Learn to Use TEAM

A series of free computer workshops has been scheduled to teach growers how to use A Grower’s Technology Economic Assessment Model software. TEAM is a Windows-based program designed to help fruit growers make long-term decisions when considering implementing new technologies—such as new varieties or rootstocks, optical sensors, orchard platforms, low-volume orchard sprayers or robotics, or when making other management changes.

TEAM uses enterprise budgets to establish a base from which producers can ­analyze the potential profitability and feasibility of changes over a 20-year-period.

Workshops are scheduled for:

  • December 16 at the Franklin County Extension office in Pasco, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • December 17 at Yakima Valley Community College in Grandview, 3 to 5 p.m.
  • December 18 at Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • January 19 at Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • January 20 at the Confluence Technology Center, Wenatchee, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • February 3 in Omak. Details to be announced.

    The workshops are supported by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and Washington State University Extension. Workshop presenters will be ­Norman Suverly, with WSU Extension in Okanogan County, and Karen Lewis, WSU Extension educator for Grant and Adams Counties.

    Workshops are limited to 15 people. Each participant will receive a free copy of the TEAM software and a manual. To register, contact the WSU Okanogan County Extension office at (509) 422-7245 or e-mail suverly@wsu.edu.

    Analyze the Economic Risks

    Can you make money growing pears or cherries? What is your profit potential? What input costs are critical to increasing your profitability?

    A two-part training course on a computer software program called A Grower’s Technology Economic Assessment Model (TEAM) will help growers answer such questions. The training course will be held on December 5 at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles, Oregon, and on December 19 at the college’s campus in Hood River, Oregon.

    TEAM was designed by Clark Seavert, agricultural economist at Oregon State University, to help growers make long-term decisions, such as whether to implement new technologies or change their crops or cropping systems. TEAM uses enterprise budgets to establish a baseline for analyzing the potential profitability of such changes. Growers can customize their analysis with their own data to assess the economic and financial risks of changes they are considering. Fully understanding those risks is essential to ­sustainability, Seavert believes.

    During the first part of the workshop, on December 5, participants will learn the basics of TEAM and how to open, save, and develop budgets. During the second, more advanced part on December 19, participants will develop a customized TEAM analysis of a specialty crop production investment.

    The cost of the workshop is $30. To register, contact Jim Julian at (503) 678-1264, extension 117, or e-mail james.julian@ oregonstate.edu. 

    IFTA to Meet in Germany

    Orchardists and nursery representatives from around the world will meet in Germany early next year for the International Fruit Tree Association’s annual meeting. The conference includes two days of technical and cultural tours, two days of educational seminars featuring the latest research, and one day at the trade shows Fruit Logistica and FreshConex. During the technical tours, participants will learn about the structure of Germany’s tree fruit industry and integrated fruit production. A cultural tour includes the Berlin Wall on the twentieth anniversary of its fall. Germany, the largest economy in Europe and the third largest in the world, is one of the leading apple producers in the European Union.

    Optional pre and postconference study tours include visits to the Slovak Republic, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Germany from January 23–30 and to Poland from February 5–7. The preconference tour will focus on horticultural innovations and research with visits to breeding programs and integrated orchard operations. The postconference tour will highlight the dramatic changes going on in Poland’s fruit production, such as higher density orchards, planting new varieties, and improvements in infrastructure and marketing that have occurred since Poland joined the European Union in 2004.

    For more information about the annual meeting and study tours, visit IFTA’s Web site at: www.ifruittree.org.

    Fruit Logistica, FreshConex

    Fruit Logistica, a leading trade fair for the international fresh produce sector, will sponsor six seminars during the annual conference, February 4–6, to discuss current industry and marketing trends. The seminars, simultaneously interpreted in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, include: the battle of the retail formats—how will it end; Chile, an importer with tradition and vision; Poland, the next big player in Europe; carbon dioxide and the cost of energy—the challenge for the fruit trade; the European consumer—the unknown quantity; and, innovation in the fresh ­produce business.

    On February 4, the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations will address the topic "Fresh produce trade with Romania and Bulgaria—results after two years of European Union membership." The event is directed towards German produce companies.

    FreshConex, an international trade show for the fresh-cut produce industry, runs parallel to Fruit Logistica, with passes valid at both trade shows.

    For information, visit www.fruitlogistica .com.

    Vine to Vintage

    Researchers from around the world will discuss the impact of viticultural techniques on wine quality at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers’s annual meeting and trade show on February 4–6, 2009, in Kennewick, Washington. The convention theme "Quality from vine to vintage" will bring growers and winemakers together to learn how management practices in the field, such as irrigation, crop load, and cluster sun exposure can influence grape flavor and aroma compounds and influence wine quality.

    Speakers include:

  •  Dr. Vicente Ferreira, University of Zaragoza, Spain
  •  Dr. Andrew Reynolds, Brock University, Ontario, Canada
  •  Carrie McDonnell, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, California
  •  Dr. Justine Vanden Houvel, Cornell University, New York
  •  Dr. Mark Matthews, University of California, Davis
  •  Dr. Hildegarde Heymann, UC, Davis
  •  Dr. Russell Smithyman, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Washington

    For more information, visit WAWGG’s Web site at www.wawgg.org.

    Great Lakes Expo highlights

    The Great Lakes Expo, scheduled for December 9 to 11 at the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will feature 50 educational sessions. Highlights for tree fruit and grape growers include the following:
    December 9

    Art Mitchell Symposium I
    Fruit Thinning and Return Bloom

    9:00 a.m. Arthur Mitchell, the man and his career with MSU and the Michigan State Horticultural Society – Paul Larsen, Logan, Utah.
    9:20 a.m. Panel: How Art Mitchell helped us in the horticulture industry – Don Nugent, chair of Graceland Fruit, Inc., and Merlin Kraft, Sparta, Michigan.
    9:40 a.m. Crop load management, and return bloom of apples under New York conditions – Terence Robinson, Cornell University,
    New York.
    10:20 a.m. Thinning stone and pome fruit mechanically – Jim Schupp, Pennsylvania State University.

    Wine Grapes
    9:00 a.m. Training programs for the wine grape industry – Linda Jones, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council.
    9:20 a.m. Rootstock choice for fine wine production – Jim Wolpert, University of California, Davis.
    10:00 a.m. Canopy management in Pinot Noir – Paolo Sabbatini, Michigan State University.
    10:20 a.m. Fruit rots in wine grapes – Tom Zabadal, MSU Extension and Paolo Sabbatini, MSU.

    Art Mitchell Symposium II –
    Fruit Thinning and Return Bloom

    2:00 p.m. Chemicals to thin apples and their effect on return bloom under eastern conditions – Duane Greene, University of ­Massachusetts.
    2:45 p.m. Thinning Honeycrisp to assure return bloom – Phil Schwallier, MSU.
    3:15 p.m. New compounds on the horizon – Peter Petracek, Valent BioSciences, Long Grove, Illinois.

    Enology Workshop
    2:00 p.m. Managing wine quality in the lab – Ellie Butz, Vintage Winery Consultants, West Lafayette, Indiana.
    3:00 p.m. Managing green flavors in the vineyard and winery – Chris Gerling, Cornell.
    4:00 p.m. Educational wine evaluation: Assessing herbaceous ­flavors (commercial winemakers only) – Paul Jenkins, MSU.

    2:00 p.m. Bang for the buck: How California vineyard managers alter practices for a range of quality wines – Jim Wolpert, UC, Davis.
    2:40 p.m. Understanding grape diseases and their management – Mike Ellis, Ohio State University. Continued on following page
    3:20 p.m. Crop estimation in wine and juice grapes – Paolo Sabbatini, MSU.
    3:40 p.m. Managing insect pests in grapes – Rufus Isaacs, MSU.

    December 10

    9:00 a.m. Impacts of fall foliar nitrogen in tart and sweet cherry – Gregory Lang and Nikki Rothwell, MSU.
    9:40 a.m. Sweet cherry evaluation and the interface with the new cherry Web site – Nikki Rothwell, MSU.
    10:00 a.m. Brown rot sensitivity to sterol inhibitor fungicides – Erin Lizotte, MSU Extension.
    10:30 a.m. Harvesting technology update: A review of three harvester systems – Ron Perry, Jim Flore, and Gregory Lang, MSU.

    High Tunnels and Hoop Houses
    10:00 a.m. Tunnels + Advanced orchard technologies = Beautiful sweet cherries – Gregory Lang, MSU.

    Stone Fruit
    2:00 p.m. New approaches to mechanical blossom and fruit thinning of peaches and nectarines – Jim Schupp, Penn State.
    2:40 p.m. Peach and nectarine variety releases from the University of Arkansas – John R. Clark, Arkansas.
    3:10 p.m. Update on bacterial spot and bacterial canker diseases of stone fruit – George Sundin, MSU.
    3:40 p.m. Peach tree decline: Causes and remedies – Bill Shane, MSU Extension.
    Tree Fruit
    2:00 p.m. Rain-fastness of insecticides in apples for control of codling moth – John Wise, MSU.
    2:30 p.m. The tall spindle training system for apple and pears – Terence Robinson, Cornell.
    3:10 p.m. Use of Harvista on apples; sprayable MCP – Jim Schupp, Penn State.
    3:40 p.m. New pear varieties – Richard Bell, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, West Virginia.

    December 11
    Organic Production and Certification

    9:00 a.m. Knowledge to make the transition to organic easier – Betty Kananen, Global Organic Alliance, Ohio.
    9:30 a.m. What the new Farm Bill has to offer organic farmers – Sandy Penn, Natural Resources ­Conservation Service.
    10:00 a.m. Certification: To be or not to be – That is the question – Vicki Morrone, MSU.
    10:30 a.m. Farmer Panel – The first year of organic certification.

    What You Need to Know to Use PACA
    9:00 a.m. PACA: The Perishable Agricultural ­Commodities Act – Craig Stokes, Santos Stokes, LLP,
    San Antonio, Texas.

    What ALL Growers Need to Know About
    GAP, GHP and Third-Party Audits

    10:30 a.m. What the marketplace is requiring of growers – Ben Kudwa, Michigan Potato Industry ­Commission, Dewitt, Michigan.
    10:40 a.m. The fresh market perspective – Don Armock, Riveridge Produce, Sparta, Michigan.
    10:55 a.m. The processed market perspective – Mark Doherty, Peterson Farms, Inc., Shelby, Michigan.
    11:10 a.m. What’s involved in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification – Colleen Bess, Michigan Department of Agriculture.
    11:25 a.m. Gerber’s approach to Good Agricultural Practices – Chris Falak, Gerber Products Company, ­Fremont, Michigan.

    Organic Tree Fruit Production
    1:00 p.m. USDA/ National Organic Program: New England Tree Fruit Orchard Research and Demonstration Plot update – Renae Moran, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
    1:45 p.m. Performance of organic pest control materials – Matt Grieshop and John Wise, MSU.
    2:15 p.m. Biopesticides in upper Midwest organic tree fruit production – Renee Pereault and Mark Whalon, MSU.
    2:45 p.m. Flash-grazing of hogs in apple for reduced input organic insect and disease management – David Epstein, MSU, and Jim Koan, Al-Mar Orchards, Flushing, Michigan.

    For more information or to register check the Web site at www.glexpo.com.