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  • China could become big pear market

China could become big pear market

  • July 1st, 2013
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.
  • Bing dethroned

Bing dethroned

  • June 1st, 2013

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 as Bing represented only 22 percent of the crop. Meanwhile, varieties from British Columbia [...]

  • New model for variety release

New model for variety release

  • June 1st, 2013

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, a company organized by Fred Wescott, owner of Wescott Orchards and Agri Products [...]

  • Chelan Fruit gears up

Chelan Fruit gears up

  • May 15th, 2013

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 is planning to build a new cherry line for next season.

Reggie Collins, chief [...]

  • Good Point: China

Good Point: China

  • May 15th, 2013

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 acutely aware of our own domestic production numbers. While many may shudder to see [...]

  • First Bite

First Bite

  • May 15th, 2013

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 you’ve ever seen the movie Money Ball, you know the premise of determining a [...]

Nurseries invest in Phytelligence

  • May 15th, 2013

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 founded in 2011 by Washington State University genomicist Dr. Amit Dhingra with a number [...]

Food Alliance’s future uncertain

  • May 1st, 2013

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, Oregon, established its sustainable food certification program in 1997 with the goal of helping [...]

Trends in organic tree fruit

  • May 1st, 2013

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 2012 show the following trends:
Apples

Certified organic acreage declined in 2012 to 13,655 acres.
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  • Plantings set record pace

Plantings set record pace

  • May 1st, 2013

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 harvest, observes Lindsay Buckner, senior vice president for fruit procurement and grower services at [...]

Why organic cherries are in decline

  • May 1st, 2013

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 Department of Agriculture. But the latest certified organic acreage numbers for 2012 show a [...]