has declined.
Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest

Comice is sometimes referred to as the Queen of Pears, because of its superlative eating quality. “It probably has

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Reinventing Comice

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During the Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, last summer, its regional managers proposed ideas on how to strengthen demand for Comice pears.

Tim Corkill, regional manager for the West and Southwest, suggested that

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U.K. growers try to lower residues

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Jerry Cross is in charge of entomology and plant pathology at East Malling Research, where trials to minimize residues on fruit were successful.
Geraldine Warner

A “name and shame” policy by the British government several years ago

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The big picture

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When the U.S. Apple Association holds its annual marketing and outlook conference in Chicago in August, it’s an occasion to look at the big picture. Not only do the 300 or so apple growers, packers,

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Michigan apple companies join forces

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Three Michigan apple companies have linked up to form All Fresh GPS, a limited liability company that will market fresh apples across the United States and into export markets.

GPS is short for growers, packers, and

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7 billion apple slices sold

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Crunch Pak counts apple slices like McDonald’s counts hamburgers—and the count is nearing 7 billion slices sold since the company created the industry 11 years ago. It bills itself as the original and leading supplier

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How many pears can the market take?

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Most fresh pears nowadays are still grown on old trees in long-established orchards.

But if, through research, the Pacific Northwest pear industry were able to start growing pears more efficiently in intensive orchards with trees on

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Futures market for concentrate coming soon

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The status of the long-awaited futures trading contract in apple-juice concentrate hasn’t changed. It’s still coming “soon.”

“We are extremely close to being there,” said Rita Maloney, with Minnesota Grain Exchange, which is the principal futures

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An apple a day…

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Should apple growers follow the lead set by berries and fruits like tart cherries and use health ­benefits as a way to sell more apples?

That might be a useful strategy, says Dr. Dianne Hyson, the

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Consumers are price conscious

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Consumers are coming back to normal—if by normal we mean the more “old-fashioned” way—being responsive to prices and being ­willing to buy less or substitute lower-priced products if the price seems wrong.

That may make it

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Count the people

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If you’re looking for answers to perplexing questions—like what’s the future of Social Security, will China dominate the world, or how many apples can we grow and sell in the future—the first approach is do

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U.K. grower demos modern concepts

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Tony Sunnucks, a fruit grower in Kent, England, is developing a concept pear orchard financed by the U.K. fruit marketer OrchardWorld.

The concept orchard at Sunnuck’s Rankins Farm at Linton includes the new pear varieties Delsanne,

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Southeastern peaches enter Mexican markets

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H-2A workers in the Titan Farms packing plant cheered when they found their peaches were going to their home country.
Richard Lehnert

For the first time since 1994, peaches from the southeastern United States moved into stores

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Reviving the British pear

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British pear growers have been removing pear orchards at an alarming rate because they’ve not been profitable. Now, the East Malling Research Center in the United Kingdom is trying to demonstrate the feasibility of growing

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Put us to work for you

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I am fortunate to travel the country meeting with apple growers, packers, and other USApple members, and hear firsthand the issues and challenges they are facing daily. I am often asked, “What are the important

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Quality wine by the glass

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James Martin spent two years converting the ground flour of the old flour mill into a tasting room and production facility for Copa Di Vino wines. The milling machinery was left in place.

James Martin hopes

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European rule takes the shine off apples

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The European Union is refusing to accept apples treated with a wax containing morpholine or other amines, which means U.S. packers exporting to Europe need to switch to other types of wax or no wax

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Problems with pear ripening

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The ripening inhibitor SmartFresh (MCP) holds promise for maintaining pear quality over a longer period of time and reducing disorders such as scald, but the pear industry reports that some treated pears won’t ripen.

Dr. Eugene

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Buy local gets a boost

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Many growers have children in school and have been frustrated that their taxes have been paying for apples from competitors for school lunch programs.

The “buy local” movement got a shot in the arm this spring

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What do consumers think of MCP?

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The Pear Bureau Northwest is planning a study to find out how well consumers like pears that have been treated with MCP (1-methylcyclopropene), which is sold under the brand name SmartFresh. Pears can be treated

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Malaysian labeling will be required

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Mark Powers is vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council.
Jim Black

Fruit exporters should gear up to label cartons destined for Malaysia in the Bahasa Malaysia language starting August 1, says Mark Powers, vice president with

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Opportunities for cherry exports

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The Pacific Northwest cherry harvest is running later than usual this year, which could open up opportunities in export markets.

Because of a late spring, shipments were expected to peak after the Fourth of July weekend,

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Management entity is a work in progress

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WA 2, the first release of Washington State University’s apple breeding program, is a blushed, orange-red apple.
GERALDINE WARNER

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission is in the process of setting up a nonprofit organization to manage

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Honeycrisp challenges club concept

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The name SweeTango captures the apple’s sweet, tangy taste.
COURTESY SALLY & WILFRID MENNELL

Honeycrisp has set the standard for new varieties to follow in terms of consumer acceptance and the returns that growers expect, apple marketers

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WSU to protect new varieties

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Washington State University is taking steps to protect its new apple variety, WA 2, in overseas countries. WA 2, the first variety to emanate from its apple breeding program, is moving into the commercialization phase

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