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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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Smaller Washington grape crop in 2010

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A steady trend in juice grape acreage and reduced overall inventory of grape juice should lead to similar—or slightly higher—cash prices for the coming year, predicts agricultural economist Trent Ball. But he warns of big

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Pear Bureau to work closer with sales desks

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A pear industry task force is recommending that the Pear Bureau Northwest and pear shippers and marketers work more closely together when setting up retail promotions on the domestic market.

The task force was established early

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Figuring out profitability

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High yields or high prices alone are not enough to ensure that a Gala apple grower will see a profit, two Washington State University ­agricultural economists report.

Drs. Karina Gallardo and Mykel Taylor recently published a

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Good time for renewal or expansion

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Honeycrisp apples flow through the new three-lane Compac packing line at Lake Ontario Fruit Company. The company expanded last summer, and found funding available at a good interest rate.

The United States fruit industry—especially the apple

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Last Bite — The rise and fall of the fruit box label

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As this is the last article in this series, I decided to provide a brief overview of the history of the fruit box label, as described in The Ultimate Fruit Label Book, which I authored

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Breeders seek input from supply chain

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The apple, cherry, peach, and strawberry breeding activities of RosBREED are located across the United States at university, federal, and private sector locations.

What do genomics and socioeconomics have to do with deciding which fruit cultivar

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More quantity than quality in China

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Chinese packers have been unable to convince growers to update orchards to improve yields and color. Shandong growers are unwilling to lose production in the short term in order to improve future production.

Although China is

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Keeping the customer satisfied

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Over the past ten years I have initiated a number of research trials that, when taken together, tell an important story about the link between apple quality and profitability. I often quote my mantra that

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Last Bite – Exponential growth

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Capitalizing on Native American images to sell fruit, Skookum and Yum-Yum labels were developed in competing regions of Washington State.

After large-scale irrigation systems and a railroad network became operational in the Pacific Northwest, there was

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Totally RED

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Because the red pigments are antioxidants, red-fleshed apples do not turn brown when sliced.

Swiss nursery owner and fruit breeder Markus Kobelt hit the headlines across Europe with the ­latest apple varieties he released. They are

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Gearing up for a new season

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Several years ago, National Apple Week was expanded into National Apple Month, which is actually three months long and involves intense promotion of apples during the harvest season of September, October, and November.

But for apple

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The apple world in 2020

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A panel of experts took a look ahead at what the apple industry might be like in 2020, ten years from now.

It was part of the U.S. Apple Association’s outlook and marketing ­conference in Chicago

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Quick Bites

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Large apple crop forecast
The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a record 108.8 million boxes of fresh apples this fall. That’s six million boxes more than during the 2009-2010 season that just ended, but only

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Pear promotions pondered

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A pear industry task force is looking at how the Pear Bureau Northwest might coordinate its domestic pear promotions with the companies supplying the pears.

The Pear Bureau works with 200 retailers around the United States

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Apple Lines

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John Baker, center, talks with supermarket staff in Dubai, a major market for Washington apples.

The Washington Apple Commission is running a training ­program for supermarkets in export markets to help retailers boost their sales of

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China: big country, small wine market

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Wine importer and distributor Scott Hitchcock, left, sampled Butch Milbrandt’s wines (Milbrandt Vineyards) during the Washington Wine Commission’s Wine Experience. Hitchcock came to learn about the potential of importing Washington wines into China.

China and its

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Yakima Valley wines in China

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Hyatt Vineyards, in the Yakima Valley subappellation of Rattlesnake Hills, was founded as a small estate vineyard surrounding the winery in 1983 by Leland and Lynda Hyatt.

What appeared to be a normal wine tasting visit

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Good Point – Kevin Moffitt

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A recent study shows how successful the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development programs are and can be. It would be a shame if the funding for these programs were reduced in the

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New apples for New York

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Dr. Susan Brown began breeding the new releases in 1996 and screened thousands of seedlings in the search.

Right from the start, Dr. Susan Brown knew what she wanted: An apple that was as delightful to

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Exclusively New York

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A row of New York 1 apples nears maturity.

Cornell University  has had an apple breeding program for about 110 years, and it’s been quite successful. New York 1 and New York 2 are the 65th

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A grower reaches out to consumers

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Rosa Lynn is a chance seedling discovered on Washington’s Royal Slope. The fruit stores well.

If you discover an exciting new apple variety and want it to succeed, it’s going to take more than just delivering

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Good Stuff

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Voliam label expansion
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has approved a label expansion for Voliam Xpress insectide, which allows its use on pome and stone fruits, and other crops. Voliam, developed by Syngenta Crop Protection,

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Cheaper, greener SHIPPING

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After crossing the Cascade Mountains, the Seattle-Chicago train can pick up another 15 rail cars in Quincy to carry Washington produce to Chicago.

A new direct rail service between central Washington and Chicago gives tree fruit

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NW questions cherry fruit fly quarantine

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The western cherry fruit fly has not been found in California’s cherry-growing districts.

State officials in Oregon and Washington say ­California’s quarantine requirements for the Western cherry fruit fly are unjustified.

Helmuth Rogg, supervisor of the Oregon

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Quarantine alternative

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Dr. Wee Yee, entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Yakima, Washington, is conducting research to assess the likelihood of cherry fruit fly becoming established in certain overseas markets that are concerned about potential

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Last Bite – Low-grade labels highly valued

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Labels of “cooker” grade or C grade apples were usually green, yellow, or white. Today, collectors will often pay more for these rarer labels.

The color of an apple box label generally determined the grade of

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Keeping cherry growing profitable

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A “dream team” of cherry researchers from across the nation is working on a project designed to help assure the profitability of the fresh sweet cherry industry in the future.

The project, entitled “A Total Systems

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Cigar box labels preceded fruit box labels

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In the late 1800s, cigar labels were embossed and gilded with gold leaf or bronzing.

The rationale for eye-catching, well-designed fruit box labels was to create interest and brand loyalty in the marketplace—whether it was for

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You hear that buzz?

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SweeTango orchards like this one at Pepin Heights produced enough fruit last year to start the buzz, which could rise to a crescendo this August if a good crop and the marketing plan come together

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Cherries still top summer produce item

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Market research conducted during the 2009 season on behalf of the Northwest Cherry Growers shows that cherries maintain the number-one retail produce spot during the month of July, with an average dollar per square foot

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Moth poses little risk in Taiwan

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Dr. Lisa Neven is studying the survival of codling moth larvae in tropical conditions.

There is little risk of codling moth larvae shipped in apples to Taiwan resulting in the pest becoming established in that country,

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Promoting ecolabel wines

A program that began by certifying vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that were following practices to protect and restore salmon watersheds has grown to include more than half the wine grape acreage of Walla Walla Valley in Washington and Oregon and several vineyards in eastern Washington.

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Sustainability: imposition or opportunity?

With major food companies joining the green movement, a growing number of farmers are being asked questions about their sustainability efforts and/or programs. Growers can either view the movement as opportunity or imposition, says Dr. Cliff Ohmart.

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Last Bite–From doctor to farmer

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The altimeter on John Kloeber’s label at right shows an altitude of 1,500 feet, a suggestion that fruit grown in orchards at high altitudes is of high quality. Upper right: The Green River Hot Springs

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Good to Go

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Italy orchard tour
Susan Pheasant and Mauricio Frías are offering an intensive technical tour of South Tyrol orchards in November to learn about high-density orchard systems, production practices, and specialized machinery for tree fruit. The tour

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New organic organization

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Minnesota grower Harry Hoch helped found a new organization called the Organic Tree Fruit Growers Association, and his wife, Jackie, is the first president.

The organization started as an informal network of a few upper Midwest

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Eye on the Middle East

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Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, is the major fruit import port in the Persian Gulf with its trade tentacles reaching to Yemen in the south, Iraq in the north, and Sudan in the

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Last Bite – Pioneer of exports to Europe

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The firm of Simons, Shuttleworth, and French Company, Inc., was one of the first to specialize in exporting apples from the Pacific Northwest to England and the European continent.

The company was organized under the laws

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Last Bite — Legacy of labels from Montana

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The Big M Brand is a beautiful example of a rare Montana label; it bears the production date of September 30, 1932, by Traung Label Company. Bitterroot Valley, printed by Schmidt Lithographic Company, and Equity

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Apple Lines–Full access to China needed

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China is open to Red Delicious apples from Washington. Whereas Red Delicious can be shipped direct to major markets in China, Gala and Granny Smith apples reach China through the gray market via Hong Kong.

Gala

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Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

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As production volumes increase for Honeycrisp apples, the need for a longer marketing window becomes more important. Researchers like Ines Hanrahan are looking for ways to stretch storage of Honeycrisp beyond Christmas.

With consumers and retailers

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Moving larger crops in the future

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Focus on what you can control was the message given to growers by cherry marketers who shared thoughts on how to move larger cherry crops in the future during a panel discussion at the Northwest

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Conversations with the city

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Orchardists represent a sliver of American agriculture. Most of our nation’s farmers grow field crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. Many raise livestock, for meat or dairy. Others in the produce sector tend fields

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Washington wine industry should tell its story

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Although Washington State’s wine industry is well positioned in the current ‘value-driven’ wine market, a wine consultant from Napa, California, offers some suggestions to help build demand for Washington wines.

Barbara Insel, president of Stonebridge Research

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Turn tasting room visits into sales

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Winery owners must have solid financial management in place, says Barbara Insel, and that would include cutting out wines that are not profitable.

With a backlog of wine inventories clogging wine distribution channels, direct marketing offers

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