Due to COVID-19 precautions enacted after this story appeared in our print magazine, the IFTA 2020 Summer Study Tour in Washington has been canceled and the ISHS orchard systems symposium has been rescheduled for August 2021.
This July, Washington will host two major international orchard industry events back-to-back: a tour in south-central Washington, followed by a research conference in Wenatchee.
First, the International Fruit Tree Association’s Summer Study Tour will call Richland home base for three days of apple and cherry orchard tours, from July 22 through July 25.
Then, Washington State University will host the International Society for Horticultural Science for the XII International Symposium on Integrating Canopy, Rootstock and Environmental Physiology in Orchard Systems. The society organizes the symposium every four years. This marks the first time Washington has hosted since 1996, said organizer Stefano Musacchi, the endowed chair for tree fruit physiology at WSU. That’s especially meaningful for him, since the 1996 conference in Wenatchee was the first he attended, he added.
“People are there to be in connection. This is the source of inspiration for scientists,” he said. “For me, it’s a way to serve my industry, to bring the best people from around the world here.”
Keynote speakers will include Lailiang Cheng, Cornell University; Luca Corelli Grappadelli, University of Bologna; Ted DeJong, University of California, Davis; Gennaro Fazio, Cornell; Lav Khot, WSU; Karen Lewis, WSU; Terence Robinson, Cornell; Stuart Tustin, New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research; and Maciej Zwieniecki, UC Davis. Almost 200 researchers applied to give presentations as part of the symposium, Musacchi said.
It’s a meeting by and for researchers, but others in the industry are welcome, he said. Most of the more applied talks will be scheduled for Friday, which will also be broadcast via videoconference. Advance registration will be required to attend via videoconference as well.
“It’s a unique opportunity to get an update on rootstocks and training systems and what is important in the physiology of the tree. This is really a concentration of everything in orchard management,” Musacchi said.
The detailed agenda was not available at press time but will include four days of short research presentations, longer keynote talks and an orchard tour. •
—by Kate Prengaman