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A new game

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New apple varieties from Washington State University’s breeding program present opportunities for the state’s growers, said Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

WSU has just released the first variety from its

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The race to market

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A group of more than 30 cherry growers and horticulturists from around the world took part in a recent tour in Argentina and Chile organized by Susan Pheasant, Mauricio Frias, and Claudia Acosta. Geraldine Warner

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Last Bite

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Perham Fruit Company used these five labels during the 1920s and 1930s.

Some of the most beautiful and sought-after fruit labels that collectors desire are the old Perham labels. Illustrated here are the five original company

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Marketing maraschinos

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Chopped maraschino cherries destined for ice cream manufacturers.

As well as being a major producer and exporter of fresh fruit, Carleti S.A. owns the largest cherry processing company in Argentina, which produces maraschino and preserved cherries

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Cherry Institute looks to the future

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As the Pacific Northwest sweet cherry industry moves toward larger crops in the future, it will take the industry working together to achieve success, says the president of Northwest Cherry Growers. The Cherry Institute, scheduled

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Australia’s water crisis forces changes

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Dealing with rising temperatures may be a conundrum for fruit growers confronting ­climate change, but in Australia it’s been ­complicated by widespread drought since 2003.

Two years ago, participants in the annual International Fruit Tree Association

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How many is too many?

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When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth

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Should WAC come back?

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A rack card developed by CMI tells consumers about the health benefits of eating apples, with a focus on fiber content.

If the Washington apple industry wants to avoid losing shelf space, it should consider reinstating

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Market limitations

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How new varieties will coexist with those that have already carved out shelf space is the million-dollar question.

The biggest change from a marketer’s standpoint in the next decade will be the influence of the club

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Apple marketing incentive

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“If an apple were to explode like a hand grenade when it reached a stage of ripeness not permitting it to reach the consumer in good condition, we would have a red-hot incentive to do

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Embracing change

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Laura Mrachek works to make a difference in the tree fruit industry.

Laura Mrachek, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, likes change.

So, when she predicts that orchardists are going to have to do things

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Produce expert

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With an office in Yakima, Washington, Wal-Mart plans to keep prices lower and buy directly from growers, cutting out the middleman, says a former Wal-Mart executive.

Former Wal-Mart insider Bruce Peterson sees the company’s recent move

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Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

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Agricultural economist

Two decades ago, at a time when the industry had yet to produce more than 60 million boxes of apples and Red Delicious made up almost 75 percent of the crop, agricultural economist Dr.

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Identity crisis

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The flood of new apple varieties will continue until the consumer is so confused about the Washington apple identity that they might turn to something else that they can identify, predicts Dr. Don Heinicke, a

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Blast from the past

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Robots harvesting fruit, scientists creating the perfect apple trees in petri dishes, and a fruit industry run by conglomerates were just some of the changes envisioned for the next half century by industry leaders, as

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Growers foresee change

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There are too many new apple varieties, says Polish orchardist Krzysztof Hermanowicz.

New market niches, more emphasis on eating quality, technological advances in the orchard, more regional focus on food, and closer relationships with retailers are

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Exotic varieties, new regions

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A new interest in clones and lesser-known varieties will drive vineyard plantings in Washington State in the next ten years, say industry experts.

Limited retail shelf space could impact the success of new varieties.

by Melissa Hansen

Crystal

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Last Bite – The Land of the Yakamas

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Cowin paid careful attention to marketing, and his high-quality fruit stood out in the marketplace.

In 1909-1910, Earle Cowin earned the distinction of being one of first Pacific Northwest fruit growers to plant an orchard on

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Nursery perspective

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These finished nursery trees will soon be harvested and prepared for later planting by growers.

With the proliferation of new tree fruit varieties released in the last decade, the next ten years should spark consumer interest

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Good Point – Chris Schlect

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America’s system of delivering food to retail customers is a marvel. Without a cadre of governmental central planners dictating production levels, schedules of deliveries, or prices, our population has easy access to needed safe, convenient,

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Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

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Walter Bolinger became a fruit grower and packer after working for many years as a shopkeeper.

Merchant, politician, real estate developer, orchardist—each of these terms could be used to describe Walter Albert Bolinger. Bolinger was a

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Optimistic about the crop

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The Washington Apple Commission is focusing its export efforts this year on markets that have the potential to take more large-sized apples.

The commission is matching its strategy with the 2009 crop. The volume appeared to

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Industry veteran is new CEO

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With more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the tree fruit industry, Keith Mathews became CEO in October for the new marketing firm, FirstFruits Marketing of Washington.

Mathews was executive director of the Yakima

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On the fast track

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Michael Weber picks some samples of Mairac in a Washington State test planting.

With apple variety breeders putting a strong emphasis on accelerating the breeding process, it only makes sense to commercialize the resulting varieties as

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Novel approach

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Pete Van Well (left) and Alessio Martinelli of CIV, Italy, admire the color of Rubens apples in Wenatchee, Washington, just before harvest.

Rubens, a new apple variety from Italy, will be commercialized in North America in

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Five food-safety lessons

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The tree fruit industry can learn some valuable lessons from past food-safety scares, according to Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of scientific and technical affairs with the United Fresh Produce Association. Growers should be

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Major organic player

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Using environmentally sound, sustainable practices to produce tree fruit is one of the core values of supplier-partners of FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, a new marketing firm in Yakima, Washington.

Organic fruit will be an important part

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M.9 prevails in Poland

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Malling 9 is the most popular apple rootstock in Poland, closely followed by M.26, but growers are also using dwarfing Polish rootstocks, and Geneva rootstocks are being tested.

Dr. Alojzy Czynczyk at the Research Institute of

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WSU releases its first apple variety

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Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard.
Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree

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In My View – Jay Grandy

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The conversation among Pacific Northwest fruit growers tends to focus on the fresh market, where returns are generally more favorable. A very small percentage of apples and cherries are sold for processing—usually the lesser grade

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Apple Lines – Todd Fryhover

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As we move together into another apple harvest, the Washington Apple Commission strives to evolve to mirror the ever-­changing export market requirements, matching international consumer tastes and preferences with Washington growers’ commitment to growing the

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Pear export prospects

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A family samples USA pears in a supermarket in the city of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is a significant market for USA Pears.

Jeff Correa, Pear Bureau Northwest

The Pear Bureau is looking forward to marketing

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Tough cherry deal refocuses industry

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The 2009 season should have been a banner year for Northwest cherries, judging by the volume and quality of cherries shipped, the amount of retail shelf space and advertising devoted to cherries, and the feedback

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Pear access negotiations continue

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The United States and China are each hoping the other will grant permission to export pears.

The United States has been requesting access to China for U.S. pears since the 1990s. On its part, China already

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Apple Lines – Todd Fryhover

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Adversity provides opportunity. This is the mantra for the 2008–2009 Washington apple season. We’re facing a world economic downturn, plummeting foreign currency exchange rates, import protectionism, static domestic apple demand, and the largest Washington apple

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In the Box

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Dear Good Fruit Grower:

Over the years, being in Connecticut and trying to equate the delight fruit testers experience in western orchards with tree-ripe fruit, has been impossible. These testers are often important in deciding what

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Growers can improve returns by leaving fruit in the orchard.

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To pick or not to pick

Low prices for small apples during the past ­season reinforced the notion that growers can make more money by leaving non­target fruit in the orchard, Washington apple industry ­representatives say.

“I

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Wine with a cause

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Winery owners Stacy Lill (left) and Kathy Johanson provide mentoring and scholarships for young women.

The idea was hatched on Halloween night, 2006. Over dinner with their husbands, long-time pals Kathy Johanson and Stacy Lill decided

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Last Bite – The story behind letterheads

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For the past several years, each of these articles has focused on a particular fruit grower or marketer with distinctive crate labels. In this issue, for a change of pace, the focus will instead be

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Good crop on the tree

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The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a crop of large, high-quality apples this fall, which is what buyers want.

“We’re seeing excellent size and excellent type,” said Bruce Grim, manager of the Washington Apple Growers

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Swiss interested in Geneva stocks

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Fireblight-resistant apple rootstocks developed at Cornell University in Geneva, New York, could secure a place in the Swiss apple industry, members of the International Fruit Tree Association heard during their annual meeting in last February

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Canned pear assessment rises

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The promotional assessment on Pacific Northwest processed pears will increase from $5 to $7.11 per ton this season in an attempt to keep the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service functioning.

The volume of pears grown for

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Cherums and peacotums

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Children enjoy novel hybrid fruits during a tasting at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Zaiger Genetics, Inc., internationally acclaimed for developing interspecific fruit, is breeding cherries and plums together in the search for

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Premium Rainiers

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Norm Gutzwiler wants growers who put more time and effort into raising quality cherries to be rewarded.

The Washington State fresh cherry industry has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to introduce a premium grade for

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Stone fruit crisis

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Changes in the fruit industry are related to changes in the global economy, says Terry Bacon of Sun World.
California’s stone fruit industry is in a deep crisis. Growers and marketers are being squeezed out of

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Last Bite – An Apple A Day

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Wilbert “Bill” Hansen was an exception to the rule about many successful fruit industry people being born and raised in the Midwest, because Hansen grew up right in the Yakima Valley on a small hardscrabble

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Good Question – Pear Industry Issue

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Rob Peterson
Hood River, Oregon
Mexican tariff
Peterson said the most pressing issue is the 20 percent tariff on U.S. pears, cherries, and apricots imposed by Mexico in March. Mexico imposed the tariff after the U.S. Congress

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Big plans for WSU viticulture

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Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling tasted wines produced from Puget Sound appellation grapes during a visit to Washington State University’s Northwest Research and Extension Center in Mt. Vernon.

On the job only a few months, Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling

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