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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Honeycrisp season expanded

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Wescott Agri Products

Right from the get-go, Fred Wescott thought Honeycrisp would be a new force in the apple market. And he bet on it. He planted orchards in Minnesota and northern Washington. And, now, his

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Peaches aplenty

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For more than a century, the freestone peach market in the eastern United States was dominated by two varieties. First was Elberta, a peach from Georgia that dominated production from 1880 to about 1950. Then,

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NY seeks marketing strategy

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Those new apples from New York are being prepared to come to market, with the first expected in quantity in direct farm markets in 2014 and in commercial markets in 2015 or 2016.

At least, that’s

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Michigan growers want to market fresh cherries

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Fruit growers in the northeastern quadrant of the country are witnessing the ongoing clamor for sweet cherries, from consumers wanting them bigger, darker, sweeter, for longer—and, if possible, locally grown. These growers want to play

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The functional side of cherries

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Sweet cherry promoters would like to be able to say “a bowl of cherries a day will keep cancer away,” but more research is needed before such claims can be made.

The Pacific Northwest and California

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McDonald’s boosts cherry sales

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Since McDonald’s rolled out its new milkshakes earlier this year, the U.S. cherry industry is “lovin’ it.” Sitting like a crown jewel on top of the McCafé shake, on a pillow of whipped cream, is

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China has big appetite for U.S. cherries

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Northwest cherry industry representatives saw hundreds of street hawkers selling fresh cherries on the outskirts of Yantai during a recent trip to northern China.

Asian markets traditionally have been major importers of U.S. cherries, but a

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Cherry production in China

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Up to 20 acres of cherries were seen being grown under greenhouse covers during a trip to learn about China’s cherry production taken by the Northwest Cherry Growers. The greenhouse entry doors were often locked

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Cherries in China

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Cherries as far as the eye can see, and in a hodgepodge puzzle of different growing practices and varieties is how B.J. Thurlby sums up the cherry production he saw in northern China on a

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Honeycrisp challenges club concept

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The name Ambrosia reflects the aromatic flavor of the apple.
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

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The art of tart

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Six MBA students say a single-strength tart cherry juice produced and marketed by a grower cooperative could be a marketplace winner.

What the tart cherry industry needs is a cooperative of growers that focuses on growing

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Promoting tart cherries on a tiny budget

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The tart cherry industry is in year four of an advertising and promotion campaign developed by the Chicago advertising agency Weber Shandwick and its team led by Jeff Manning, who is credited with creation of

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Washington Syrah: Rising or falling star?

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Syrah was to be one of the stars in Washington State’s wine lineup. But something happened along the way to greatness, and wineries have watched Syrah wine sales drop and inventories build. In the short

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Washington needs to own the Syrah variety

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The salvation to lagging wine sales of Syrah may be in Washington State owning the variety as it now does Riesling, says Bob Betz, who describes himself as an “unapologetic, unabashed ­supporter and lover of

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Sweet cherries thrive in a sea of apples

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Natalie, 16, greets customers and weighs the cherries they pick, using an old brass-beamed platform scale. Picking buckets hold about 15 pounds of cherries, and most U-pick customers will fill one or two.
Photo by richard

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Food facts and fiction

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Appalled by what he calls “quacks in scientific garb,” Dr. Joseph Schwarcz is on a mission to demystify science, separate sense from nonsense, and help people learn to make sensible decisions about food. Despite the

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More export focus needed

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Because of an increasingly competitive U.S. market, the salvation of the Washington apple industry will be overseas markets, and the industry will need to become more export oriented than in the past, says agricultural economist

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Export funding increase unlikely

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Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, is concerned about a possible decrease in federal funding for export promotions.
Photo by Geraldine Warner

Since generic apple promotions in the U.S. market are a thing of the

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Marketers line up exclusive apples

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Aurora
Auvil Fruit Company
For a long time, Auvil Fruit Company had been on the lookout for a yellow, good-tasting dessert apple to add to its lineup of varieties, which includes Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Cripps Pink,

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Staying profitable

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Hillsides near Bolzano are planted to apples and wine grapes, utilizing every meter of land.

Published January 15, 2011

An international group of tree fruit industry members traveled to northern Italy last November to see how mechanization

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Not the first GMO fruit

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HoneySweet plum

Published January 15, 2011
If Okanagan Specialty Fruits’s nonbrowning apples win U.S. government approval for development and marketing, they will not be the first genetically modified fruits to come to market.

The first, of course, was

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Small orchards, but big impact

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South Tyrol extension advisor Bernhard Botzner shows the concrete poles used for trellis supports.

Published January 15, 2011
Don’t let the small size fool you. Individual apple orchards near Merano, in Italy’s Vinschgau Valley, may only be

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Why Italian orchards are so productive

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Dr. Martin Thalheimer says the South Tyrol’s high productivity in apples is due to a combination of factors—uniform, high-density plantings, a strong extension service, and adoption of modern orchard management techniques.

Published January 15, 2011
The high

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Italian extension service is well funded

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Published January 15, 2011
The South Tyrol Advisory Service performs many of the same services that Cooperative Extension does in the United States—educating growers about integrated pest management, irrigation, fertility, and nutrition. The biggest difference is

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Economic outlook for tree fruit

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The economic outlook for the tree fruit­ ­industry in Washington State and the Pacific Northwest is quite good. This conclusion may surprise many readers accustomed to the steady stream of negative stories in the media.

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In The Box

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Geraldine Warner’s article “How Do Your Returns Stack Up?” in the November Good Fruit Grower included several helpful comments about our new information service, Packer Data.com. Roger Pepperl noted that warehouses don’t all pack the

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