Fire blight control featured at 2018 WSTFA Annual Meeting
Ross Courtney // November 8, 2018
Workers cut away fire blight infections in pear orchards in 2018 near Monitor and Cashmere in Washington’s Wenatchee Valley. A session on fire blight will be held at the annual meeting. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)
An entire session on fire blight, plenty of WA 38 updates and the usual day’s worth of Spanish sessions — that’s what’s on tap for the Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s annual meeting in December in Yakima.
The conference, which carries the theme “Manage What You Can Control, Plan for What You Can’t,” is slated for Dec. 3-5 at the Yakima Convention Center. The conference has been growing in attendance every year, with 2,200 in 2017, according to the Tree Fruit Association.
The accompanying NW Hort Expo trade show, which attracts roughly 220 exhibits a year, will be held at the convention center and the nearby Yakima Valley SunDome.
“All these things that are outside of our control that affect our industry,” Gilbert said.
The speaker for the annual Batjer address, which serves as the event’s keynote, will be Vikram Mansharamani, a global equity investor, a Yale University lecturer and author of “Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst.”
Mansharamani espouses a “generalist” point of view to anticipate opportunities and reduce risk in the global marketplace, according to the Premiere Speakers Bureau.
The conference also features an entire session on fire blight, after Washington apple and pear growers experienced two rough years of infections in 2017 and 2018.
“Fire blight has been getting a little bit worse each year,” while growers receive sometimes conflicting or confusing answers about how to manage the infections, Gilbert said.
Meanwhile, commercialization is well underway for WA 38, Washington State University’s new apple branded as Cosmic Crisp, so the annual meeting dedicates an entire session to growing, training and marketing the variety.
As always, conference organizers have booked an entire day of session in Spanish.
Postharvest disorders, efficiency in orchards and pest, disease and vigor management are just a few more examples of other educational presentations on the docket.
Ross Courtney is an associate editor for Good Fruit Grower, writing articles and taking photos for the print magazine and website. He has a degree from Pacific Lutheran University. -- Follow the author -- Contact: 509-930-8798 or email.