Harper named director of Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center

November 15th, 2019|0 Comments

Jayson Harper has been named director of Penn State University’s Fruit Research and Extension Center. Harper, who’d been serving as interim director since March 1, will oversee all personnel and financial activities while providing strategic vision for the center, according to a news release. Jayson Harper Located in Biglerville, in

  • Dennis Pleasant, right, was presented the Grape Society’s Walter Clore award by Bill Riley, chair of the organization, for lifetime contributions to the industry. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Phylloxera, economics highlight the 2019 Washington State Grape Society annual meeting

November 14th, 2019|0 Comments

Sarah Del Oro of Blehyl Co-op checks grapevine root samples for phylloxera feeding damage Thursday at the 2019 annual meeting of the Washington State Grape Society in Grandview, on Nov. 14. The emergence of phylloxera was one of the major topics. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) Identifying and managing phylloxera, a

IFTA offers scholarships for young professionals to attend 2020 annual conference

November 14th, 2019|0 Comments

The International Fruit Tree Association is offering scholarship opportunities for young professionals who want to attend the 2020 IFTA Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Feb. 9–12. IFTA members worldwide are eligible to apply for the Young Professionals Scholarship, according to a news release. The IFTA Young Professionals Scholarship Program

Federal judge temporarily halts wage hike for Zirkle blueberry pickers

September 5th, 2019|0 Comments

A Selah, Washington, fruit company won an early round in its lawsuit against federal and state labor authorities Thursday when a judge temporarily stopped a mandated midseason wage hike for blueberry pickers. Zirkle Fruit Co., one of Washington’s largest blueberry producers, was granted a preliminary injunction by Judge Salvador Mendoza

  • Bartlett pear halves. (Courtesy Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service)

Neil Jones makes price offer for canning pears

July 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

Neil Jones Food Co. has agreed to pay canning pear growers a price lower than offered by the association that has typically negotiated for Northwest farmers. At a small growers meeting last week, the Vancouver, Washington, company offered $315 for Grade 1A pears, said Adam McCarthy, a Hood River, Oregon,

  • Darrin Belton

Stemilt adds Belton to agriculture leadership team

July 11th, 2019|0 Comments

Darrin Belton Stemilt Growers, a tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington, is adding Darrin Belton to its agriculture leadership team in the newly created position of business development director of Stemilt Ag Services, according to a news release. Belton joins Stemilt’s agriculture division after a

Parkhill joins Next Big Thing growers’ cooperative as executive director

July 10th, 2019|0 Comments

Jennifer Parkhill Next Big Thing, a growers’ cooperative that grows and markets managed varieties of apples, including SweeTango, recently announced that Jennifer Parkhill will lead the organization as executive director, according to a news release. Parkhill will be responsible for developing strategies to advance the cooperative’s mission and objectives, promoting

Kasey Cronquist named president of blueberry councils

June 27th, 2019|0 Comments

Kasey Cronquist The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) have named Kasey Cronquist as the new president, effective July 29, according to a news release. The councils’ current executive director, Mark Villata, will retire at the end of this year. “After 25 exciting and rewarding

26th annual WSTFA golf tournament on August 6

June 20th, 2019|0 Comments

Tee up to honor past tree fruit industry leaders and help support tomorrow’s leaders at the 26th annual Washington State Tree Fruit Association golf tournament on Tuesday, August 6 at the Highland Golf Course in East Wenatchee, Washington. The annual WSTFA golf tournament helps raise money to support student scholarships

  • D’Anjou pears from the 2015 harvest being packed in Peshastin, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Northwest fresh pear growers anticipate a solid crop

June 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Pear Bureau Northwest announced in a news release the first official fresh pear crop estimate for the 2019-20 season. Pear growers and producers from Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima districts and Oregon’s Medford and Mid-Columbia districts anticipate harvesting 17.3 million 44-pound box equivalents, or approximately 380,000 tons of fresh pears. The

Cosmic Crisp partners with Crunch Pak and Litehouse

June 6th, 2019|0 Comments

Cosmic Crisp, the new apple variety developed by Washington State University as WA 38, will be part of a partnership with two refrigerated product companies: Crunch Pak, the sliced apple specialist, and Litehouse, known for its refrigerated salad dressings and innovative consumer packaged goods. According to a news release from

Matthew Hendrickson fills new staff position at USApple

June 5th, 2019|0 Comments

Matthew Hendrickson The U.S. Apple Association announced in a news release that Matthew Hendrickson will join the organization in the newly created position of manager of association services. Previously with Interel Group US, an association management consulting firm, Hendrickson brings to USApple his experience in association and nonprofit management, including

  • Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canners. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Seneca closing pear processing plant

June 5th, 2019|0 Comments

Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canners. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) Northwest pear growers may respond to Seneca Foods closing its Sunnyside, Washington, processing plant by pulling out orchards as the pear industry

Mexico lifts tariff on U.S. apples

May 20th, 2019|2 Comments

Mexico announced today the lifting of a 20 percent tariff on U.S. apples, after the U.S. announced on May 17 the end of tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum. “We welcome the return of duty-free access to Mexico, our largest export market, and continued duty-free access to Canada,

Washington’s drought worsens

May 20th, 2019|0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday expanded Washington’s drought to cover nearly half the state, including most of Central Washington’s tree fruit production areas. (Courtesy Washington State Department of Ecology) A recent spell of rainy weather hasn’t helped much. Washington’s drought has officially gotten worse anyway. Gov. Jay Inslee

Canadian nursery launches tissue culture lab

May 16th, 2019|0 Comments

This week, Upper Canada Growers announced the opening of a new tissue culture laboratory in Harrow, Ontario, that aims to provide Canadian growers with clean fruit trees and rootstocks — faster than the current certification process for new varieties. The new lab is a partnership with the University of Guelph

Michigan School for the Deaf awarded Apples4Ed grant

May 16th, 2019|0 Comments

At a celebratory event on May 7, U.S. Apple Association awarded students at the Michigan School for the Deaf a $4,000 Apples4Ed grant. According to a news release, the Michigan school was selected for its proposal to create a healthy snack “fueling station” for students living on campus. “The Michigan

  • Southern Washington cherry growers huddle to discuss the upcoming crop today at the annual 5-state meeting of the Northwest Cherry Growers in Richland, Washington. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Cherry growers gather to update crop estimate

May 15th, 2019|0 Comments

Southern Washington cherry growers huddle to discuss the upcoming crop today at the annual 5-state meeting of the Northwest Cherry Growers in Richland, Washington. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) Growers and industry representatives from five Northwest cherry producing states predicted a crop of about 23.6 million 20-pound box equivalents

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USDA proposes Fuji grading changes

May 9th, 2019|0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a change to apple grading standards. Earlier this week, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service proposed a rule change that would remove net-like russeting as a factor to determine Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy and U.S. No. 1 grades for Fuji apples, according to a

  • International Fruit Tree Association tour attendees depart a hard cider tasting session highlighting BC Tree Fruits' business decision to open a cider processing facility, utilizing the company's cull fruit at their Kelowna, British Columbia, packing facility on July 24, 2018. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

More changes for BC Tree Fruits

May 8th, 2019|0 Comments

British Columbia’s largest fruit company has purchased land on which to build a new packing line and company headquarters. BC Tree Fruits, a 400-member grower cooperative, is finalizing the purchase of 85 acres in Kelowna for new apple, cherry, pear and soft fruit packing lines, office space and its cidery,

  • Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canners. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Seneca to close pear plant

May 2nd, 2019|0 Comments

Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility in the fall after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canneries. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) Seneca Foods is getting out of the processed pear business and will shutter its Sunnyside, Washington, plant

Washington State Fruit Commission board meeting May 15

May 2nd, 2019|0 Comments

The Washington State Fruit Commission board of directors meeting is scheduled Wednesday, May 15, at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland, Washington. President B.J. Thurlby will report on commission business and Good Fruit Grower projects. Financial reports will be presented by commission treasurer JoAnne Daniels. Industry reports will include

National Organic Standards Board discusses sanitizer reviews

April 26th, 2019|0 Comments

Of all the synthetic products allowed in organic food production, sanitizers required for food safety standards are some of the most important for all producers and handlers. The National Organic Standards Board, a diverse group of growers, handlers and environmentalists charged with decided what stays on the National List of

  • Todd McMyn

BC Tree Fruits hires CEO, CFO

April 11th, 2019|0 Comments

BC Tree Fruits, a grower cooperative that packs most of British Columbia’s apples, has permanently filled its CEO and chief financial officer positions in the wake of a company restructuring. Todd McMyn Todd McMyn started his role as CEO on April 1, according to a news release from

USDA’s farmers.gov now features help with H-2A applications and managing loans

April 4th, 2019|0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched of two new features on farmers.gov to provide assistance with the H-2A application process and managing farm loans. “These new features will help our customers as they manage their farm loans and navigate the H-2A temporary agricultural visa program,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Sara Spayd receives highest honor from the American Society for Enology and Viticulture

April 4th, 2019|0 Comments

Sara Spayd, professor emerita of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, has been selected to receive the American Society for Enology and Viticulture’s Merit Award for 2019. The award is ASEV’s highest honor and acknowledges excellence in the fields of education, technology, management, public relations or any discipline related to enology

FDA announces wine grapes among commodities to be exempt from Produce Safety Rule

March 28th, 2019|0 Comments

On March 27, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) issued a statement praising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s issuance of a final guidance stating the agency’s intent to exercise enforcement discretion for the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule, part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, as they apply to entities

  • A Blue Bird fruit warehouse in Peshastin, Washington, caught fire Sunday, March 3, leaving the building a total loss. (Reilly Kneedler/Wenatchee World)

Fire destroys Blue Bird fruit warehouse

March 6th, 2019|0 Comments

A Blue Bird fruit warehouse in Peshastin, Washington, caught fire Sunday, March 3, leaving the building a total loss. (Reilly Kneedler/The Wenatchee World)   A Blue Bird Inc. cold storage building in Peshastin, Washington, was destroyed in a fire that started Sunday night. “The building is going to

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Washington Winegrowers elect board members

March 6th, 2019|0 Comments

The Washington Winegrowers Association elected board members and officers at their annual meeting held in February in Kennewick, Washington. Steele Brown of Golden West Vineyards was newly elected to the board of directors. Patrick Rawn of Two Mountain Winery was re-elected as chair of the board and Shane Collins of

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USApple announces 2019 Young Apple Leaders

February 15th, 2019|0 Comments

The U.S. Apple Association announced its class of 2019 Young Apple Leaders, a group of young women and men selected by the organization to join with and learn from USApple leaders as they advocate on issues impacting growers and the apple industry. “The 2019 Young Apple Leaders’ class is the

BC Tree Fruits restructures

February 7th, 2019|0 Comments

International Fruit Tree Association tour attendees participate in a hard cider tasting session in July, 2018, highlighting BC Tree Fruits’ decision to open a cidery as a market for the cooperative’s commercial-grade fruit at its Kelowna, British Columbia, packing facility. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) BC Tree Fruits, which

Women’s Farm to Food Business Competition now open

January 9th, 2019|0 Comments

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Foundation is offering a new business competition for women making food and beverage products in Oregon and Washington. In partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Agriculture, the NASDA Foundation is hosting the first Women’s Farm

President signs Farm Bill

December 20th, 2018|0 Comments

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed the $867 billion Farm Bill that Congress passed last week with bipartisan support. The five-year Farm Bill ensures several items of funding that affect the tree fruit industry. Among them are continued support of work to fight pests and diseases, enhancement of the National

  • Red Delicious apples harvested at Zirkle's ranch in Mattawa Washington on September 29, 2016. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

India delays additional apple tariff, again

December 19th, 2018|0 Comments

India has once again postponed implementing a retaliatory tariff on imported U.S. apples, this time until Jan. 31. Earlier in 2018, India, one of the largest export markets for U.S. apples, imposed an additional tariff on the fruit in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum,

Chelan Fruit announces new interim CEO

December 18th, 2018|0 Comments

The Chelan Fruit Cooperative board of directors announced CEO Reggie Collins will transition from his current position to an advisory position, effective Jan. 1. Mark Stennes, currently the company’s assistant general manager, has been selected to replace Collins as interim CEO. Collins joined the cooperative in 2000, starting as the

  • Capitol Building Washington D.C. File photo

Congress passes $867 billion Farm Bill

December 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Today Congress passed an $867 billion Farm Bill with strong bipartisan support. The House of Representatives voted 386-47 in favor of the bill. The Senate passed the legislation in an 87-to-13 vote on Tuesday. “It will take us some time to wade through the bill and get to all the

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“Recall Ready” workshop May 22 in Pasco, May 23 in Des Moines, WA

April 18th, 2018|0 Comments

Three organizations are teaming up to offer training on what to do when hit by a recall situation. The event web page. Here's the announcement: The United Fresh Recall Ready Workshop is an exclusive education and training service that leverages the expertise of the food industry’s leading professionals, in partnership

Study shows temps at which cherry buds are damaged

February 28th, 2018|0 Comments

Oregon State University researcher David Gibeaut has posted online the results of his differential thermal analysis that measures the fatal temperatures of sweet cherry floral buds in the Pacific Northwest. Images of cherry buds damaged by cold. (Courtesy Todd Einhorn/Oregon State University) Gibeaut conducted the research on Bing,

Munch Madness? USApple rolls out pun-laden promotion

February 28th, 2018|0 Comments

Munch Madness has begun. The third annual promotion of the U.S. Apple Association pits apple varieties against each other in popular votes tournament-style. Munch Madness Organizers ask apple eaters to visit applevsapple.com to vote for their favorite varieties through the different stages of the tournament. The contest includes

Ashley Thompson picked for OSU Mid Columbia Extension Faculty

January 31st, 2018|0 Comments

Ashley Thompson will be officially starting as Oregon State University Mid-Columbia Horticultural Extension Faculty on April 27, the university announced. Ashley Thompson  This new position will be responsible for tree fruit production, so will include both pears and cherries in Hood River and Wasco Counties, with Thompson's main

Washington wine people meet Jan.18-19 to discuss research

January 5th, 2018|1 Comment

The Washington State Wine Commission will hold its annual Research Review on January 18 and 19 at the Clore Center in Prosser. The commission encourages growers and wine makers to attend and provide feedback on research proposals.  Research topics include pest management, irrigation, soil quality, mechanization, wine spoilage, and tannin

Wine Institute praises excise tax relief in new tax bill

December 20th, 2017|0 Comments

California's Wine Institute celebrated passage of new tax legislation, saying it provided the first reduction in wine excise taxes in more than 80 years. As part of sweeping tax changes lead by Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump, legislation includes a two-year version of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax

  • The lower camp at Omeg Family Orchards in The Dalles, Oregon, area in 2017. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Two Oregon cherry growers join forces

December 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Two longtime cherry producers in the Dalles, Oregon, have merged to form an affiliation that will begin just after the new year. On Jan. 8, Orchard View Farms will become the parent company of Omeg Family Farms, creating a production entity with more than 3,000 combined acres and 200 years

  • Allyn Anthony, center, with his family after he was honored with the Michigan State Horticultural Society's Distinguished Service Award for his service to the society and overall leadership in the industry at the Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable and Farm Market Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on December 6, 2017 (Kate Prengaman/Good Fruit Grower)

Overhiser, Isaacs and others honored at Great Lakes Expo

December 6th, 2017|0 Comments

At the 17th annual Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo Banquet on Wednesday night, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council presented industry awards and scholarships. Allyn Anthony, center, with his family after he was honored with the Michigan State Horticultural Society's Distinguished Service

  • The earliest advanced selection in 2015 was the R25, ripening within three days of Chelan.(Courtesy Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission)

Cherry and apricot marketing boards to make nominations

October 25th, 2017|0 Comments

Nominations for grower and handler positions on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee and Washington Apricot Marketing Committee will take place during industry meetings in January. The committees establish grade, size and pack regulations for fresh cherries and apricots from designated counties in Washington state.

  • Neil Ferguson, Communications specialist for Pear Bureau Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest)

Ferguson joins Pear Bureau

October 11th, 2017|0 Comments

Neil Ferguson, Communications specialist for Pear Bureau Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest) Neil Ferguson has joined Pear Bureau Northwest as a communications specialist. Ferguson recently worked as a media content developer for Coroflot, a site that connects creative professionals with work opportunities. He has also worked

Wa Tree Fruit Research Commission is hiring

September 28th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, an agency whose work is invaluable to the tree fruit industry, is hiring a Special Projects Coordinator. The coordinator will work on projects that are central to the organization’s mission. The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with colleagues, board members, growers, faculty and

  • The Seal of the State of Washington

Justices hear arguments on farmworker piece-rate wages

September 14th, 2017|0 Comments

Washington State Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Sept. 14 at the Temple of Justice in Olympia on the question of whether employers should be mandated to pay their piece-rate workers a separate hourly rate for work not directly connected to production, such as training or waiting for equipment.

  • Gala apples ripening before harvest in a Wapato, Washington, orchard on August 24, 2017. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

NAFTA is the talk of USApple Outlook conference

August 24th, 2017|1 Comment

Gala apples ripening before harvest in a Wapato, Washington, orchard on August 24, 2017. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The three parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement — the United States, Canada and Mexico — have entered negotiations on a new deal, so it’s no surprise NAFTA

  • Lynnell Brandt, left, president of Proprietary Variety Management, discusses licensing and grade standards of Cosmic Crisp apples during a field day in September in Quincy, Washington. At right is Ines Hanrahan, project manager for the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Free event in Yakima for growers Sept. 21 on intellectual property management

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

Lynnell Brandt, left, president of Proprietary Variety Management, discusses licensing and grade standards of Cosmic Crisp apples during a field day in September in Quincy, Washington. At right is Ines Hanrahan, project manager for the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) A free Intellectual

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New version of UC Produce Facts app released

August 15th, 2017|0 Comments

UC Davis logo The Postharvest Center at the University of California, Davis has released a new version of its “UC Produce Facts” app for Android devices. The app, which joins an iOS version released in January, includes storage recommendations, maturity and quality indices, and physiological and physical disorder

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Steinbach named Michigan Apples dietician

August 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Michigan Apples Logo The Michigan Apple Commission has named Shari Steinbach the official dietician of Michigan Apples. Steinbach is president of Shari Steinbach & Associates and previously worked as a dietician for major retailers in the Midwest, including Meijer for 26 years. In those roles, she managed consumer

Report: European apple forecast down 21 percent

August 11th, 2017|0 Comments

The World Apple and Pear Association is forecasting a 2017 European apple crop that will be 21 percent less than the previous year.  The association expects the crop at 9.34 million metric tons, or 489 million 42-pound cartons, according to a news release. Of the total crop, about 324 million cartons

  • Freshly washed cherries roll through the packing process at Blue Bird, Inc.'s, Wenatchee, Washington facility on June 16, 2017. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Big cherry crop came with surprises

August 10th, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest cherry growers produced a record crop this season, but they’ll be looking for ways in the offseason to improve fruit size and quality next year following complaints that some of the fruit didn’t meet the industry’s usual high standards.

  • Mario Miranda Sazo, right, and Jaume Lordan, both from Cornell University, discuss the need for irrigation in high-density apple systems in an organic GoldRush block at Bittner-Singer Farm in Appleton, New York. (Kate Prengaman/Good Fruit Grower)

Lake Ontario Tour shows wide range of New York tree fruit farming

July 12th, 2017|0 Comments

The only consistency on the Lake Ontario Fruit Program tour this summer was the humidity. Otherwise, the five-farm tour organized by Cornell University Cooperative Extension covered a remarkably diverse swath of tree fruit farming in a narrow band along Lake Ontario’s shores: new high density apple plantings and apple orchards far older than this reporter, along with high density peaches, berries, and a brand new cidery.

IFTA seeks new management and staffing proposals

July 5th, 2017|0 Comments

The International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) seeks proposals from individuals or management companies to provide executive management and staffing functions effective no later than January 1, 2018.   This Request for Proposals has information on the scope of services requested as well as relevant deadlines and timelines. Interested parties may

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Oregon State to fill 2 vacant hort positions

June 19th, 2017|0 Comments

Oregon State University will hold two meetings this summer to discuss the filling of two vacant horticultural positions in the extension program.  The Hood River County spot was previously held by Steve Castagnoli, who is now the director of Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, also in

Amazon purchase of Whole Foods a sign of big disruption in food retailing

June 16th, 2017|0 Comments

America’s grocery stores are undergoing tremendous change. Profits face downward pressure. Consumers are buying more from outside of traditional supermarkets. Online purveyors such as Blue Apron are on the rise. Two big German chains are expanding their presence in the U.S. Then there’s Amazon, the online juggernaut that has turned its

Chelan Fresh, Columbia Valley Fruit enter agreement

June 13th, 2017|0 Comments

Six weeks after announcing a merger with another fruit company, Chelan Fresh has entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Columbia Valley Fruit of Union Gap, Washington. Under the agreement, Chelan fresh will be the exclusive marketer of Columbia Valley Fruit’s organic and conventional apples. The fruit will be marketed

  • Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower Ismael Torres, center, a Stemilt supervisor, oversees a crew of H-2A laborers thinning Gala apples in June in Quincy, Washington. Torres has noticed H-2A workers more easily adjust to the teamwork required by platforms than local workers, who prefer to work solo on ladders. “If the group works together, they can make more money,” Torres said. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

L.A. Times: Trump promised a ‘big beautiful door’ in his border wall. California farmers are ready and waiting

May 25th, 2017|0 Comments

From the Los Angeles Times: More than 11,000 foreign guest workers like Betancourt were approved last year to harvest the lettuce, fruit and vegetables for California’s $47-billion agricultural industry — a fivefold increase from 2011, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of U.S. Labor Department data. If this year’s

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Ag groups respond to Trump’s proposed budget

May 24th, 2017|0 Comments

Here is an ongoing roundup of responses to President Donald Trump's federal budget proposal, which was released Tuesday, May 23. Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance: “We are very disappointed to see the President’s budget, released yesterday, call for draconian cuts, or even total elimination of programs that are important to

What’s hiding in your orchard?

May 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

A survey of cherry viruses in Oregon has turned up none that are new to the Pacific Northwest, which is a good thing. However, at least two new viruses, and possibly a third, have been detected in Oregon for the first time — and two of the three could have a significant impact on cherry production if not controlled.

FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshops

April 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Registration for the Washington State FSMA Water Quality Testing Workshops is now open. The Washington State Tree Fruit Association will host two workshops in collaboration with the Western Center for Food Safety (WCFS) from UC Davis, the Northwest Horticultural Council and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, on May 9 in Yakima and May 11 in Wenatchee.

  • Young Apple Leaders meet with Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.).

Growers, packers meet with lawmakers

March 29th, 2017|0 Comments

Members of the Washington Apple Commission and Columbia Fruit Packers were among a group of apple industry leaders from across the country who met with members of Congress on March 23 in Washington, D.C. The meetings were part of the U.S. Apple Association's annual fly-in. Todd Fryhover and Lindsey Huber

Yakima pear handler nominations set

March 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Yakima, Washington, handler position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927. The position will be filled at the Fresh Pear Election Meeting at 2 p.m. on April 27 at the Washington State Fruit Commission (105 S. 18th Street, Yakima, WA 98901).

A new, old bee

March 21st, 2017|0 Comments

From high in the Tien Shan Mountains of Central Asia, Washington State University entomologists Steve Sheppard and Brandon Hopkins have brought home semen from a new strain of honeybees that evolved right alongside the wild apple tree.

Disaster loans available in Pennsylvania

March 16th, 2017|0 Comments

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced eligibility for disaster loans related to a frost and freeze in Pennsylvania in April 2016. Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations located in Pennsylvania. The declaration

Mulch madness at Oregon soil workshop

March 16th, 2017|6 Comments

David Granatstein of the Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources speaks at a soil health workshop on March 16, 2017, in The Dalles, Oregon. TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower At a soil health workshop organized by Oregon State University in the Dalles, Oregon, several speakers

Wasps released to eat stink bug eggs

March 15th, 2017|0 Comments

A Trissolcus japonicus parasitoid wasp lays eggs inside brown marmorated stink bug eggs at the USDA-APHIS Quarantine Facility in Corvallis, Oregon. Photo courtesy of Christopher Hedstrom Brown marmorated stink bugs show no signs of stopping their advance in the Pacific Northwest. But last fall, Oregon launched the first

Mercer Canyons settles H-2A lawsuit

March 9th, 2017|0 Comments

A Central Washington farm that grows tree fruit and wine grapes has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit related to its use of H-2A workers. Mercer Canyons, located south of Prosser, Washington, was sued in U.S. District Court by two domestic employees for failing to inform them

Safe spaces the focus of Ag Safety Awareness week

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

The theme of this year's Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week is "Get Out of My Space!" The week runs from March 5-11. The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, is urging respect for the safety spaces around hazardous farm equipment and tasks. Grain

Medford fresh pear handler nominations set

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

An election for the Fresh Pear Committee handler position for Medford, Oregon, will be held March 28 in Medford, Oregon. The election for the two-year term will be at 2 p.m. at Naumes, Inc. (2 W. Barnett Street) in Medford. The position is held by Laura Naumes, with Mike Naumes and Gerald May as first and second

  • Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are ready for harvest at Cold Creek Vineyard in 2015. The vineyard has 132 acres in Cabernet clones. “We know clones bring different attributes that can contribute to different wines,” says vineyard manager Joe Cotta. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Wine grape research seminar set for April 19

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

Registration is open for Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology, a research-focused seminar designed for grape growers and winemakers. The research day is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Clore Center in Prosser, Washington. The seminar will be sponsored by the Washington State Wine Commission and

WSU to host event on climate’s effect on grapes

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

In the Pacific Northwest, the warm spring and summer of 2016 led to the earliest and largest harvest on record, followed be one of the toughest winters in recent years.  Washington State University researchers are finding that the lengthy cold-snap has caused more bud damage than expected. What can we expect for the 2017

  • Grape irrigation near Sunnyside, Washington on June 11, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The key times in the growing season when water is most critical to grapevine development are in the spring, at bloom, during fruit set and during compound bud development.

Spanish irrigation workshop set for Hood River

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

An irrigation management workshop in Spanish is scheduled for March 29 in Hood River, Oregon. The event has been organized to educate Spanish speaking agricultural workers on comprehensive irrigation water management for improved fruit production and responsible water use. The workshop, which is free, will be from 9 a.m. to

Pear handler election set for Wenatchee, Washington

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Wenatchee, Washington, district position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927. The position will be filled at the Washington Pear Marketing Association meeting at noon on March 28 at the Washington Apple Commission conference room. The Apple Commission is located at 2900

  • Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are harvested at Klipsun Vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA near Benton City, Washington on October 10, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Washington wine grape harvest sets record

March 1st, 2017|0 Comments

Washington state's wine grape harvest set a record in 2016, according to the Washington State Wine Commission's Annual Grape Production Report. The report shows the 2016 harvest totaled 270,000 tons, an 18.9 percent increase over 2014, which was the previous high. Red varieties accounted for 58 percent of the total harvest, with

Washington wine fundraiser nets $145,000

February 24th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation raised more than $145,000 at its Feb. 8 fundraiser event in Kennewick, Washington. The foundations supports the wine industry by advancing research, education, and leadership.  More than 300 people involved in the Washington wine industry attended the event, made possible by support from Northwest Farm Credit Services, Wine

  • Mike Robinson talks to IFTA participants about his partial, tilted shade cloth in one of his Mattawa, Washington, apple blocks. The smaller size and tilt helps Robinson protects against sunburn and hail. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

ITFA Day 3: “From Bud to Bin”

February 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

Mike Robinson talks to IFTA participants about his partial, tilted shade cloth in one of his Mattawa, Washington, apple blocks. The smaller size and tilt helps Robinson protects against sunburn and hail. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The second day of tours for the International Fruit Tree Association’s 60th annual

  • With snow falling heavily, Scott McDougall talks to one of the IFTA groups visiting his Legacy Orchards ranch in the Wenatchee, Washington area on February 20, 2017. McDougall said he’s planning blocks for a future that includes automated harvesting technology. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

First day of IFTA tours focuses on the future

February 21st, 2017|0 Comments

  The first day of orchard tours at the International Fruit Tree Association’s 60th annual conference in Washington featured a central theme: the future. Washington is the top producer of apples in the United States, with a diversified mix of more than 30 commercial varieties grown today, on more than

Growers needed for cherry index chart survey

February 6th, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest Cherry Growers Washington State University and Oregon State University are looking for growers to complete a survey regarding the development of an index chart for Pacific Northwest dark sweet cherries. To participate in the survey, go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/cherrycolor

  • Jupiter grape variety the Washington State Viticulture Field Day in Prosser, Washington on August 13, 2015. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

NGWI picks 13 board members, 3 officers

February 6th, 2017|0 Comments

Jupiter grape variety the Washington State Viticulture Field Day in Prosser, Washington on August 13, 2015. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Thirteen board members and three officers were elected at the National Grape & Wine Initiative annual meeting last week in Sacramento, California. The group is made up of

Arkansas fruit breeder Moore dies at 85

January 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Jim Moore Jim Moore, a longtime fruit breeder, who was influential in the tree fruit industry died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, at age 85, according to a news release from the University of Arkansas. Moore, who held a doctorate from Rutgers University, established the fruit breeding program at

Sweethearts beat Bings in 2016 cherry shipping numbers

January 27th, 2017|0 Comments

For the first year ever, Bing was not king. In 2016, Northwest cherry growers shipped more Sweetheart cherries than any other variety, including the historically dominant Bing, according to a board of directors update from the Washington State Fruit Commission. The Northwest cherry industry shipped 3.49 million 20-pound box equivalents

  • Participants in the International Fruit Tree Association New York Study Tour saw lots of orchards with fire blight in them alongside the roads of Orleans and Monroe counties. (Dave Weinstock/Good Fruit Grower)

New webcast talks about fire blight resistance to antibiotics

January 25th, 2017|0 Comments

The Plant Management Network has released a new web presentation called “Fire Blight and Streptomycin Resistance.” The webcast covers the biological mechanisms of fire blight and its history of growing resistance to streptomycin antibiotics. The presentation also discusses management techniques such as: overwinter pruning, copper spraying and canker treatments; in-season

Empire State Producers Expo: Thursday wrapup

January 19th, 2017|0 Comments

A hard cider tasting wrapped up one of the final sessions of the Empire State Producers conference on Thursday in Syracuse, New York. Cortni Stahl, a Cornell enologist and cidery owner pours samples. Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower When placing the end post of your orchard trellis system, think

  • Recent research shows that Riesling and other white wine grape varieties may benefit from an irrigation strategy that uses partial root-zone drying. Courtesy Jack Kelly Clark, University of California Statewide IPM Program)

Grape and wine research review rescheduled for Jan. 30-31

January 18th, 2017|0 Comments

The Washington State Grape and Wine Research Program’s research review has been rescheduled for January 30 and 31 at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington. The research review features 28 presentations by viticulture and enology researchers. They will share findings and pitch new research proposals to

Empire State Producers Expo: Wednesday wrapup

January 18th, 2017|0 Comments

A sparsely attended but lively discussion about H-2A guest workers highlighted Wednesday’s proceedings at the Empire State Producers Expo in Syracuse, New York. One New York apple grower complained during the question and answer portion of a labor session that New York State labor officials force them to hire bad

Empire State Producers Expo: Tuesday wrapup

January 17th, 2017|0 Comments

Craig Kahlke, Cornell University fruit quality management extension specialist, helps New York apple grower Kevin Bowman draft his food safety plan Tuesday at the Empire State Producers conference in Syracuse, New York. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) No more theory. No more hypothetical examples. Four apple growers, as well

Empire State Producers Expo: Monday wrapup

January 17th, 2017|0 Comments

Elizabeth Bihn About 50 farmers, many of them apple growers, took one of their first official first steps toward complying with the intricate U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act regulation called the Produce Safety Rule at a workshop Monday in Syracuse, New York. “You have successfully completed 112.22(c),” said

Washington state expands apple maggot quarantine area

January 10th, 2017|0 Comments

After finding apple maggot in the southeastern corner of Lincoln County, the Washington State Department of Agriculture has expanded its quarantine area to include the area. The quarantine prohibits the movement of homegrown or foraged fruit from the quarantined area into a pest-free area. WSDA held public meetings as part

Public input requested on labor practices charter

January 6th, 2017|0 Comments

The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association are seeking public input on a draft framework for responsible labor practices in the fresh produce and floral supply chains. The boards of the two groups established a joint committee last year to look into the issue amid growing interest in

GMO Arctic Apple gets new logo and higher profile

January 5th, 2017|0 Comments

Okanagan Speciality Fruits continues to raise the profile of its genetically modified Arctic Apples with a new marketing logo and test marketing of its packaging at select stores. Arctic Apples logo As a genetically modified organism,  Arctic Apples are controversial within the fruit industry and more broadly with certain environmental

Mercer to be honored with Rising Star Award

January 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Rob Mercer, owner of Mercer Estates Winery, will be honored with the Rising Star Award from the Pasco, Washington, Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. Mercer is a graduate of Washington State University and served in the U.S. Marines before returning to work on the family’s farm in the

  • Karen Lewis, WSU tree fruit regional extension specialist, gives Rob Blakey, the extension’s most recent hire, a tour of several orchards around Pasco, Washington, in mid-October. TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower

Finding the right people

December 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Orchards and packing houses aren’t the only places in the fruit industry with a labor shortage. Universities also are struggling to hire researchers and educators needed to keep the industry ahead of pest pressures, prepared for food safety requirements, growing new varieties and in tune with emerging technology.

U.S., New Zealand win WTO ag dispute with Indonesia

December 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

A World Trade Organization settlement panel on Dec. 22 ruled that Indonesia’s restrictions on horticultural products, animals and animal products are inconsistent with WTO rules. The dispute, which was filed by the United States and New Zealand, sought to address trade barriers that restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables;

Pazazz hits market early

December 21st, 2016|0 Comments

Pazazz, a new apple variety from Honeybear Brands, was expected to hit stores early. The apple was expected in grocery stores in the second week of December, with availability through February, according to a news release. The variety is in its third year of commercial production. “(It’s) already showing incredible potential

Trinka, Veliquettes honored at Great Lakes Expo

December 16th, 2016|0 Comments

Dave Trinka is presented with a distinguished service award from Michigan State Horticultural Society president, Kurt Dowd at the 2016 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo (GLExpo). (Courtesy GLExpo) Dave Trinka and twin brothers Gene and Dean Veliquette, were honored by the Michigan State Horticultural Society

Washington horticulturalist Fred Valentine dies

December 12th, 2016|0 Comments

Fred Valentine in a 2015 file photo. (Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower) Fred Valentine, a longtime field horticulturist and former president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, died December 4. He was 81. Valentine was born in Tennessee, and his family moved to Peshastin, Washington, when he was a child.

WSTFA annual meeting — Wednesday wrapup

December 7th, 2016|0 Comments

Hermann Thoennissen: Get the stakeholders together, develop a farm transition plan and be consistent about updating it every year. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Farm transfer planning and lending were the topics in one Wednesday morning session about “Future Farmers” at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association annual meeting

  • Bill Evans (Courtesy Evans Fruit Co.)

Industry giant Bill Evans dies

December 6th, 2016|0 Comments

Bill Evans (Courtesy Evans Fruit Co.) Bill Evans, co-founder and president of Evans Fruit Co., died early Tuesday morning. He was 87. His death was confirmed to the Yakima Herald-Republic by his daughter, Vicki Loges. Founded in 1949, Evans Fruit started with a 10-acre apple orchard on Naches Heights,

Introducing our Spanish website

December 1st, 2016|0 Comments

I’m pleased to announce that Good Fruit Grower has launched a Spanish language website, goodfruit.com/es. There you’ll find translations of articles from past issues, new essays by researchers and others and videos of horticulture experts. All in Spanish. The Spanish site follows months of discussion and collaboration with growers, researchers

  • 2016 annual meeting schedule

Washington annual meeting 2016 schedule

November 28th, 2016|0 Comments

The opening day of the 112th annual meeting will kick off at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2016. Early packet pick-up will be available Sunday between 2 p.m.  and 6 p.m. at the Wenatchee Convention Center, Wenatchee Coast Hotel and the Red Lion Hotel. Annual meeting registration will open

  • Washington Apple Commission logo

Washington Apple Commission board accepting nominations

November 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Barbara Walkenhauer The Washington Apple Commission is accepting nominations to replace Barbara Walkenhauer on the board of directors. Walkenhauer, the current chairwoman, has served nine years on the board and will not seek re-election when her term expires in March 2017, the Apple Commission said in a news

  • A honeybee in a Prosser, Wash., cherry orchard on March 3, 2015. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Orchard Bee Association meets Dec. 9 in Hood River

November 2nd, 2016|0 Comments

The Orchard Bee Association is meeting Dec. 9 in Hood River, Oregon. Here's their announcement: People who are interested in bees, particularly blue orchard bees, and the challenges they face can learn more at the 2016 International Orchard Bee Association Meeting on December 9, 2016, including the Pollinator Symposium and

November events of note

October 26th, 2016|0 Comments

While a lot of growers have their focus on the various regional horticulture expos and trade shows starting in December, there are quite a few interesting gatherings on the schedule in November. Here are some highlights in chronological order: • Agronomics: Vision for the Future runs from Nov. 7-11 in

Northwest Farm Credit Services gives positive report on region’s tree fruit and wine grapes crops

October 6th, 2016|0 Comments

Northwest Farm Credit Services, the lending cooperative, reports a positive outlook for tree fruit and wine grape growers in its latest Market Snapshot.  Here’s the report for tree fruit: Apples – Most apple producers are optimistic for new-crop quality and pricing. After last year’s 114.6 million box crop, the new

  • Malbec grapes, known for their dark, inky color and robust tannins, need lots of sun and heat to ripen. The variety is one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of Bordeaux wine. Photo credit: Melissa Hansen

Washington Winemakers Mike Wallace and Scott Pontin, RIP

October 3rd, 2016|0 Comments

Two prominent Washington State winemakers have died in recent days. The Yakima Herald reports that Mike Wallace owner of Hinzerling Winery and one of Prosser's original winemakers, died over the weekend after complications from pneumonia. And Scott Pontin, 53, died Monday, reportedly from a heart attack. He was the owner and winemaker

  • USDA logo

FDA awards Pennsylvania $6.3 million FSMA grant

September 27th, 2016|0 Comments

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced  that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture  received a $6.3 million grant from the Food & Drug Administration to share the administration and enforcement costs for the Food Safety and Modernization Act produce safety rule.  The money will allow the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to

  • Apple maggot fly

State finalizes rules to kill maggots before shipping compost

July 8th, 2016|0 Comments

Washington state regulators have finalized special permit requirements for composters seeking to transport feed stocks outside the apple maggot quarantine area. Apple maggot fly The state Department of Agriculture today (July 8) released its “Guidance for Requesting a Special Permit.” The state requires the special permit to prevent

  • USDA logo

July 1 is deadline for USDA producer grants

June 13th, 2016|0 Comments

Growers who might be interested in building a cidery or a packing facility or a processor or a grower-owned co-operative looking to expand or build operations to produce value-added products should look into USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grants. USDA allotted $44 million this year to kick-start efforts to generate new agricultural

Pear growers again hold the line on marketing assessment

June 1st, 2016|0 Comments

For the fifth year straight, the assessment charged to growers for the federal marketing order for processed pears will remain at $7 per ton. Gem pears at the Oregon State University Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River Oregon in 2013. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The

  • California Specialty Crops Council logo

California council schedules June MRL workshop

March 10th, 2016|0 Comments

The California Specialty Crops Council will hold its 2016 MRL Harmonization Workshop June 1-2 in San Francisco. The interactive seminar based on maximum residue levels (MRLs) will address critically important issues for stakeholders with interests in exporting agricultural products. Registrants, growers, packers, shippers, PCAs, regulators, trade experts, and other stakeholders

  • wsda logo

Washington growers can dispose of unwanted pesticides in May events

March 8th, 2016|0 Comments

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has schedule two events for growers to dispose of unwanted pesticides. Here's the announcement: Currently, the WSDA Waste Pesticide Program has scheduled two unusable/unwanted pesticide collection events this spring. These events are located near Yakima on Tuesday, May 17 and near Pasco on Thursday,

  • Wine Industry Foundation logo-2

Wine Foundation scholarships deadline is March 15

February 24th, 2016|0 Comments

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is offering over $30,000 in scholarships for undergraduate and post-graduate students studying viticulture, enology or related disciplines. All applications are due March 15 with awards for the 2016-2017 school year awarded by May 15. New This Year:  The Bill Powers Travel Sabbatical Thanks to the family and

  • Seneca logo

Seneca Foods buys Diana Fruit Co.

February 17th, 2016|0 Comments

Seneca Foods Corporation said today that it has purchased Diana Fruit Co.  Seneca said the purchases represented "a significant commitment to the cherry industry."  Seneca is a public company based in Marion, New York.  Diana Fruit, one of the leading providers of maraschino cherries and fruit cocktail cherries, is based

  • IFTA conference logo

Consumers will not tire of new varieties, Washington grower tells IFTA conference

February 10th, 2016|0 Comments

Fruit growers need look no further than the beverage aisle at their local convenience store for inspiration. That’s according to Jeff Cleveringa, one of the speakers today (Wednesday) at the International Fruit Tree Association conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Consumers will not tire of new fruit varieties anytime soon, said

IFTA growers feel the big chill in Grand Rapids

February 10th, 2016|0 Comments

The word of the day Tuesday, Day 4 of the IFTA conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was brrr. Third-generation grower and parttime rock musician Gunnar Nyblad discusses some of his orchard blocks Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, during the IFTA conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Describing a Honeycrisp pruning experiment:

Growers visit plots of cherries and apples during IFTA conference

February 7th, 2016|0 Comments

Traverse City, Michigan, grower Leonard Ligon discusses how fruit and leaf buds protrude from a mechanically hedged branch on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, at the Michigan State University Clarksville station apple research block during an IFTA pre-conference tour. The conference and tours continues in Grand Rapids through Friday. (Ross

IFTA conference opens in Grand Rapids, celebrates “moneymaker” apple varieties

February 6th, 2016|0 Comments

Wanda Heuser Gale of International Plant Management polishes and displays apples at the kickoff of the International Fruit Tree Conference on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A total of 275 people attended the first event, a pre-conference intensive workshop about growing Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp apples.

Washington Association offers Spanish language training workshops

February 4th, 2016|0 Comments

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association is hosting a series of educational training workshops in collaboration with its industry partners, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L & I), Washington State University Extension and sponsors. The sessions are intended for Spanish speakers,

  • Allan Bros logo

Gamache Vineyard sold to Allan Brothers

January 27th, 2016|0 Comments

Naches, Washington-based Allan Brothers Incorporated announced the purchase of Gamache Vineyard near Basin City, Washington, today. The purchase of the White Bluffs area vineyard will be the second major wine grape investment by Allan Brothers in the past two years. In a release from Allan Brothers, the prominent tree-fruit grower

  • Red Delicious apples days before harvest in Selah, Washington on August 31, 2015. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Mexico to impose duties on U.S. apples

January 6th, 2016|0 Comments

The Mexican government is imposing provisional duties on most U.S. apple exports, beginning Jan. 7, as its investigation continues into an antidumping complaint brought by growers in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua. Exports of Red Delicious apples will be affected by Mexico decision (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Mexico

  • Scott Jack received a Gator from Kyle Dillon, right. (O. Casey Corr/Good Fruit Grower)

Readers win GFG prizes

December 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

Scott Jacky, left, received a Gator from Kyle Dillon. (O. Casey Corr/Good Fruit Grower) Scott Jacky, manager of orchard operations for Valley Fruit in Wapato, Washington, won the Great Gator Give-A-Way contest co-sponsored by Wilbur-Ellis and Good Fruit Grower. Scott received his 2015 John Deere Gator TX 4X2 from Kyle Dillon,

Funds issued for more farmworker housing in Washington State

December 3rd, 2015|0 Comments

The state of Washington today awarded the Washington Growers League $3 million to build a seasonal farmworker housing complex in Mattawa, Wash., while another Washington labor organization is making plans for its own farmworker housing facility. The funding for the Growers League’s 120-bed facility is part of $50.1 million worth

  • Malbec grapes, known for their dark, inky color and robust tannins, need lots of sun and heat to ripen. The variety is one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of Bordeaux wine. (Melissa Hansen/Good Fruit Grower)

Wine grape growers invited to meetings on pest management plan

November 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Representatives from Oregon’s wine grape industry are collaborating to create a Pest Management Strategic Plan to document current pest management challenges and needs within the industry and to create a cohesive plan for focusing the industry’s time, money and energy in the future. The group is gathering regional input and

  • Kachess Lake (Courtesy Ricardo Martins)

Senate panel approves $92m for Yakima Basin water plan

November 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Kachess Lake (Courtesy Ricardo Martins) A massive plan to improve irrigation for growers who tap the Yakima River system passed a major hurdle when a Senate panel approved $92 million in funding. The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Nov. 19 approved a bill authorizing funds

New “alien” wasp found in Washington State; could be bad news for stinkbug

October 23rd, 2015|1 Comment

A female Trissolcus japonicus parasitoid wasp emerging from parasitized Halyomorpha halys eggsat the USDA-APHIS Quarantine Facility, Corvallis, Oregon. (Courtesy Christopher Hedstrom, Oregon State University) Washington State University has announced the discovery in Washington State of a wasp from Asia that eats the eggs of the brown marmorated stinkbug. The

  • WA 38 -- Cosmic Crisp

24 specialty crop proposals in Wa State receive $4.1m

October 16th, 2015|0 Comments

The Washington State Department of Agriculture says that it will award approximately $4.1 million in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The 2015 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant will fund 24 projects managed by WSDA in partnership with other organizations. Washington ranks second

  • The report states that "Retail organic food sales increased 11.2 percent in 2014. Organic fruits and vegetable sales increased 11.7 percent and were 36 percent of all organic food sales." Source Organic Trade Association, Nutrition Business Journal. (Courtesy Washington State University)

WSU reports on growth in organic tree fruit

September 14th, 2015|0 Comments

Retail organic food sales increased 11.2 percent in 2014. Organic fruit and vegetable sales increased 11.7 percent and accounted for 7 percent of all fruit and vegetable sales. (Courtesy Washington State University) Organic apples grown and packed in Washington state in the 2013-14 season had a total f.o.b.

WAEF honors Shindler as volunteer of the year

August 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Mallory Shindler Mallory Shindler is a volunteer of the year The Washington Apple Education Foundation has named Mallory Shindler its volunteer of the year in recognition of the many ways she supports the foundation. Shindler, who is relationship support manager with Rabo AgriFinance in Richland, Washington, said she

  • Des Layne

Des Layne takes new WSU position in Pullman

August 26th, 2015|0 Comments

Des Layne Dr. Desmond Layne, hired by Washington State University three years ago as its tree fruit extension leader, has moved from Wenatchee to the Pullman campus to take a new administrative position affective September 1. Layne has been named director of the Agricultural and Food Systems and

C&O Nursery restructures management

August 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Todd Snyder The board of C&O Nursery in Wenatchee, Washington, has restructured management of the company. Todd Snyder, formerly company secretary, succeeded Jack Snyder as president and chief executive officer. Jack remains chair of the board. Shad Snyder was named vice president, and Gary Snyder took Todd’s place

WA Supreme Court: Pay farm workers for rest breaks

July 16th, 2015|0 Comments

The Washington Supreme Court today ruled that piece-rate workers must be paid separately for rest breaks. The Yakima Herald Reports: OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Piece-rate farm workers must be paid separately for rest breaks, the state Supreme Court said in a ruling issued this morning that is expected to drastically change

We’re on the road with IFTA’s Regional Tour in WA State

July 16th, 2015|0 Comments

Good Fruit Grower has a team covering the International Fruit Tree Association's 2015 Regional Summer Tour in Washington State. We'll have forthcoming reports on our web site and in our print magazine. You can catch live tweets from the tour this week on our Twitter account at https://twitter.com/goodfruitgrower The tour ends

Northwest cherry growers have shipped a record 15.2m boxes

July 8th, 2015|0 Comments

Through July 6th, Northwest cherry growers have shipped 15.2 million 20-lb. boxes of fruit. That's 21 percent more than the previous record and 124 percent more than the 15-year industry average. Here's the report issued yesterday by B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers:   Through yesterday, July 6th, the

China’s ag agency says yes to all varieties of U.S. apples

May 26th, 2015|1 Comment

(TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower photo illustration) The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that China's agriculture regulatory agency has allowed access for all U.S. apple varieties, according to a news release today from Northwest Fruit Exporters. Phytosanitary certificates for export will be available after USDA has updated their phytosanitary export

Growers League opens farmworker housing

May 6th, 2015|0 Comments

Congressman Dan Newhouse, left, learns about farmworker housing from Mike Gempler of the Washington Growers League during a tour of the Brender Creek housing complex in Cashmere, Washington on May 6, 2015.(Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower) U.S. Congressman Dan Newhouse took the opportunity to visit the new Brender Creek

USDA Approves Record-Breaking Purchase of Apples

April 29th, 2015|0 Comments

US Apple Association today issued the following news release:  Vienna, Va. - April 29, 2015 - The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will officially announce today that the US Apple Association’s (USApple) request for a bonus buy of fresh apples and processed products has been

Another record harvest for wine grapes

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

Washington State’s 2014 wine grape harvest was the largest on record and posted the third consecutive year of growth, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Washington grape growers produced 227,000 tons last year, up 8 percent from the previous year. “We’re in a period of strong growth,” said Steve Warner,

Apple specialist retires

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

Leslie Huffman, apple specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, retired March 1. She joined OMAFRA in 1981 and worked in fruit and vegetable extension and as the weed management specialist for horticultural crops. Since 2008 she has been the province’s apple specialist. She was a

Judge blisters EEOC for "frivolous" case against growers

March 20th, 2015|0 Comments

A federal judge has issued a blistering critique of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the agency had brought a lawsuit against growers that was “baseless, unreasonable and frivolous.” The decision on March 18 by U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea ordered the EEOC to pay attorneys’ fees, expenses and

Crab apple pruning demos

March 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

Two pruning demonstrations have been scheduled this month to help orchardists understand how to prune Manchurian crab apple trees in order to be eligible to export apples to China. The Chinese apple market, closed between 2012 and 2014 due to fruit infection caused by two postharvest rots, recently reopened. The

WSU will add to tree fruit faculty

February 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Des Layne TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower Washington Stat e University plans to hire several new faculty over the next couple of years to work specifically on issues important to the tree fruit industry. The university is interviewing three candidates to fill the position of Extension Specialist Tim Smith, who

WAWGG honors grape industry members

February 17th, 2015|0 Comments

Kevin Corliss Several long-time industry members were honored for their decades of growing, industry involvement, and advancement of Washington State’s wine grape industry during the annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. Kevin Corliss, who’s spent his career working to improve, expand, and enhance the

Stark Bro’s testing new apple Scarlet Star

February 13th, 2015|0 Comments

Scarlet Star is being offered to growers by Stark Bro’s, which will add it to its catalog this year. Richard Lehnert/Good Fruit Grower Stark Bro’s Nurseries and Orchards Company is testing a new apple, named Scarlet Star, that was discovered as a whole-tree mutation in an orchard in

WSU’s Tim Smith honored for 40 years of distinguished service

December 4th, 2014|0 Comments

From left, Dr. Mike Willett, Tim Smith, Paul Tvergyak and Brooke Peterson at the 2014 Hort Show in Kennewick, Washington on December 2, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Washington State University extension specialist Tim Smith has received the inaugural Washington Tree Fruit Distinguished Service Award for his significant

Distinguished Service Award: Harold Thome

November 28th, 2014|1 Comment

The Thome family poses for a portrait. The new building in the background will house CA storage rooms next year. From left are Steve, JoAnn, Harold, and Mitch. (Richard Lehnert/Good Fruit Grower) Harold Thome is old enough to remember his dad packing apples into barrels for shipment to

Sweet Rosa Lynn

November 28th, 2014|1 Comment

José Ramirez, from Stein Manzana Orchards, with his 6-year-old daughter RosaLynn standing in front of the first apple tree of the same name at his orchard near Royal City, Washington on November 03, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The new apple variety Rosa Lynn is named after the

Growers of distinction

November 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Casey Corr Sixteen times a year, Good Fruit Grower’s cover shows a gorgeous photograph or painting of something related to the fruit industry. It could be a closeup of an apple, a winter orchard crusted in ice, a vineyard near sunset, or cherry trees in bloom. But once

Hort Council appoints information specialist

November 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Drew Toop will join the staff of the Northwest Horticultural Council as regulatory information specialist on December 8. Toop, who grew up in the Yakima, Washington, earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Chinese Language and Culture from Washington State University in 2012. He has spent time in Taiwan and

Tree fruit groups do well with new MAP funding

November 20th, 2014|0 Comments

The nation’s tree fruit organizations fared well in 2015 funding allocations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program. Ten organizations representing tree fruit will receive more than $16 million of the $173 million allocated to help expand export markets. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the MAP funding allocations

Daniel Symms, 1961-2014

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

Dan Symms (Courtesy Symms Family) Daniel Thomas Symms, great-grandson of the founder of Symms Fruit Ranch in Caldwell, Idaho, died from cancer on October 7. He was 52. Symms grew up on the Symms Fruit Ranch until his father, Steven Symms, was elected to the U.S. Congress in

Growers sought for Piqa pears

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

PiqaBoo is a new pear that combines attributes of European and Asian pears(Prevar Limited) The New Zealand company Prevar is looking for orchardists in North America who would like to grow new Piqa brand pear varieties developed in New Zealand. Prevar commercializes fruit varieties bred by Plant and

New organization to promote Australia’s horticulture industry

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

A new organization called Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited has been formed to replace Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and undertake research and development and marketing efforts to support Australia’s $9.5 billion horticulture industry. The move follows a recent independent report into the performance of HAL that recommended a change to a

RosBREED extended with new SCRI grant of $10 million

November 6th, 2014|0 Comments

Ten million dollars in new funding will transform the RosBREED project from a research program devoted to genetic discovery into a more focused, practical phase of breeding fruit crops resistant to diseases. The new funding comes from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Spread over five years, the funding will bring

USDA Announces Loss Adjustment for Late Apple Harvest

November 6th, 2014|0 Comments

Multi-Peril Crop Insurance policyholders are getting an extension because of the delayed maturity of apple crop this year. The USDA put out the following press release:   SPOKANE, Wash., Nov. 5, 2014 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced an extension of the insurance period for apple Multi-Peril Crop Insurance

Schlect: Elections aftermath

November 5th, 2014|0 Comments

● Greg Walden (R/Oregon) should be happy today. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee sheparded his flock of candidates to a significant national victory in yesterday's mid-term election. However, the delegation from the Pacific Northwest did manage to stand pat, with the only change being in the 4th District

John Daniel Gebbers, 1930 – 2014

October 31st, 2014|0 Comments

  John “Danny” Gebbers (Courtesy Gebbers family) John “Danny” Gebbers, 84, patriarch of the Gebbers family that has been growing apples near Brewster for more than 100 years, died October 21 of complications from a fall last summer during the region’s forest fires. Gebbers Farms, with more than

China opens to Washington State apples

October 29th, 2014|2 Comments

Red Delicious apples. (Courtesy Tracy Hebden, LRPS.)   Good news came to Washington’s apple industry today when U.S. Department of Agriculture officials announced the immediate reopening of China’s market to Washington Red and Golden Delicious apples. It’s good timing as growers are wrapping up harvest of the largest

United Fresh endorses Newhouse

October 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

United Fresh Produce Association,  the national trade association for the fresh produce industry in Washington, D.C., has endorsed Dan Newhouse who is running in Washington's Fourth Congressional District. "We are proud to join a number of our pro-business partners from across the district in supporting Dan's efforts to represent the

Obama goes without Congress on immigration reform

June 30th, 2014|0 Comments

President Barack Obama will announce today his plan to use executive authority to move on immigration reform. Obama has said the immigration system is broken and that he will use administrative powers to move on issues where Congress has not acted. Reuters has the story. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack

Warmest spring in 20 years ends with hottest May since 1997

June 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

Washington State has been warm, the warmest spring in 20 years, says AgWeatherNet meteorologist Nic Loyd. And also amazing: Washington saw one of its coolest early growing seasons in 2011, only to see a dramatic increase in 2014. The temps have been especially helpful for cherry growers, who this year are

Goodbye, Washington Growers Clearing House; hello, Tree Fruit Association

June 13th, 2014|0 Comments

Kirk Mayer Board members of the Washington Growers Clearing House will hold their last meeting of the association’s 73-year history in August. In a mail ballot, its members overwhelmingly approved the board’s recommendation to dissolve the association and consolidate with other industry groups to form the new Washington

Northwest cherry growers gain airlift capacity into Shanghai

June 11th, 2014|0 Comments

Northwest cherry growers gained airlift capacity into China with the launch today of weekly service between Seattle and Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines.  The new service serving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will carry more than 400 metric tons of cherries to China from Northwest shippers. In addition, China Eastern runs an

Washington Gov. Inslee kicks off 2014 cherry season

June 6th, 2014|0 Comments

Washington Governor Jay Inslee, left, is given a tour of a new cherry packing line at Washington Fruit and Produce Co. by company president Rick Plath on June 6, 2014, in Yakima, Washington. The state-of-the-art cherry line was in its third full day of operation. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Knock wood. NW cherry crop still looking big

May 21st, 2014|0 Comments

The Northwest’s cherry crop remains on track to be the third biggest crop in history. Northwest Cherry Growers held their five-state cherry commission meeting on Wednesday and largely validated a previous forecast of nearly 20 million boxes expected this year. Forecasts can be proven wrong by surprises such as rain

WSU researcher wins educator award

May 16th, 2014|0 Comments

Washington State University researcher, soil scientist and teacher, John Reganold, was named the 2014 Food and Farm Educator by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Berkeley Food Institute on May 14. Reganold is one of four 2014 Growing Green Award winners from the two groups that include livestock,

Quick Bites for April 15, 2014

April 15th, 2014|0 Comments

Jon Alegria Barbara Walkenhauer Apple Commission appoints officers Barbara Walkenhauer of Selah succeeded David Douglas as chair of the Washington Apple Commission at the board’s annual meeting in March. Jon Alegria of Yakima was appointed vice chair. Walkenhauer and Alegria were reappointed to the board for

Mayer named Apple Citizen of the Year

March 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Washington Apple Blossom Royalty (from left) Princess Caroline Dahl, Princess Nikara Morgan, and Queen Roslyn Thompson surprise Kirk Mayer with the Apple Citizen of the Year award.(Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower) Kirk Mayer, manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, has been named Apple Citizen of the Year

Bee expert to retire

March 18th, 2014|0 Comments

Dr. Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist with University of California, Davis. The California State Beekeepers Association has presented a special recognition award to Dr. Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist with University of California, Davis, for 38 years of work and support. He will retire in June. Mussen was born in

Cracked dam in WA causes scramble for water

March 14th, 2014|0 Comments

This photo of the Columbia River at Vantage shows the effects of the drawdown of the Wanapum Dam. (Courtesy Grant County Public Utilities District) With the frost protection season looming, Washington fruit growers who have been left high and dry because of draw downs in sections of the

Washington Apple Commission revises roles in handling market access issues

March 14th, 2014|0 Comments

The Washington Apple Commission gave a nod of approval during its annual meeting in March to changes in how responsibilities for international market access issues are divided between the Northwest Horticultural Association and Northwest Fruit Exporters. The original memorandum of understanding between the organizations, adopted in 1998, gave NFE responsibility

David Geen named Outstanding Grower by IFTA

February 26th, 2014|0 Comments

David Geen KELOWNA, B.C. -- British Columbia orchardist David Geen was named Outstanding Grower of the Year by the International Fruit Tree Association at its annual meeting here this week. Geen owns Coral Beach Farms, near Kelowna, B.C., where he has 400 acres of cherries, making him the

Grape growers recognize industry leaders

February 14th, 2014|0 Comments

The Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers recognized Rick Hamman for his viticultural skills and presented him with its Erick Hanson Memorial Grower of the Year Award. Hamman has assisted Washington grape growers since 1999 when he left Colorado State University as extension viticulturist to join Hogue Cellars in Prosser.

Speedy grafting tools

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

Ian Adams of Scionon, Ltd., Hastings, New Zealand, and Matt Moser of Moser Fruit Tree Sales, Inc., Coloma, Michigan, have agreed to partner in the United States and Canada in the distribution and marketing of Scionon (pronounced “scion on”) grafting tools. Scionon tools are designed to allow unskilled operators to

GRAS2P record-keeping

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

The Washington State Horticultural Association and ApRecs have teamed up to offer growers and packers access to a spray record and food-safety documentation system that includes interactive forms and updates for the association’s GRAS2P program. GRAS2P (Growers Response to Agricultural Safe and Sustainable Practices) is a program designed to help

Fruit legends star in minimovies

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

Howell at the Moon Productions has released two new short documentaries on the legendary Washington fruit growers Grady Auvil and Tom Mathison. Gee Whiz: The Apples of Grady Auvil tells how Auvil pioneered the Granny Smith apple, Rainier cherry, and Fuji apple in the United States. Tom Mathison: The Growing

Wine foundation honored

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation was named a benefactor last month during the fundraising Washington State University Foundation Gala in recognition of its high level of giving to the university. The Wine Foundation has partnered with WSU in many projects and has been an advocate for research funding and development

Give feedback on crop insurance

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Agriculture will hold listening sessions in February to get feedback from specialty crop growers on the effectiveness of the crop insurance programs available to growers. Judy Olson, director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Washington, said as the

Top 5 global wine trends

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

A survey of 115 international wine trade professionals, commissioned by ProWein, an international trade fair of wines and spirits, points to five major developments in the next 20 years: 1 Consumers, not producers, will rule the wine industry in 2034. The global wine industry will need to be more responsive

Michigan Apple Queen crowned

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Elizabeth Wittenbach of Belding (right) was crowned the 2014 Michigan Apple Queen, and Emily Webster of Paw Paw is first runner-up. (Richard Lehnert/Good Fruit Grower) Elizabeth ­Wittenbach of Belding was crowned the Michigan Apple Queen for 2014, and Emily ­Webster of Paw Paw is first runner-up. The contest

Oregon Cherry Growers promotes Weeden

January 21st, 2014|0 Comments

Danny Weeden (Courtesy Almquist Studios) Grower-owned cooperative Oregon Cherry Growers has announced the promotion of Danny Weeden, ten-year company veteran, to the role of executive vice president, general manager, and chief financial officer. Weeden, who was the cooperative’s vice president and CFO, will manage operations in addition to

Jim Archer named 69th Cherry King

January 13th, 2014|0 Comments

BJ Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, crowns Jim Archer as the 69th Cherry King on Jan. 10, 2014 in Yakima, Wash. Courtesy James James Michael Congratulations to Jim Archer, the 69th Cherry King selected by Northwest cherry growers at the annual Cherry Institute meeting in Yakima, WA.

NFE’s Archer retires

January 13th, 2014|0 Comments

Jim Archer Good Fruit Grower file After leading the Northwest Fruit Exporters for 20 years, Jim Archer retired at the end of 2013. Fred Scarlett replaced Archer in early January. Today, NFE is responsible for managing cherry and apple export programs required by the foreign countries of Japan,

No ban on small cherries

December 19th, 2013|0 Comments

Dr. Desmond O’Rourke speaking in Wenatchee, Wash. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Washington’s fresh cherry packers will continue to be allowed to ship 12-row red cherries, members of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee decided at their meeting in early December. The committee commissioned economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke to study

Feedback wanted on Washington’s consolidation plan

December 6th, 2013|0 Comments

Four Washington tree fruit industry organizations will consolidate next summer, and the question now is how best to do it, Robert Kershaw told members of the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting. “People keep asking me what are the odds of this coming together,” he said. “It’s a

Last Bite: What are they talking about?

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

1 “Our biggest fear was jettisoning good fruit.”  —Paul Koch a. Overzealous inspector b. In-field sorting c. Nondestructive fruit quality detector d. Ozone generator 2 “The gee-whiz factor runs cold pretty quickly.”  —Sanjiv Singh a. Autonomous vehicle b. Robotic harvesting c. Granny Smith d. Yield scout 3 “The key was keeping it very simple so if there’s an

Fernandez and Mullinax join Good Fruit Grower

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Yakima, WA -- Maria Fernandez and T.J. Mullinax have joined Good Fruit Grower magazine as Circulation Manager and Digital Producer, respectively, Managing Editor Casey Corr announced today. Based in Yakima, Washington, Good Fruit Grower is the nation’s leading tree-fruit and wine-grape grower publication, circulating to 50 states and 50 countries.

In The Box

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Chloe Underwood likes her apples whole. Apple cruncher Dear Good Fruit Grower: Chloe is the daughter of my daughter, Andrea, and her husband, Kyle Underwood. Their little family of three is currently living with me and my wife, Kathy. This is a true story about Chloe. Every year

First Bite: A new, digital chapter

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

O. Casey Corr Welcome to the Good Fruit Grower issue themed on technology. On that topic, I’d like update readers on how we’re using digital tools to serve growers better. Good Fruit Grower began in print in 1946. The magazine moved into the digital age in 1996 when

Nominate a wine legend

October 30th, 2013|0 Comments

The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington, is inviting nominations for the 2014 Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame. Candidates should have made contributions and commitments to the Washington wine industry and must have been involved in the industry for at least 25 years. Nominations are

Produce shipper recognized for community support

October 30th, 2013|0 Comments

Dewight Hall of Columbia Fresh Produce receives the Medallion Award from Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman.Courtesy of Columbia Fresh Produce Columbia Fresh Produce, Inc., a fresh fruit and vegetable shipper based in Walla Walla, Washington, was one of five companies that recently received a Medallion Award from

Benbrook appointed to Organic Center's new board

October 30th, 2013|0 Comments

Dr. Chuck Benbrook, an agricultural economist with Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been appointed to the Organic Center’s new 24-member Science Advisory Board. He is the only one located in the Pacific Northwest. The center’s mission is to conduct research on the benefits of

Underwood retires after 45 years

October 28th, 2013|0 Comments

Chuck Underwood and his wife Marcia celebrate his retirement.Columbia Marketing International Chuck Underwood, domestic sales representative for Columbia Marketing International LLC, recently retired after 45 years of service to the produce industry. Underwood’s career in the produce world began in the late 1960s at the Washington Growers Clearing

Russian retailers see Washington harvest

October 25th, 2013|0 Comments

Vavya Glushkova, import purchasing manager for a Russian retail company, was one of five Russian retail representatives who visited Washington State to learn about the tree fruit industry. Produce buyers from five Russian retail chains, who came to Washington State this week to learn about the tree fruit

Preparing for change

October 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Italian pomologist Dr. Stefano Musacchi strides ahead of field day attendees before his inaugural talk as an endowed chair at Washington State University at the Sunrise Research Orchard in Wenatchee, Washington on August 7, 2013. Musacchi is an expert on the biaxis tree training system and will work on

David Mas Masumoto to address Tilth meeting

October 4th, 2013|0 Comments

Fourth-generation California farmer David Mas Masumoto and his daughter Nikiko will be keynote speakers at the annual conference of Tilth Producers of Washington at the Yakima Convention Center, November 8–10. Masumoto is an organic peach and grape grower and author of the 1995 book Epitaph for a Peach. The theme

Fall events scheduled at the Clore Center

October 4th, 2013|0 Comments

This Millennium Edition Harley-Davidson could be yours for $100 if you draw the winning raffle ticket. Two events scheduled in November at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center will help raise funds for the educational center being built in Prosser, Washington. Biker Rally Raffle Party, November 1

Lutz returns to Washington’s apple industry

September 23rd, 2013|0 Comments

Columbia Marketing International, a grower-shipper of apples, pears, and cherries in Wenatchee, Washington, recently hired marketing and produce industry veteran Steve Lutz as vice president of marketing. The position has been vacant since April when Bob Mast was promoted to President of CMI. Lutz, born and raised in Wenatchee, was

Rabo AgriFinance grows Washington staff

September 11th, 2013|0 Comments

Greg Loudon Rabo AgriFinance has added to its western and eastern Washington State financing team through the addition of two newly appointed senior relationship managers. Greg Loudon is senior relationship manager in central Washington; Jon Vander Kooy is manager in western Washington. Loudon comes to Rabo AgriFinance with

USDA’s Ramming inducted in Hall of Fame

September 11th, 2013|0 Comments

U.S. Department of Agriculture For 38 years, Dr. David Ramming was responsible for breeding new varieties of table and raisin grapes and stone fruit for commercial production. For his important contributions to industry, which resulted in some 40 new fruit varieties, Ramming was inducted into the U.S. Department

Citizen scientists needed to count stinkbugs

September 10th, 2013|0 Comments

Courtesy David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ The scientists working to conquer brown marmorated stinkbug are looking for homeowner volunteers in the Mid-Atlantic States to count stinkbugs. They want these citizen scientists to count the number of stinkbugs they see on the exterior of their homes once a

Winery showcases estate fruit

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Kerry Shiels began as Côte Bonneville’s winemaker in 2009, after getting her master’s from the University of California, Davis, and working harvests for five different wineries in California, Australia, and Argentina.by Melissa Hansen/Good Fruit Grower Hugh Shiels had one reason for expanding from wine grape grower to winery

Universities collaborate

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Kari Peter, the new plant pathologist at Penn State, will serve fruit growers in three states.by Richard Lehnert Three eastern universities have agreed to work together to coordinate their hiring of faculty members serving fruit growers. Informally called the Mid-­Atlantic Fruit Consortium, it’s built on a memorandum of understanding

Universities collaborate

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Kari Peter, the new plant pathologist at Penn State, will serve fruit growers in three states. by Richard Lehnert Three eastern universities have agreed to work together to coordinate their hiring of faculty members serving fruit growers. Informally called the Mid-­Atlantic Fruit Consortium, it’s built on a memorandum of understanding

WSU to interview tree fruit physiologists

August 19th, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State University will interview three candidates in September for a new tree fruit physiology position based at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. The new researcher will focus on physiological mechanisms of tree fruit issues, such as fruit set and disorders. The candidates are: Dr. Jozsef

Apple Commission promotes Trovato

August 16th, 2013|0 Comments

Danelle Trovato. Danelle Trovato, export assistant with the Washington Apple Commission for the past five years, will transition into the position of export trade specialist. She will succeed Chris Scott who left the commission at the end of July to become general manager of NORPAC Industries, a frozen

OSU celebrates 100 years of ag service at Hood River

August 9th, 2013|0 Comments

OSU president Dr. Ed Ray speaks during the centennial celebration at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Oregon State University's Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center celebrated its 100-year anniversary August 8 in Hood River, Oregon. The celebration included a

Crunch Pak hires Sargent as CEO

August 6th, 2013|0 Comments

Scott Sargent has experience in supply chain management.Courtesy of Crunch Pak Scott Sargent has been appointed chief executive officer of Crunch Pak, a major sliced apple processor and marketer based in Cashmere, Washington. Sargent was previously manager of supply chain purchasing for the 1,700-restaurant chain Chick-fil-A in Atlanta,

Scott leaves Apple Commission

August 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Chris ScottWashington Apple Commission Chris Scott, export trade specialist for the Washington Apple Commission for the past four years, left the commission on July 31 to take a position as general manager of NORPAC Industries, a frozen food processor in Quincy, Washington. The company has more than 300

Good Stuff

August 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Closer receives registration Dow AgroSciences has received federal registration of its sulfoxaflor insecticide, sold under the brand name Closer, which is designed to control sap-feeding insects, such as aphids, in tree fruits and other crops. It is the only insecticide available for specialty crops that is classified in Group 4C,

The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an NOSB board member. The antibiotic oxytetracyline will no longer be approved for use on organic

First Bite

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

As the Northwest cherry season draws closer, for the first time in six or seven years I am thinking that the 2013 harvest has the potential to begin during the first days of June. If you’ve ever seen the movie Money Ball, you know the premise of determining a “winning”

Good Stuff

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Book of secrets Karin Argo of Zillah, Washington, is selling the second edition of her popular The Secrets of Eastern Washington Cookbook. Argo, who grew up on an apple, cherry, and pear orchard in Yakima, said she wrote the book as a way to showcase agriculture in central Washington. It

Quick Bites

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

New cherry bulletins, videos Two new publications on cherry production and several sweet cherry videos covering training systems and pruning are available free to growers. Cherry Orchard Establishment in the Pacific ­Northwest (PNW 642), written by Lynn Long and Clive Kaiser, Oregon State University extension educators, discusses factors to consider

Yakima Valley AVA turns 30

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON WINE COMMISSION The Yakima Valley American Viticultural Area, established by the federal government on March 23, 1983, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In this issue, Good Fruit Grower begins an in-depth look at Yakima Valley’s early roots in the wine industry. Subsequent stories will focus on

Food Alliance’s future uncertain

May 1st, 2013|0 Comments

A lack of funding has forced the Food Alliance to suspend its operations, though its licensed producers will be able to use the eco-label through the end of the year. The Food Alliance, based in Portland, Oregon, established its sustainable food certification program in 1997 with the goal of helping

Trends in organic tree fruit

May 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State University’s sustainable agriculture specialist David Granatstein keeps tabs on organic tree fruit production statistics, compiling charts and graphs from data supplied by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The most recent statistics from 2012 show the following trends: Apples Certified organic acreage declined in 2012 to 13,655 acres.

Cornell releases wine grape varieties

April 15th, 2013|1 Comment

LEFT: Aromella is very cold hardy, with no trunk damage seen at ­ -16°F. RIGHT: Arandell is highly resistant to powdery and downy mildews and botrytis bunch rot.PHOTO BY JASON MOORE, CORNELL CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY ENTERPRISE AND COMMERCIALIZATION Cornell University has released two new wine grape varieties—a cold-hardy

Meet Washington State’s new agriculture director

April 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Bud Hover’s road to directorship of the Washington State Department of Agriculture began in 1938 when his mother and her family loaded their belongings on a truck and left North Dakota, headed west at 35 miles per hour. Hover calls it a scene from The Grapes of Wrath. His mother

WSU seeks licensee

April 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State University’s Research Foundation, which owns the new WA 38 apple, has issued an “announcement of opportunity” inviting individuals, companies, or cooperatives that are interested in managing the variety to submit proposals. The successful applicant will have an exclusive license to manage the commercialization of the variety but will

Students tackle tree fruit issues

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Two north central Washington high school students got their first lobbying experience when they participated in the annual Tree Fruit Day at the Washington State legislature in Olympia. The two Cashmere High School students, Danielle Morrison and Heather Powell, both in the eleventh grade, attended Tree Fruit Day as part

Tree fruit program revived

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Although Leo Garcia is best known in the tree fruit industry for championing education programs for Hispanic workers, he’s also been dedicated to enhancing agricultural programs overall at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State. He has worked hard to revive the college’s tree fruit production program, for which he is

Another Geneva mixup

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

For the second time in as many years, there has been a stumble along the road to bringing the new Geneva rootstock, G.214, to growers' orchards. Cornell University horticulturist Dr. Terence Robinson confirmed that a mixup in rootstock material will mean a delay of about one year in the introduction

An educator who teaches hope

April 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Leo Garcia has been honored for his dedication to helping ­Hispanic people in the tree fruit industry to reach their full potential through education. Garcia, director of bilingual agricultural education programs at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, Washington received the Latino Leadership Award from the Washington State Horticultural Association. Karen

Project objectives

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Five specific objectives for the ­Integrated Crop Pollination ­project are: Identify economically valuable pollinators and the factors affecting their abundance. Develop habitat management practices to improve crop ­pollination. Determine performance of alternative managed bees as specialty crop pollinators. Demonstrate and deliver ICP ­practices for specialty crops. Determine optimal methods for

Bee Care Center

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Bayer CropScience has begun construction of its North American Bee Care Center at its headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The center is to be a gathering place for researchers, bee experts, students, and other visitors to meet with Bayer scientists with the goal of promoting and protecting bee

WA 38 will have a name

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

The commercialization plan for WA 38 will be different than for its first release, WA 2. Washington State University is finalizing a plan for how its ­second apple variety, WA 38, will be commercialized. The university will send out an “announcement of opportunity” (similar to a request for proposals) inviting

Conserving wild pollinators

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY ANN FRAZIER Cornell University has a new publication called Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them, compiled by Cornell’s Mia Park with seven coauthors from Cornell, Penn State, and the Xerces Society. The 20-page publication describes the habits of major wild bee

Good job

March 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Cherry blossoms being protected by ice during an early April cold snap. ­­Cherry orchard owned by Andy and Sheila Slinkard, located near Basin City, Washington. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHEILA SLINKARD Drip irrigation developer wins World Food Prize Last year, Dr. Daniel ­Hillel, an Israeli soil ­scientist, joined an exclusive club

Extension leader has ambitious goals

March 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Dr. Des Layne, Washington State University’s new and first tree fruit extension team leader, began work on February 1 with no modest ambition in mind. “I am eager to help the WSU folks raise the profile of their online presence, to add new content, and to create the highest quality

WSU Grape irrigation bulletin

February 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State University Extension has released a new irrigation manual for vineyards, clarifying irrigation options and strategies for juice and wine grape producers in Washington State. “Irrigation Basics for Eastern Washington Vineyards” is the title of the bulletin that seeks to help growers better understand what’s behind grape irrigation. Two

New managing editor hired for Good Fruit Grower

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Casey Corr Casey Corr has a rich background in business journalism and print publications, and his broad range of skills should help him lead the Good Fruit Grower into a new era of electronic media while keeping a keen eye on quality educational and editorial content. During the 1980s, Corr

New winery adds capacity

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Grapes are piped overhead from the crush pad on the right into the winery for processing. Notice the abundance of windows and full-length glass doors that take advantage of natural lighting. Photos by by Melissa Hansen The “wow” factor is often used to describe sleek, luxury cars and new electronic

First Bite—Farewell

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Jim Black I retire as managing editor as of February 1, having served Good Fruit Grower for over 20 years. Getting to know so many of you has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I think you grow wonderful, healthy, great-tasting fruit, but it’s not the

Zirkle Fruit moves into wine

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

The two 50-ton grape presses came from Italy and fit perfectly when put in place on the concrete pad. Photo by Melissa Hansen The idea for the new Zirkle Wine Company custom crush facility in Prosser, Washington, evolved over several years, Mark Zirkle says. “The idea for a winery was

Good Stuff

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

The iconic blue FFA jacket, worn by more than four million young agricultural leaders since it was introduced in 1933, turns 80 this year. A community-centered program launched in 2008 by Syngenta and its retailer partners, has raised more than $2.6 million for the national organization. Syngenta matches every $2,500

Quick Bites

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

British are Smitten Prevar Limited has licensed the rights to grow, market, and sell the Smitten apple in the United Kingdom to Worldwide Fruit Limited and Empire World Trade ­Limited. Smitten (PremA17 cultivar) was bred by Plant and Food Research in New Zealand, which is contracted by Prevar to breed

Good to Go

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

IPM academy focuses on shifting weather patterns Michigan State University is offering fruit growers a two-day workshop that focuses on integrated pest management practices that will help them adapt to shifting weather patterns. The 2013 Integrated Pest Management Academy will take place February 19-20 at the Okemos Conference Center in

Good Stuff

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Molded fruit Chinese businessman Steven Ding is selling plastic molds that can transform round or pear-shaped fruit into weird and wonderful shapes while they’re growing on the tree. Ding said this type of mold was invented by a Chinese farmer a few years ago, and he has been collecting differently

Auction benefits research

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State’s wine industry will receive a big windfall this year when the Auction of Washington Wines contributes nearly $250,000 for grape and wine-related research and education. The donation was given to Washington State University for the viticulture and enology program. About $100,000 will be dedicated to research, with the

  • The red trait, which is common in crab apples and ornamentals, produces flesh colored anywhere from pink to deep red. Skin color and flesh color are inherited separately, so yellow apples can have red flesh. Photos courtesy of IFORED

Red-fleshed apples

January 15th, 2013|5 Comments

The red trait, which is common in crab apples and ornamentals, produces flesh colored anywhere from pink to deep red. Skin color and flesh color are inherited separately, so yellow apples can have red flesh. Photos courtesy of IFORED Next Big Thing’s last big thing was the SweeTango apple. Now,

End of the line

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Growers Credit Corporation board members and staff leave their last board meeting. Pictured are (from left) Bob Petersen of Manson, Gary Roberts of Oroville, former manager Steve Joy, office manager Nancy Baker, Roger Hodgson of Omak, Gene Handley of East Wenatchee, and Floyd Stutzman of Wenatchee. Board members of the

Spooked by the weather

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Most fruit growers have trouble accepting the idea that human-caused climate change is occurring. They prefer to think recent weather events are just part of a long, mysterious, and continuing cycle. What’s happening now has happened in the past—and it’s just normal. What goes around comes around. Still, there is

Ladders on the run

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Photos courtesy of John Maher It was the “elegant, gorgeous shape” of wooden orchard ladders that first struck artist John Maher. As the concept took shape in his mind, he thought about Christo’s Running Fence art installation in California in the 1970s, and visualized a hundred brightly colored orchard ladders

Hort awards and recognition

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

The following fruit industry members were honored during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in December. Silver Apple George Allan, a partner at the fruit growing and packing operation Allan Brothers in Naches, Washington, received the Silver Apple Award. Allan grew up in Naches and earned a degree in

Juice grape crop down in 2012

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State produced an estimated 174,000 tons of juice grapes in 2012, down from its ten-year average of 193,000 tons, according to Trent Ball, director of the vineyard and winery technology ­program at Yakima Valley Community College. Washington is the nation’s leading Concord and Niagara grape producer, typically producing about

New player enters Concord juice deal

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

The last berries of a Concord grape delivery make their way from the receiving station to the de-stemmer. Photo by Melissa Hansen The Concord grape juice industry, though known for up and down swings in production, is a stable one, with little change from year to year in acreage numbers

Good Job

January 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Cherry co-op names new president Oregon Cherry Growers, Inc., a member -owned fruit cooper­ative, named Timothy Ramsey as its new president and chief executive officer. Ramsey, with experience leading companies and launching new products, was most recently chief operations officer for La Terra Fina USA. Before that, he was vice

Last Bite: Cox pipped out by Gala

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Cox’s Orange Pippin is a firm, juicy, full-flavored apple with an orange-red skin and cream-colored flesh. Photo by Jacqueline King, WSU Cox’s Orange Pippin—Britain’s favorite apple for 150 years or so—has been usurped by Gala, one of its grandchildren. It’s not because Gala is a better apple, British journalist Michael

Organic trade association seeks input

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

The Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association’s proposal to establish a federal organic research and promotion order. One such forum will be held during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon

Cost of growing Reds

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

A new economic study from Washington State University estimates the variable costs  of producing Red Delicious in a mature orchard at $6,436 per acre and fixed costs at another $2,804. On top of that, the grower would pay $12,862 in packing charges, assuming a net yield of 59.50 bins per

Newest AVA

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Cameron Fries of White Heron Cellars was one of several who worked to create the new Ancient Lakes AVA. Photo courtesy of White Heron Cellars When the first wine grapes were planted in Washington State’s newest American Viticultural Area more than 30 years ago, the new crop looked out of

Washington-Chile partnership

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Washington State fruit growers and packers Gebbers Farms of Brewster and Chelan Fruit Cooperative have purchased a 50-percent stake in four fruit-producing companies in Angol, Chile. All are partners in a new company called Chilean South Apples, or CHISA. Reggie Collins, chief executive officer of Chelan Fruit Cooperative, says the

GAO report documents, but doesn’t fix, H-2A

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Adding new fuel to the growing fire over farm labor reform, the Government Accountability Office issued a report in September describing the H-2A program as time-consuming, complex, and challenging. While there are an estimated 1.5 to 1.75 million migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the United States each year, H-2A supplied

Good Point: Real estate activity by region

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Beginning in late 2011 and continuing into 2012, there’s been increased real estate activity in the Pacific Northwest, driven by strong fruit prices and expansion within the tree fruit sector. However, in Michigan, there have been few sales of orchard properties in the lake shoreline region the past three years,

Nursery trees are selling fast

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Strong prices for apples during the past few seasons have prompted a spurt in orchard renewal and expansion, tree nurseries report. Demand for certain varieties and rootstocks is such that nurseries are taking orders for trees that will be planted as far out as 2020. Washington nurseries should have a

Borton Fruit turns 100

December 1st, 2012|1 Comment

Members of the Borton family currently involved in the business are (left to right): Andy Birley (fourth generation), Katie (Borton) Birley (fourth), John Borton (third), Richard Borton (second), Eric Borton (fourth), Bill Borton (third), Byron Borton (fourth). Inset: Founder Byron Sarver Borton (far right) and three sons (right to left)

Information is key

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

As incoming president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, Jeff Cleveringa hopes to strengthen the association’s role in keeping growers informed. For over a century, the association has held its annual meeting each December to apprise growers on the latest issues and research. Cleveringa said the meeting still serves an

Vineyard and winery courses go online

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Yakima Valley Community College, through a national science grant, is transitioning its vineyard and winery educational program to an online and hybrid format to better serve its student community. Four classes are now available online, and ten are offered in a hybrid format. Catherine Jones was hired in September 2010

Planning for continued success

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

David Douglas will hand over the presidency of the Hort Association to Jeff Cleveringa during the association's annual meeting in Yakima, December 3–5. Those are among the reasons why the main theme of the association’s annual meeting, December 3 to 5, will be succession planning, says David Douglas,

Good Stuff

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

New Zealand’s Tow and Blow Tow and Blow is a portable wind machine developed in New Zealand by engineer Kim McAulay. He used to import wind machines from the United States but designed his own portable machine to address some of the ­inefficiencies he experienced with the ­stationary versions. Wind

Classes for Hispanics

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Wenatchee Valley College will offer two employee educational programs for the 2012-2013 academic year—level one of its Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program and level one of a similar viticulture program. The orchard program will be taught at the Wenatchee campus and at the Grandview campus of the Yakima Valley Community

Des Layne joins WSU

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Desmond Layne Washington State University has appointed Dr. Desmond Layne, a professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, to the new position of tree fruit extension team leader. He will start his new job on February 1. The position was created after Washington apple and pear growers voted

New director

November 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Soil Scientist Dr. Rich Koenig has been appointed associate dean and director of Washington State University Extension. He was formerly chair of WSU’s department of crop and soil sciences. He succeeds Dr. Randy Baldree who served as interim associate director of WSU Extension from June 2011 until September this year.

U.S. cider takes U.K. honors

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Snowdrift cidery makes several blends of cider and perry. Perry is made from pears.Geraldine Warner Peter Ringsrud used to grow picture-perfect Red and Golden Delicious apples at his East Wenatchee, Washington, orchard, but found little profit in it. After a 25-year interval working as an engineer, Ringsrud returned

Honeycrisp moves into top six

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

For the first time, Honeycrisp will make the list of the top six apple varieties produced in the United States this year. The rank order of the top six U.S. varieties, by bushels, is Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp, Mark Seetin, director of regulatory affairs

Apple pricing will be challenging this year

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

U.S. apple growers will market a smaller-than-average-size crop this year, but pricing the product won’t be easy, and there are penalties for making the wrong choices early in the season. “Don’t lose October,” admonished Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group, speaking to attendees at the U.S.

Fireblight expert retires

October 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse. Geraldine Warner For almost 20 years, Dr. Larry Pusey has been focused on researching a single problem—­fireblight. As Pusey, 60, retires this month as plant pathologist with the

Good to know: WSU releases WA 38 apple

September 1st, 2012|2 Comments

The latest release from WSU, WA 38, is an eye-catching, large, dark red apple with a remarkably firm, crisp, and juicy texture. It also has exceptional flavor with ample sweetness and enough tartness to impart real character. When it comes to the combination of taste, texture, and beauty, WA 38

Good to Know: A gem of a pear

September 1st, 2012|0 Comments

US 71655-014 has been tested in Hood River, Oregon, for ten years, and is expected to be released soon. A new fireblight-resistant, European pear selection bred by Dr. Richard Bell at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia, is expected to be released soon.

Good Stuff

August 1st, 2012|0 Comments

New cherry sorters Rick Lancaster said Chelan Fruit’s new cherry grader will help ensure that only firm cherries go to export markets. Chelan Fruit Cooperative has about 600 year-round employees, but needs an additional 1,000 packing house workers during the cherry season. It installed a new cherry grader

Canned pear assessment drops

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Northwest pear growers will pay a reduced assessment on canned pears in the coming season. The rate will drop from $7.33 per ton to $7.00 per ton. The new rate was approved at the annual meeting of the Processed Pear Committee in Portland on May 30. The rate includes $5.50

Canadians will reduce pressure to eliminate plum pox

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Plum pox-infected trees will ultimately produce low yields of deformed, mottled fruit. The virus is detected through testing, so symptomatic fruit is seldom seen. In the “usual” journalistic process, reporters find expert sources and ask questions, then ask additional questions as the answers dictate. This process did not

Canning pear price set for Pacific Northwest

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

The price for processing Bartlett pears grown in the Pacific Northwest has been set for the next three years. The two remaining Northwest processors that buy pears on the cash market—Del Monte Foods and Northwest Packing (part of the Neil Jones Food Company)—will pay $260 a ton for field run,

Bob Koehler promoted by Pear Bureau

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

The Pear Bureau Northwest has promoted Bob Koehler to lead regional marketing manager. In this new position, he will serve as the liaison between Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau president, and the regional managers in territories throughout the United States and Canada. He will lead the development of fresh pear marketing

WA 2 update

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

WA 2 in 2011 at Quincy, Washington, with a crop of 79 bins per acre. Washington State University’s first new apple variety, WA 2, is in its second season of intensive industry evaluation (Phase 3). As in 2010, horticultural and storage performance was evaluated in the 2011 season,

Muscat plantings on the rise

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Muscat grape varieties, the hottest selling wines in America, have also been the hottest selling grape nursery stock. And while there’s been an uptick in Muscat plantings in Washington State, in general, the state’s wine industry is taking a cautious approach to the latest wine fad.

B.C. releases blush cherries

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Starletta blush cherries were bred in Summerland, British Columbia.Photo courtesy of PICO Cherry growers in British Columbia, Canada, have historically not been interested in blushed cherry varieties because of the fruit’s sensitivity to bruising and the difficulties of growing and packing it. In fact, it’s estimated that only

Succession of cherries

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s fruit breeding program at Summerland, British Columbia, is expected to release a new cherry variety later this year. SPC136  is a midseason red cherry that is said to be big (9.5 to 8.5 row) with excellent flavor and storage potential. Cherry varieties released by the breeding

Sustainable program for wineries launched

May 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Wine bottle corks are repurposed as mulch, an example of sustainable practices implemented at Snoqualmie Vineyards winery. Photo courtesy of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Winerywise, the free, online guide to ­sustainable winemaking and winery practices developed for Washington State’s wine industry, is ready for use. Educational outreach sessions are planned

New group begins work

May 15th, 2012|0 Comments

A new marketing and research group has consolidated the California cherry industry into one voice, says Chiles Wilson, chair of the new organization that became effective in early April. The California Cherry Marketing and Research Program supersedes the California Cherry Advisory Board, which had represented growers of Bing, Rainier, Van,

Niche product

May 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Sevin (carbaryl) will continue to be available for chemical thinning and pest control in tree fruits, says Dr. Jonathan Akins, director of regulatory affairs with the supplier Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. Tessenderlo recently bought Sevin from Bayer CropSciences. Akins said the company heard that rumors had been circulating that Sevin would

Growers vote on special assessment

April 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Washington State tree fruit growers will be asked to pay a special research assessment to strengthen research and extension programs at Washington State University. The university has launched a major fundraising campaign with a goal of raising a billion dollars overall to fund priority programs. Of the total, $42 million

Root2Fruit group will request research funding

April 15th, 2012|0 Comments

A group of scientists from around the country aims to develop new tree fruit rootstocks for the tree fruit industry with the goal of increasing orchard profitability. The group, which calls itself Root2Fruit, plans to submit a proposal in 2012 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for funding through the

Aiming for efficiency

April 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Almost $3 million in government funding earmarked for packing house improvements was announced January 27 at the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s annual convention at Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The province of British Columbia and the Canadian government are contributing $2.7 million to help modernize the Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative’s storage

WSU releases promising apple

April 1st, 2012|0 Comments

WSU’s newest variety, WA 38, is a cross of Enterprise and Honeycrisp. Geraldine Warner Washington State University has released a third apple ­variety and is discussing new ways to introduce this and future varieties to the state’s producers. The latest release, WA 38, is a cross of Enterprise and Honeycrisp,

Tree Fruit Day in Olympia

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Hort president David Douglas, left, and Jennifer Armen discussed tree fruit interests with Senator Linda Evans-Parlette in her Olympia office. Jim Black Thirty tree fruit industry members converged on the Wash­ing­ton State legislature on January 31 to meet with 66 senators and representatives about issues of critical importance to our

B.C. growers propose apple agency

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Kirpal Boparai, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers' Association, says his priority is to get money into growers’ pockets. Terry Edwards British Columbia, Canada, apple growers took an initial step towards establishing a national apple and promotion agency, and potential future regulated marketing, at the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association’s annual

New pesticide safety guide released

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Many practical ideas to solve everyday problems with pesticide handling have been invented and used by growers throughout Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, known as PNASH, studied these farm-bred and tested ideas and put them together in a new guide called Practical ­Solutions for Pesticide

Cherry committee up for renewal

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Michigan tart cherry growers will cast mail-in ballots between March 12 and March 25 to determine whether the Michigan Cherry Committee, which is organized under Michigan law to operate a checkoff program and conduct research and promotion, will continue to operate for another five years. The Michigan Cherry Committee is