Early Pink LadyEarly Pink Lady

An early maturing selection of Pink Lady (cultivar Cripps Pink) is available from Brandt’s Fruit Trees in Yakima, Washington.

The selection matures up to three weeks earlier than the standard Pink Lady. Another distinction is that while standard Cripps Pink sometimes needs to be stored for a time to balance the sugar and acid levels, early Pink Lady is ready to market at harvest. However, it has the same flavor, texture, and distinctive pink color as the original, Lynnell Brandt, president of the nursery, said in a press release.

The earlier harvest date is important to growers, as Pink Lady is one of the latest-maturing apples grown in the state and is usually harvested in late October or November. In 2002 and 2005, some Pink Lady apples were not harvested because of late-October freezes. The new selection might help expand the areas where the variety can be grown successfully, Brandt said. In addition, earlier availability of fruit should help expand the marketing window for Pink Lady.

Mating disruption mist

GoodStuffPacificmagePacific Biocontrol has developed a new aerosol pheromone dispenser for codling moth mating disruption in orchards. The dispenser, new for the 2013 season, is called Isomate CM Mist.

Isomate CM Mist emits precise amounts of pheromone throughout the season for codling moth mating disruption, and helps reduce labor costs. It takes about three minutes per acre to apply the mist dispenser versus one to one-and-a- half hours per acre for hand-applied dispensers.

For more information, go to www.pacificbiocontrol.com or e-mail Glenn Thayer at gthayer@nwi.net.

Hot Spotter

Shur Farms Frost Protection has launched its Hot Spotter, a new concept in managing cold air accumulation that allows growers to use frost protection in small areas. The equipment, a small version of the company’s Cold Air Drain, can be transported to a cold spot on the farm, plugged in, and turned on.

The Cold Air Drain is a device that thrusts cold air upwards to a height of almost 300 feet. As the coldest air goes up, it mixes with warmer, lighter air from above, according to the company. This helps lift the cold air higher until it is dispersed into the upper inversion layer and will not fall back down. The aim is to raise the temperature in lower-elevation frost-prone areas to a similar level as the higher-elevation frost-free areas.

The Cold Air Drain comes in several sizes to cover areas of up to 12-16 acres. For more information, go to www.shurfarms.com.

Controlling weeds

The new herbicide Alion from Bayer CropScience is designed to provide long-lasting preemergent control of grass and broadleaf weeds in a number of crops including grapes and tree fruits.  The active ingredient, indaziflam, is a cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor. The product can be applied up to 14 days before harvest. For more information, go to www.bayercropscience.us.

Keeping records made simple

ApRecs is a recordkeeping system designed to help growers track spray applications, applicators, equipment, locations, and other information relating to food safety practices in a simple and secure manner.

Growers can provide data online, via mobile apps, or even paper forms, which ApRecs converts to electronic files. Packers can access the information so they can be assured of a compliant product, though growers control who sees what information and when.

Drew Zabocki, director of Centricity, LLC, which supplies the software, said ApRecs is designed to make recordkeeping simple, no matter how complex the food safety requirements have become.

For more information, go to http://aprecs.com or call (888) 778-9994.

Bin carriers aim to reduce costs

Transtak Engineering and Equipment, based in Motueka, New Zealand, has developed a range of bin carriers for orchardists.

The carriers are available in three- and six-bin models to move picked fruit in bins from the orchard into the packing house or storage.

The Transtak 1500L low-lift carrier will carry three full bins and can be either towed or pushed by a tractor. The Transtak 2000 will lift, carry, and stack three full bins and six to nine empty bins and is designed to be mounted only to the front of a tractor. The Transtak 3500 carrier will load, carry, and stack six full bins of fruit and has tilt control of the forks.

These carriers are designed to reduce bin-handling costs by allowing growers with larger orchards to carry a larger number of bins at a time.

For more information and to see a demonstration video, go to www.transtak.co.nz. For U.S. pricing, e-mail transtak@clear.net.nz.