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USDA announces $14 billion in coronavirus relief funds with expanded eligibility

September 18th, 2020|0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a second round of assistance for producers impacted by the pandemic on Friday, with more expansive eligibility. The $14 billion program now includes wine grape growers. The first wave of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that Congress passed in April offered $12 billion in

Courts uphold Michigan farmworker testing order

September 10th, 2020|0 Comments

On Sept. 9, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan approved dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to halt a state emergency order requiring COVID-19 testing for agricultural and food processing employees.  The dismissal on the part of the plaintiffs — two farms, True Blue Berry Management

Gebbers Farms testing shows low COVID-19 infection rate

September 10th, 2020|0 Comments

State-mandated coronavirus testing at Gebbers Farms has so far showed a relatively low infection rate among employees, which the Brewster, Washington, fruit production company says proves its disease prevention measures have worked. In late August, the Washington State Department of Health mandated the company test all of its employees after

Cornell releases three new apple varieties

September 3rd, 2020|0 Comments

Cornell AgriTech’s apple breeding program has released three new varieties. In a Sept. 2 news release, Susan Brown, professor and apple breeder, and Kevin Maloney, research specialist, announced the release of Cordera (NY 56), Pink Luster (NY 73) and Firecracker (NY 109). The new varieties will be open to all

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. and Yakima Fresh announce partnership

September 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

Two Yakima, Washington, fruit companies with over a century of experience each announced a merger of marketing operations this week. The new partnership, Washington Fruit Sales, will merge Yakima Fresh with the Washington Fruit and Produce sales team.  Marketing company Yakima Fresh was formerly a partnership of three Yakima-area fruit

California farmworkers receive donation of N-95 masks

August 27th, 2020|0 Comments

The California Fresh Fruit Association and California Farmworker Foundation announced in a news release they have distributed more than 50,000 N-95 masks and single-use surgical masks to agricultural employees across the Central San Joaquin Valley.  The organizations partnered with the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner, California Department of Food and Agriculture

Auction of Washington Wines raises over $1.74 million

August 20th, 2020|0 Comments

In its first-ever virtual event series, the Auction of Washington Wines raised more than $1.74 million, according to a news release from AWW. Proceeds from the events benefit Seattle Children’s, Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program research, and AWW.  “We are so grateful for the incredible show of support

Washington state mandates farmworker testing for coronavirus

August 20th, 2020|0 Comments

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has mandated that all agricultural employers “broadly” test their workers in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak and comply with another round of stringent protocols, while state health authorities have mandated one large tree fruit employer test every single employee. On Aug. 19, Inslee issued amendments

Wildfires hit Northwest fruit growing areas

August 18th, 2020|0 Comments

Firefighters have contained a 6,000-acre brush fire on a ridge near Yakima, Washington, that caused damage in some nearby tree fruit orchards, while crews battled other blazes nearby and in the Columbia Gorge region of Oregon. Officials deemed the Ahtanum Ridge Fire contained as of Aug. 17 and lifted evacuation

Fruit breeder David Cain honored for industry contributions

August 18th, 2020|0 Comments

David Cain The American Pomological Society awarded the 2020 Wilder Medal, its highest honor, to David Cain, founder and chief plant breeder of International Fruit Genetics. The medal recognizes Cain’s contributions throughout his 42-year career in fruit breeding, according to an IFG news release. Cain has developed or co-developed 94

WSTFA Annual Meeting and NW Hort Expo going online

August 14th, 2020|0 Comments

Citing concerns about coronavirus restrictions, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association announced in a news release its annual meeting will move online the week of Dec. 7.  According to the release, after much consideration, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, North Central Washington Fieldmen’s Association and Yakima Pom Club have

Interpoma announces online events

August 6th, 2020|0 Comments

Interpoma, the international fair dedicated to the world of apples, will be presented in a new hybrid format with both digital and in-person events, according to a news release from Interpoma. Originally scheduled to take place in Bolzano, Italy, in November, this year’s event, Interpoma Connects 2020: Digital Days for

Chile to take U.S. West Coast blueberries

August 5th, 2020|0 Comments

The government of Chile has agreed to accept imports of blueberries from Washington, Oregon and California, and will consider other areas, opening up potentially lucrative counter-season trade. On July 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, notified the North American Blueberry Council that

Great Lakes EXPO moves to virtual format for 2020

July 30th, 2020|0 Comments

The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO announced in a news release on July 30 it is moving the December event to a virtual format.  According to the release, after running various scenarios, discussing options and investigating every possibility, the Expo board decided the best way to fulfill

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Free tickets now available for Fruit Focus LIVE

July 30th, 2020|0 Comments

Here’s an opportunity to attend an industry event in Europe this year, at least virtually. Scheduled on Sept. 9 and 10, the Fruit Focus event has moved online to support the industry while there is still a threat due to the coronavirus, according to a news release.  “Although visitors may

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Meghan Swain named executive director for Cherry Industry Administrative Board

July 23rd, 2020|0 Comments

The Cherry Industry Administrative Board announced in a news release that Meghan Swain has been selected as the organization’s executive director, beginning Aug. 24.  According to the release, Swain brings to CIAB a background in nonprofit management, government relations and board organization experience. Most recently, she served as the executive

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Foundation donates to West Coast undocumented farmworkers

July 23rd, 2020|0 Comments

Drawing from private donations, a foundation connected to the United Farm Workers Union is distributing $500 prepaid debit cards to undocumented West-Coast agricultural employees affected by the coronavirus. The United Farm Workers Foundation, or UFW Foundation, plans to give away more than 21,500 cards to help alleviate the impacts of

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Dave Puglia to serve on Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee

July 22nd, 2020|0 Comments

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the appointment of Dave Puglia, Western Growers president and CEO, to serve on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee. According to a news release from Western Growers, Puglia will provide advice to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and

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WAEF scholarship students and sponsors celebrated in online campaign

July 20th, 2020|0 Comments

Instead of gathering together for the traditional scholarship celebration luncheons held each year, the Washington Apple Education Foundation is recognizing the organization’s scholarship recipients and donors with an online campaign that features a short video with heartfelt expressions of gratitude from some of their 320 current students.  “Given the current

WSTFA annual golf tournament scheduled on August 25

July 16th, 2020|0 Comments

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association announced its 27th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held August 25 at the Highlander Golf Course in East Wenatchee. According to a news release, the tournament format has been modified to be compliant with COVID-19 restrictions. Rolling tee times will start at 8

Christopher Gerlach to join USApple as director of industry analytics

July 16th, 2020|0 Comments

Christopher Gerlach The U.S. Apple Association announced Christopher Gerlach will join the organization as director of industry analytics.  According to a news release from USApple, Gerlach will assume the portfolio of longtime USApple team member Mark Seetin, who is currently a part-time employee and moving toward retirement. Seetin and Gerlach

Blueberries eligible for coronavirus relief payments

July 15th, 2020|0 Comments

Just as for apples, the federal government has changed its mind and made blueberries eligible for coronavirus relief funding. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the blueberry growers would be eligible for Category 1 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments.  In June, the USDA determined that apple and blueberry

Viticulture and enology degree offered at WSU

June 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Washington State University students can now earn a bachelor’s degree in viticulture and enology, according to a news release from WSU. The university’s board of regents approved the new degree in May, and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities gave the final approval to make the degree official. The

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WAEF scholarship recipient donates back with first paycheck

June 4th, 2020|0 Comments

Neftali Garcia A Washington Apple Education Foundation scholarship recipient has donated a portion of his first paycheck to the scholarship program that helped him earn his degree. Neftali Garcia graduated in May from Washington State University with a double major in fruit and vegetable management and landscape, nursery and greenhouse

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Pear Bureau Northwest will meet via webinar May 26–29

May 21st, 2020|0 Comments

The Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meetings will be held via webinar May 26–29. The meetings are open to all interested growers and other industry members. On Tuesday, the Fresh Pear Committee’s box weight and Anjou regulation subcomittees will meet. Wednesday will be the foreign trade committee meeting and Thursday will

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Washington Apple Education Foundation awards over $1 million in scholarships

May 15th, 2020|0 Comments

The Washington Apple Education Foundation announced its 2020 scholarship recipients in a May 15 news release. In total, the foundation is awarding more than $1 million to 310 students from Adams, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan, Walla Walla and Yakima counties in Washington state and in Oregon’s

Wine Foundation elects new board members

May 7th, 2020|0 Comments

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation announced in a news release the election of Erik McLaughlin, Kristina Mielke van Löben Sels and Alex Oh to the foundation’s board of directors. McLaughlin is CEO and managing partner at Metis. He has nearly three decades of experience in the fine wine and hospitality

CMI Orchards and Yakima Fruit form partnership

April 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

CMI Orchards LLC announced in a news release a new strategic partnership with Yakima Fruit and Cold Storage Co.  “With this partnership comes tremendous opportunity to increase our daily shipping capacity with the expansion of packing facilities and high-density acreage,” said Bob Mast, president of CMI, in the release. “This

Federal judge rules against Zirkle

March 10th, 2020|0 Comments

A federal judge has ruled against a Washington blueberry producer’s prevailing wage challenge and ordered the company to pay its workers their escrowed wages. Judge Salvador Mendoza determined last week that federal and state employment authorities did not act capriciously or arbitrarily last year when they raised the prevailing wage

  • Scholarship recipient Anahi Goninez shakes hands with Chris Willett, WAEF chair, at the organization’s awards luncheon in Yakima in late July. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

WAEF applications due March 1

February 7th, 2020|0 Comments

The deadline for Washington Apple Education Foundation scholarship applications is March 1. The foundation plans to grant more than $1 million in new and renewed college scholarships this spring.  Applicants must have a tie to Washington’s tree fruit industry to qualify: Either they have been raised in a family that

New pear geneticist hired

February 6th, 2020|0 Comments

Jessica Waite, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington State University, has been hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fill an empty pear research geneticist position. Jessica Waite Waite’s start date has not been determined, said Jim Mattheis, research leader at the Agricultural Research Service laboratory in Wenatchee. However,

Washington State University hires new extension specialist

January 17th, 2020|0 Comments

Jenny Bolivar-Medina Late last fall, Washington State University hired Jenny Bolivar-Medina for a new position on the tree fruit extension team as an information technology transfer specialist for horticulture. The position, based at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, is funded by the tree fruit industry endowment.

Washington Wine Industry Foundation opens 2020 scholarships

December 3rd, 2019|0 Comments

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation announced in a news release four scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students studying viticulture, enology or related disciplines. All applications are due March 31, 2020.  Scholarships include: —The Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Scholarship, created by growers and vintners dedicated to promoting education in

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

Identifying and managing phylloxera, a common grape pest that is popping up in Washington, dominated the presentations and displays Thursday at the 2019 annual meeting of the Washington State Grape Society in Grandview. An estimated 255 people attended Day 1 of the two-day gathering, which continues Friday at the Grandview Nazarene Church.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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,

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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