• 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,

Josh Heinicke, a young grower from Wenatchee, Washington

July 1st, 2019|0 Comments

https://youtu.be/4-7Uy5qsYwQ family background / Josh is the fourth generation of his family in farming and is the production supervisor at Columbia Fruit. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Josh is the son of Susan and Gus Heinicke. grower / Wenatchee, Washington age / 27 crops /

Michigan apple shippers combine forces

June 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Two Michigan apple shippers are joining forces on sales and marketing, BelleHarvest and Michigan Fresh Marketing announced in June. The combined sales force will represent about 150 growers and operate seven packing facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin, according to a news release from BelleHarvest, making it the second largest apple

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Arctic Fuji apple receives FDA approval

April 29th, 2019|0 Comments

The Arctic Fuji apple. (Courtesy Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.) Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., based in Summerland, British Columbia, announced its newest genetically modified, nonbrowning Arctic apple variety, Arctic Fuji, completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 26. Arctic Fuji is the

  • Earliblue blueberry growing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2011. The blueberry crop is booming in Oregon and Washington, which together make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. market. (Courtesy Lynn Ketchum/Oregon State University)

Record 2018 blueberry crop plants Oregon in No. 1 spot

March 19th, 2019|0 Comments

Earliblue blueberry growing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2011. The blueberry crop is booming in Oregon and Washington, which together make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. market. (Courtesy Lynn Ketchum/Oregon State University) In a surprise comeback, Oregon regained the top spot among the nation’s blueberry producers

Trade mitigation funds approved for Washington apples

February 26th, 2019|0 Comments

The Washington Apple Commission will receive nearly $8.5 million through the USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funding program, according to a news release. The program is designed to help mitigate the damages from the additional trade tariffs imposed on Washington apples in several key export markets. ATP funding is a

  • USApple Association logo

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

  • Attendees who braved the recent snowfall in the Pacific Northwest take a short break between sessions during the 2019 Washington Winegrowers Association convention and trade show on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. The main educational sessions take place here, on the ice of the Toyota Center at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Winegrowers kicks off

February 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Attendees who braved the recent snowfall in the Pacific Northwest take a short break between sessions during the 2019 Washington Winegrowers Association convention and trade show on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. The main educational sessions take place here, on the ice of the Toyota Center at the Three Rivers

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

Register now for WSU/OSU Cherry Fruit School, March 12-13

January 31st, 2019|0 Comments

Sweet cherry growers can learn about the latest research and technology at the upcoming Cherry Fruit School, From Bud to Bucket, hosted by Washington State University Tree Fruit Extension and Oregon State University Extension Service. The Cherry Fruit School is scheduled on March 12 and 13 at four locations: Wenatchee,

EverCrisp apple sales expanding to Texas

January 28th, 2019|0 Comments

Sales of the MAIA-1 apple variety, developed by the Midwest Apple Improvement Association and marketed as EverCrisp, have expanded to Texas. Described as sweet, juicy and firm, EverCrisp combines the best features of its parent varieties, Honeycrisp and Fuji, and is now in its second season selling at grocery stores.

  • USApple Association logo

Kurrle: 2019 brings challenges and opportunities

December 28th, 2018|0 Comments

From agricultural labor to farm bill programs, regulations and trade agreements, the policies and decisions made in Washington, D.C., impact your business every day. Responding to these critical issues and ensuring the “apple voice” is heard by members of Congress and the administration is a top priority for the USApple

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

  • 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

  • New York Apple Accociation

Dressel named chairperson of NYAA board

July 18th, 2018|0 Comments

Sarah Dressel of Dressel Farms in New Paltz, New York, has been named chairperson of the board of directors for the New York Apple Association, the organization that represents the 600 commercial apple growers in New York. In an announcement, NYAA President Cynthia Haskins called the appointment significant for NYAA

  • Steven Murray Jr. during the International Fruit Tree Association Summer Tour in the Napier, New Zealand area on February 26, 2018. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Steven Murray Jr., a young grower from Bakersfield, California

June 28th, 2018|0 Comments

family background / Steven has helped change Murray Family Farms’ business, adding farm markets and agritourism at locations in California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and is the son of Steve and Vickie Murray. age / 32 crops / Cherries, diversified

‘Kia ora’ from a distant land

April 5th, 2018|0 Comments

The view south through the Motueka Valley at Birdhurst Orchard in Nelson, New Zealand in February 2018. Below, the first group of International Fruit Tree Association New Zealand Study Tour attendees learns about how the Wilkins brothers transitioned the farm from cattle and tobacco to 500 acres of Gala,

  • Domex Superfresh logo

Domex Superfresh appoints director of business development

March 8th, 2018|0 Comments

Paul Newstead has joined Domex Superfresh Growers as Director of Business Development. According to the company's news release: In this role, Newstead will be responsible for generating new customers and building existing Paul Newstead relationships across North America. To do this, he will leverage Superfresh Growers expansive line

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Premier Honeycrisp ripens as much as two to three weeks before regular Honeycrisp. (Courtesy Adams County Nursery)

Honeycrisp sports race toward red

June 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Premier Honeycrisp ripens as much as two to three weeks before regular Honeycrisp. (Courtesy Adams County Nursery) New varieties aren’t the only things on growers’ minds. They are also thinking about upgrading their Honeycrisp to one of the sports that are all the rage. “What happens with the

  • The Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) has been busy with new varieties, including these two: the yellow Crunch-a-Bunch, which is popular in the cider arena, and the red Bakers Delight that has flavor likened to a strawberry milkshake. Both varieties were launched by Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. in mid-November. (Photo by Jen Nova, courtesy of Gardens Alive!)

Lots of new apples coming to market

June 26th, 2017|2 Comments

The Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) has been busy with new varieties, including these two: the yellow Crunch-a-Bunch, which is popular in the cider arena, and the red Bakers Delight that has flavor likened to a strawberry milkshake. Both varieties were launched by Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. 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

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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

The buzz is growing for Cosmic Crisp

May 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Cosmic Crisp has been a huge topic among growers for years, and now the variety is gaining profile in the general media. National Public Radio sent a reporter to Wenatchee, Washington, to interview growers and researchers about the apple. That's helpful for Washington growers, who will have nine million Cosmic

  • Bottles of cider are displayed at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Lyndonville, New York, along with an ad marketing a sense of regional flavor. Experts suggest apple growers embrace their regional differences to capitalize on the surging growth of the market the same way grape growers market wines tied to the complex terroir of different regions in the wine industry. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Cider makers embrace regional variation

April 26th, 2017|0 Comments

Bottles of cider are displayed at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Lyndonville, New York, along with an ad marketing a sense of regional flavor. Experts suggest apple growers embrace their regional differences to capitalize on the surging growth of the market the same way grape growers market wines tied

  • 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

Lacey Lybeck, a young grower from Pasco, Washington

March 15th, 2017|0 Comments

family background/ Lacey grew up working alongside her family on their farm Hulbert Farms and Skagit Seed Services in La Conner, Washington. age/27 grower/Pasco, Washington crops/grapes business/Vineyard Manager, Sagemoor Vineyards How did you get your start? As a recent graduate of Washington State University, I joined Ste. Michelle

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

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

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

  • Pears in Parker

Moffitt: All pears, all the time

January 13th, 2017|0 Comments

The Pear Bureau is celebrating 85 years of promoting the beautiful and delicious pears nurtured by our growers in Washington and Oregon each year. Kevin Moffitt We employ a variety of proven and effective tools, techniques and strategies designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Northwest pears

  • Photos courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest A boy chomps into a pear slice at a stop in China along the USA Pear Road Show, a promotion of Pear Bureau Northwest. In a routine vote, growers in Washington and Oregon are being asked to approve continuing the marketing order that allows such generic promotions. (Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest)

Moffitt: All pears, all the time

January 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Kevin Moffitt The Pear Bureau is celebrating 85 years of promoting the beautiful and delicious pears nurtured by our growers in Washington and Oregon each year. We employ a variety of proven and effective tools, techniques and strategies designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Northwest pears

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

Mid-Columbia pear grower position up for nomination

January 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Pear growers will elect nominees for positions on the Fresh Pear Committee (FPC) of Marketing Order #927.  The committee is responsible for the collection of assessments for research, and the promotion and advertising of all pears marketed in the domestic and export markets. The FPC grower position for the Mid-Columbia

  • Getting involved with industry groups. Fruit growers have numerous opportunities to be involved in everything from policy setting to marketing decisions. Here’s a rundown of some places to get involved. For those outside the Northwest, look for similar opportunities in your region.

Industry groups lend plenty of opportunities for growers to get involved

December 29th, 2016|0 Comments

In Washington’s tree fruit industry, three state commissions, four federal marketing orders, numerous nonprofit associations and a few advisory committees all intertwine to create a network of industry organizations to support growers. All that representation, with their acronyms, subcommittees and meeting schedules, provide places for growers to get involved and

  • Yakima Convention Center (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

2017 Cherry Institute will be held Jan. 20 — Pear, WSFC nominations at annual meetings

December 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Cherry Institute at the Yakima Convention Center (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower file photo) The 74th annual Cherry Institute is set for Jan. 20, 2017, at the Yakima Convention Center in Yakima, Washington. The program, which begins at 8:30 a.m., will highlight trellis engineering, platform use, powdery mildew, the

  • Sam Godwin, opens the 112th Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo on December 5, 2016, in Wenatchee, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Day 1, Washington hort show, morning summary – Video

December 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Sam Godwin, opens the 112th Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo on December 5, 2016, in Wenatchee, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Speakers hammered away at the theme of “change” to kick off the 112th annual meeting of the Washington tree fruit industry. Change in a U.S. president.

The solitary orchard

October 25th, 2016|1 Comment

A tour of Byron Albano’s orchards in California’s Cuyama Valley in March. The orchards rest high in the Sierra Madre Mountains, across a dry riverbed leading out of Los Padres National Forest.(TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Byron Albano is one of the southernmost apple growers on the West Coast

  • U.S. grown apples in Selah, Washington, on October 5, 2016. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Domestic apple market looks bright

October 6th, 2016|0 Comments

U.S. grown apples in Selah, Washington, on October 5, 2016. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) The value of the dollar and the increasing size of the apple crop in other countries — boosting competition on the export market — may pose some challenges for packers and shippers in the

  • Apples on display at a Yakima, Washington, Wal-Mart. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Wal-Mart weighs in on food safety

October 6th, 2016|2 Comments

Apples on display at a Yakima, Washington, Wal-Mart. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Illnesses caused by foodborne pathogens are becoming much easier to track and investigate, and new science — whole genome sequencing — is enabling outbreaks to be traced to the source of the investigation. Frank Yiannas

  • University of Minnesota's MN55 has been named Rave™. (Courtesy Stemilt Growers)

MN55 to be known as Rave

September 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

University of Minnesota's MN55 has been named Rave™. (Courtesy Stemilt Growers) The newest apple variety developed by the University of Minnesota, MN55, will be sold under the brand name Rave. Seventeen years in the making from original breeding to final release and licensing, MN55 is a cross between

  • Jacqui Gordon Nunez, left, and Tim Kovis

WSTFA fills two key positions

August 26th, 2016|0 Comments

Jacqui Gordon Nunez has been named director of education and member services at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, based in Yakima, Washington. Jacqui Gordon Nunez, left, and Tim Kovis Nunez has a background in food and horticulture, with a degree in Ingeniera Agroindustrial (equivalent to a bachelor’s

SweeTango dancing in bigger numbers

July 13th, 2016|0 Comments

The product of a breeding program at the University of Minnesota, the SweeTango apple variety is gaining numbers, says a growers cooperative. The SweeTango apple The 2016 crop is now estimated at 450,000 standard 40-lb boxes, an 18 percent increase over last year’s crop of 380,000 boxes. Here's the press release:

Pear emojis may be the next thing to spur fruit sales

July 6th, 2016|0 Comments

Sometimes a smiley face just doesn’t convey your emotions. Maybe you feel a little … pear instead. Pear Bureau Northwest hopes so. The Portland, Oregon, organization has sponsored a pear emoji. What's an emoji? Also called emoticon, it's a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion.  They

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

  • Gonzalo Villareal harvests SweetHeart cherries in Selah, Washington on July 16, 2015. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Thurlby: Hot for cherries

May 18th, 2016|0 Comments

Gonzalo Villareal harvests SweetHeart cherries in Selah, Wash., on July 16, 2015. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) After record-setting heat in 2015, cherry growers look to new year. Another Northwest cherry season is around the corner, and at this point, there is no reason not to expect another 20

  • 2016 USApple.org redesign.

New website for U.S. Apple

April 25th, 2016|0 Comments

The U.S. Apple Association has released a new, mobile-friendly website at usapple.org. 2016 USApple.org redesign. The website continues to address the organization’s position on key topics, ranging from food safety to agricultural labor reform, while increasing the appeal to consumers and the ease of use for USApple members,

Feds approve Lewis-Clark Valley AVA

April 20th, 2016|0 Comments

The federal government has approved a new wine grape appellation in the Northwest: the Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). The appellation, which sits in a geographic region of northwestern Idaho known as the “banana belt,” encompasses some 479 square miles, with about 72 percent of the land in Idaho

  • California Specialty Crops Council logo

California council schedules June MRL workshop

March 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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

  • Green Anjou pear

Pears qualify for Heart-Check certification

March 8th, 2016|0 Comments

The American Heart Association has certified Green and Red Anjou pears from USA Pears as heart-healthy. The certification allows Pear Bureau Northwest to use the heart-check mark throughout online, print and other promotional activities for both varieties of pears. Green Anjou pear. Photo courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest.

  • IFTA conference logo

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

February 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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

  • Pear Bureau Northwest’s redesigned website at www.trade.usapears.org features information on pear varieties and marketing trends.

Video: Pear Bureau Northwest new website focuses on pear sales

February 8th, 2016|0 Comments

Pear Bureau Northwest’s redesigned website at www.trade.usapears.org features information on pear varieties and marketing trends. Pear Bureau Northwest has launched a redesigned trade website focused on the business of pears to grow pear sales. Visitors to www.trade.usapears.org will find information about pear varieties and availability, marketing trends and

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.

  • Final preparations are made on May 4, 2015 to complete and open the new Washington State University Wine Science Center in Richland, Washington. The center, located near the Tri-Cities campus of WSU, will be a hub for the Washington wine industry and bring together researchers, students, and industry members. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Hansen: Building a world-class wine research program

January 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Melissa Hansen It’s a new era for viticulture and enology research in Washington. Washington’s wine industry has started the process of building a world-class research program. The industry has invested in a new wine science facility, developed a strategic plan and recently hired me, the Washington Wine Commission’s

73rd Annual Cherry Institute opens on Jan. 15 in Yakima

November 25th, 2015|0 Comments

The 73rd annual Cherry Institute begins January 15 at the Yakima Convention Center with an update on the Cherry Breeding Program at Washington State University by Dena Ybarra of Perleberg Orchards. The Cherry Institute meets at the Yakima Convention Center (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Other presentations that day

  • APEC - Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Asia-Pacific wine regulators meet to develop wine trade

November 16th, 2015|0 Comments

More than 80 wine regulators and wine industry representatives from 17 Pacific Rim economies met in Adelaide, Australia, to work toward streamlining import-export requirements for wine. The two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum’s 2015 technical meeting focused on eliminating duplicative regulations to reduce the costs of cross-border wine

Coming in January: Nominations for WA Cherry Marketing Committee

November 4th, 2015|0 Comments

Nominations for grower and handler positions on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee will take place during industry meetings in January. The committee establishes grade, size, and pack regulations for fresh sweet cherries from designated counties in Washington. Nominations for District 2 will take place during the Cherry Institute meeting at

Pear Bureau’s Kennedy honored among produce industry young leaders

November 3rd, 2015|0 Comments

Pear Bureau Northwest, the non-profit marketing organization that represents the 1,600 pear growers of Oregon and Washington (home to 84 percent of the U.S. fresh pear crop),  announced that that Lynsey Kennedy, the organization’s international marketing manager, has been recognized as one of the produce industry’s top young leaders.

  • Jack Ma, in white, and Washington Apple Commission Shanghai rep Victor Want, right, during Alibaba’s T-Mall.com "Singles Day" celebration. (Courtesy Washington Apple Commission)

Alibaba’s Jack Ma helps promote Washington apples in China

October 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Jack Ma, in white, and Washington Apple Commission Shanghai rep Victor Want, right, during Alibaba’s T-Mall.com "Singles Day" celebration. (Courtesy Washington Apple Commission) Leading e-commerce retailer Alibaba Group featured Washington apples at the kickoff for its online shopping frenzy in China in November. Washington apples were the only

Should domestic apple promotions be revived?

August 7th, 2015|0 Comments

Prices for Washington apples have stayed strong as volumes increase. The state exports about a third of its crop. Source: Washington Apple Commission, Washington Growers Clearing House Association, and Washington State Tree Fruit Association. (Jared Johnson/Good Fruit Grower illustration) It’s been a decade since the Washington Apple Commission

A direct link to consumers

June 18th, 2015|0 Comments

Mo Tougas Direct marketers—those folks, mostly in the East, who sell most of the fruit they grow directly to consumers—have not been, for the most part, able to “join the club.” On the other hand, they haven’t been “clubbed to death” either. “I was very concerned about that

Organic exemption expected soon

June 9th, 2015|0 Comments

(TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower photo illustration) The U.S. Department of Agriculture will soon introduce a rule exempting organic growers from paying mandatory promotion assessments to federal marketing orders. This will mean, for example, that organic pears will no longer be subject to an assessment of 38.5 cents a

Montana cherry growers save the best till last

May 22nd, 2015|1 Comment

For many years, Montana sweet cherries were marketed as the tail end of the Washington State crop, not having much of an identity of their own. But more recently, growers in Montana have worked to project a better image of what they think are better cherries and to get a better price for them.

Trade agreement is unifying: Good Point

February 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Jim Allen A few years ago, Todd Fryhover of the Washington State Apple Commission was invited to speak at the Premier Apple Co-Op meeting in New York to talk about “China.” As I introduced him to the group of apple growers and marketers from basically the entire eastern

Schlect: A cold Arctic blast

February 17th, 2015|0 Comments

● USDA announced last Friday its deregulation of a Canadian firm's--Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc.--two varieties (Granny Smith and Golden) of GMO apples, one day in advance of a three-day weekend. This is not unusual timing for controversial announcements by federal agencies. It almost guarantees a muted response in the media.

Big export year for Northwest cherries

January 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Video and images of Northwest cherries were displayed last summer in the month of July at Gangnam Station in Seoul, South Korea, where more than 400,000 commuters pass daily. (Northwest Cherry Growers) The 2014 season was not only a record year for Northwest cherries, it was one of

China’s cold chain is improving

January 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Many of the new cold storage facilities in China resemble tall office buildings, like this one in Shanghai that’s seven stories high. (Courtesy Keith Hu) Though China’s lack of cold-chain facilities and logistics for perishable products has been its Achilles heel, improvements are expected within the next five

Organic fruit attracts customers

November 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Steve Tennes Steve Tennes, who operates the Country Mill orchard and farm market at Charlotte, Michigan, became convinced several years ago that there was a future in organic fruit production. Today, some of his customers will come a hundred miles or more from Detroit and Chicago specially to

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

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

Network promotes Prosser wines

November 16th, 2014|0 Comments

A new organization called Prosser Wine Network was formed in Washington State last spring to promote Prosser wines. The new group, with more than 30 initial winery and associate members, is working to create awareness of wines from Prosser by providing networking events, advocating on behalf of members, coordinating media

Apple Commission reps are ready to promote large crop

October 14th, 2014|0 Comments

With a record crop of Washington apples, estimated at 140 million boxes or more, Todd Fryhover is hoping to see a significant boost in exports this season. Tulip Phanuroote, the Washington Apple Commission's representative in Thailand, admires an apple at Auvil Fruit Company's orchard at Vantage during a visit

Online cherry promotion earns campaign of the year honor

October 1st, 2014|0 Comments

Asia Fruit Logistica Marketer award 2014 Northwest Cherry Growers and two Chinese online retailers, Fruitday and Tmall, have received Asia Fruit Logistica’s Marketing Campaign of the Year Award for their joint promotion of Northwest cherries last season. Consumers ordered cherries via Tmall’s online platform and received them within

Tree fruit associations close down

August 29th, 2014|0 Comments

Kirk Mayer Two long-established tree fruit organizations closed their doors on August 29 as they merged into the new Washington State Tree Fruit Association. Neither the Washington Growers Clearing House Association nor the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association will have staff working with the new association. The staff at

Good Point: Success in pear marketing

August 27th, 2014|0 Comments

Change can be uncomfortable, but is unavoidable. One key to change is adaptation, being aware of and flexible to the trends of change. At the Pear Bureau Northwest, we strive to stay on top of trends. Success has followed. Some of the areas where we are ahead include

Processors agree to price schedule for Michigan apples

August 20th, 2014|0 Comments

The Michigan Processing Apple Growers marketing committee has negotiated minimum apple prices with six apple processors. The prices are $12.50 a hundredweight for hard varieties 2 ½ inches and up, and $10 for soft varieties of that size. No price was negotiated for juice or undersize apples. Six processors are

  • California Fresh Fruit Association

California fruit league changes name

August 12th, 2014|0 Comments

Nearly 80 years after its inception, the California Grape and Tree Fruit League announced they are changing their name to the California Fresh Fruit Association to better reflect the growing diversity of fruit its members grow. The new name was proposed as part of a five-year planning mission to better

Herald visits Sea-Tac to watch cherries fly to China

July 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

The Yakima Herald-Republic's Ross Courtney visited Sea-Tac airport to watch cherries from the Yakima and Wenatchee areas get loaded for fast delivery aboard a China Eastern Airlines 777 cargo plane. Courtney wrote: Cherries sure mean a lot of work at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, just like they do in the

Grab and go packaging: Cup o’ Cherries

July 18th, 2014|0 Comments

Chelan Fresh Marketing's new snack package Cup o'Cherries. (Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower) Chelan Fresh Marketing has introduced a new consumer pack of cherries designed for snacking on the go. The package, called Cup o’ Cherries, resembles a lidded coffee cup. The lid, however, has a cherry-sized hole, allowing

Northwest cherries moving in huge volumes

July 2nd, 2014|0 Comments

Cherry harvest in Prosser, Washington in 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) June saw some huge shipments of cherries, averaging 332,000 boxes per day, according to the Northwest Cherry Growers. What was expected to be the second biggest cherry crop ever has triggered enormous movement to the marketplace. June's

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

WSU announces drawing for WA 38 apple trees

March 26th, 2014|0 Comments

Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, is impressed with the condition of WA 38 apples after four months in regular storage.(Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower) Washington State University will hold a random drawing to decide who will be able to plant WA 38, the

Brandt brand is a masterpiece

January 29th, 2014|0 Comments

E.W. Brandt and Sons, a fruit growing, packing, and marketing operation in Wapato, Washington, is expanding its operations and is using RemBrandt ­Masterpiece fruit as its brand. The moves reflect the company’s intensified focus on growing and packing after divesting its nursery division last year. Brandt’s Fruit Trees, formerly a

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

Farmers’ markets provide feedback

November 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

Steve Chinchiolo sells both organic and conventional apples at a farmers' market in Modesto, California. TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower Steve Chinchiolo of River Bend Orchards in Ripon, California, has sold fruit through farmers’ markets since the late 1980s. While the direct marketing represents only a small portion of

Good Stuff

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Early Pink Lady An early maturing selection of Pink Lady (cultivar Cripps Pink) is available from Brandt’s Fruit Trees in Yakima, Washington. The selection matures up to three weeks earlier than the standard Pink Lady. Another distinction is that while standard Cripps Pink sometimes needs to be stored for a

Cider business flourishes

November 18th, 2013|0 Comments

From left, Carlos Gutierrez, Salvador Sanchez, Robert McCurdy, and Marcus Robert prep bottles. Photo by TJ Mullinax Hard cider is a burgeoning industry in the Pacific Northwest, with 32 cideries at last count. But most people who learn how to make cider don’t give a thought to where they’re

Michigan apple industry sets shipment record

October 23rd, 2013|0 Comments

The Michigan apple industry set new shipment records two weeks in a row in October, shipping 414,702 boxes of apples the week of October 12. According to the USDA-MDA Market News Service, the organization that tracks shipment numbers, the Michigan apple industry shipped 411,973 boxes of apples the week of

Free ag business training

October 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is offering a day of free training for agricultural businesses on November 15 in Tumwater, Washington. A total of 19 classes will be offered on many topics including: the nuts and bolts of a business start-up, options for young farmers, food safety,

Tucker Cellars finds niche

October 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Randy Tucker expanded the number of wines sold at Tucker Cellars from two to 15 and sells much of his wine to other wineries. Photo by Melissa Hansen Third-generation wine grape grower Randy Tucker has made wine in Washington’s Yakima Valley for 30 years. Through the decades, he’s

Finding the sweet spot

October 18th, 2013|0 Comments

Craig Campbell, co-owner of Tieton Cider Works, shows the development of a new cider apple orchard in Tieton, Wash., on Aug. 1, 2013 overlooking the Naches Valley. The 40,000 tree plot mostly contain bittersweet and bittersharp cider varieties planted in tall-spindle rows. Photo by TJ MULLINAX As a grower

They like it fresh

October 17th, 2013|0 Comments

If you’re a person who doesn’t like tattoos and body piercings, looks suspiciously at people with dark skin, doesn’t like to hear people speaking languages other than English, and hates people who text message while in conversation with you, you’re in for a troubled future. “Get over it.” That’s the

Apple growers to harvest larger crop

October 17th, 2013|0 Comments

The U.S. Apple Association lowered its estimate of the size of the United States apple crop by 3.2 million bushels from an estimate it made August 1. At its annual Crop Marketing and Outlook Conference in Chicago on August 23, western growers argued that the size of the western crop

Learning from last season

October 17th, 2013|0 Comments

The 2012 U.S. apple crop holds some lessons for apple marketers, lessons that are not “intuitive.” For example, consumers will buy apples even at high prices. Steve Lutz, executive vice president of the Nielsen Perishables Group, is an analyst who tries to understand people from what they do while shopping

Top 5 things your marketer would tell you

October 17th, 2013|0 Comments

1 We understand your risks and challenges. Mast said marketers understand the huge risks that growers take when planting orchards. Increasing production costs and retailers’ food safety requirements are just adding to the challenges. “We want to make sure that small family farmers stay in existence,” he said. “If there

Farm markets abound

October 17th, 2013|0 Comments

This century-old round barn was converted to a direct farm market by the Knouse family and opened in 1994. Photo by Richard Lehnert Many growers whose orchards are in or near urbanized or suburbanized landscapes grab the opportunity to sell their fruit directly to consumers. They do so

Apple commission hires export coordinator

October 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Randi Harnden Randi Harnden will join the Washington Apple Commission as export coordinator starting October 7. Her appointment is part of a staff realignment following the departure two months ago of Chris Scott, the commission’s export trade specialist. Danelle Trovato, export assistant, was promoted to his position, and

Pear Marketing: Connect with the customer

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Pears are a relatively small item in the fresh produce department, but they are still important to retailers. Pears make up 1.2 percent of fresh produce sales, compared with berries at 9.7 percent, apples at 8.5 percent, and grapes at 7.5 percent. But that’s accounting for 1.2 percent of fresh

Top Five pear research needs

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Ray Schmitten Although most pears are grown in traditional orchards, the same way they’ve been grown for many decades, there’s not a great momentum for change. Ray Schmitten, a pear grower in Cashmere, Washington, says that innovation in the orchard is less critical than finding ways to ensure

Winery showcases estate fruit

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Kerry Shiels began as Côte Bonneville’s winemaker in 2009, after getting her master’s from the University of California, Davis, and working harvests for five different wineries in California, Australia, and Argentina.

New York apples names

September 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Jeff Crist shows the new logo for SnapDragon (formerly New York 1), pictured right. Photos courtesy of Cornell University Those two new apple varieties formerly called New York 1 and New York 2 and now named SnapDragon and RubyFrost were named “the good fashioned way, with hard work.”

Task force to fine-tune merger proposal

August 22nd, 2013|0 Comments

Kirk Mayer, manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, said growers want assurances that they would continue to receive timely shipping and pricing data from the new organization. Members of a task force that is exploring the idea of merging four Washington tree fruit industry organizations hope

Celebrating cider in Seattle

August 4th, 2013|0 Comments

The Northwest Cider Association is planning its third annual Washington Cider Week, a ten-day celebration of craft hard cider beginning September 5 in Seattle. Fourteen Washington cideries will participate in the event, which features more than 75 activities or special menu items at Seattle area restaurants. The publication Edible Seattle

Washington forecasts 120-million-box apple crop

August 3rd, 2013|0 Comments

Washington State apple producers expect to harvest 120 million packed boxes of apples this fall, according to the industry’s August forecast, the first official tally of the season. That’s a drop of 9 million boxes from last year. However, Michigan and New York production has rebounded from 2012 when cold

Consumer pull

August 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Proprietary Variety Management, a new company helping to commercialize  two new red-fleshed apple varieties developed by Bill Howell of Prosser, Washington, is using a different strategy from how varieties have been introduced in the past. The company’s general manager John Reeves said the value chain starts with the breeder, goes

Export promotions need shipper support

August 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, says the industry needs to increase demand. Geraldine Warner The Washington Apple Commission is strengthening its export program in anticipation of larger volumes of apples coming onto the U.S. market in the next few years and wants shippers to support its efforts

China could become big pear market

July 1st, 2013|0 Comments

China could become a significant market for U.S. pears. Louis Ng, who represents the Pear Bureau Northwest in China, believes China could be importing 500,000 to 600,000 boxes of pears annually within the next five to ten years. That would make China the second-largest pear export market after Mexico.

Bing dethroned

June 1st, 2013|0 Comments

The Bing cherry, long the king of the Northwest industry, is losing ground to the newer Canadian varieties. In the 2000 season, Bing represented almost 75 percent of the Northwest cherry crop. By 2012, cherries sold as Bing represented only 22 percent of the crop. Meanwhile, varieties from British Columbia

New model for variety release

June 1st, 2013|0 Comments

RiverBelle Courtesy of Wescott Agri Products Two new apple varieties, Pazazz and RiverBelle, are growing in some apple orchards and coming to market through a new development process. The apples are being commercialized by Apple Varietal Development LLC, a company organized by Fred Wescott, owner of Wescott Orchards and Agri

Chelan Fruit gears up

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier. PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative is planning to build a new cherry line for next season. Reggie Collins,

First Bite

May 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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

Food Alliance’s future uncertain

May 1st, 2013|0 Comments

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

Got FRUIT?

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

It’s a simple, two-word question: Got milk? But that question marked a turning point in how consumers thought about milk. No longer was it just a healthy beverage, it was . . . essential. Milk deprivation occurred when the bowl was filled with cereal, and the milk carton was empty;

No fruit, no funding

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

The short fruit crop in the eastern United States last year had a dramatic impact on research and promotion programs organized under state and federal market orders. These programs are funded by checkoffs collected on a per-pound basis, so income plummeted with the reduced crop size. In Michigan, where the

WA 38 will have a name

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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

Apple name delights grower

March 15th, 2013|0 Comments

Bob Meyer, right, discusses the merits of WSU’s new apples WA 2 and WA 38 with Jim Cowin at a field day to showcase the varieties. (Good Fruit Grower file photo) Bob Meyer, an apple grower in Toppenish, Washington, is one of the first in the state to

Good Point: New kid on the block

February 1st, 2013|0 Comments

Steve Warner In the worldwide winemaking community, Washington State’s wine industry is the 187-year-old new kid on the block. Although our state’s first wine grapes were planted in 1825, we’re still considered a teenager in the global marketplace. Our superior wines consistently outperform other top wine-producing regions throughout the globe,

Birth of the Washivores

January 15th, 2013|0 Comments

It all began over French fries. I was eating lunch with a group of professional women in Washington State. There was a university dean, a bank president, several attorneys, and more. I made a comment about how many French fries are grown in Washington. The response was a tableful of

Organic trade association seeks input

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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

Blueberry explosion

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Blueberries are bigger and tastier than they used to be, thanks to the work by plant breeders. Berries are also versatile, available fresh, frozen, canned, and dried.Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service. The blueberry industry has had a growth curve that growers would love to see

Salish launched in B.C.

December 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Courtesy of Rich MacDonald (AAFC) A new apple variety from British Columbia, Canada, called Salish was launched in the marketplace this fall under a new brand called “Born in BC, Raised in the Okanagan.” Salish (formerly known as SPA493) originated from a cross of Splendour and Gala made in 1981

Bob Koehler promoted by Pear Bureau

July 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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

DS 22 planned for this fall

June 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Doug Shefelbine’s new apple, DS 22, may debut this September, marketed by Wescott Agri-Products, which bought rights to the apple and organized growers to grow them. Inclement weather this spring may curtail marketing plans for this year.Photos courtesy of Doug Shefelbine A new apple will debut in September

New group begins work

May 15th, 2012|0 Comments

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

Going without sulfites

May 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Greg Powers knows viticulture and enology from the ground up and was manager for the family estate vineyard before taking on winemaker duties. Melissa Hansen Greg Powers, winemaker for Washington State’s largest organic winery, didn’t initially make organic wines for Badger Mountain Vineyard winery, even though the grapes were from

Eye-to-eye with consumers

April 1st, 2012|0 Comments

The bin porch offers customers a wide choice, and they can buy any mixture at a fixed price for a full bag. On this day, there were 17 varieties of apples and pears for sale. Richard Lehnert What better way for a fruit grower to experience the true feel of

From pie to health food

April 1st, 2012|0 Comments

New, healthy products include dried cherries and tart cherry juice. If you hear the words, “tart cherries,” and a nice oozy red, lattice-topped cherry pie springs to your mind, you’re going to really disappoint some people. The tart cherry industry has spent five years, and nearly $2 million a year,

Cherry research project progresses

March 15th, 2012|0 Comments

WSU engineers are developing a vibrating actuator that will be used with a mechanical harvester to shake limbs and remove fruit without damaging the trees. A four-year research project that aims to make sweet cherry production more efficient, profitable, and sustainable marked the halfway point with an informational meeting and

Rise and fall of the apple empire

March 15th, 2012|0 Comments

While Harold Copple managed the Apple Commision between 1947 and 1957, most of the apples produced in Washington were Winesap. During that period, the commission hired a larger, year-round merchandising staff of up to 12 people to work with retailers across the country. Formation of a Washington apple promotion program

Flavor and quality still paramount

March 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Of all the attributes consumers are looking for today in their food—freshness, organic, local, and sustainable—flavor and quality are still paramount. Growers, shippers, and marketers involved in delivering fruits to consumers should focus on flavor and quality before they do ­anything else, suggests a consumer culture consultant. “Despite the economic

Cripps Pink is in expansion mode

March 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Lady in Red is one of several highly colored strains of Cripps Pink that will be marketed as Pink Lady. Lady in Red will be the variety name marked on the shipping cartons Photo courtesy Coregeo About half the Cripps Pink apples being planted worldwide are new, improved mutations, which

B.C. growers propose apple agency

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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

Cherry committee up for renewal

March 1st, 2012|0 Comments

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

A flair for selling fruit

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Left: Sidney Kuhn, 32, owns the direct marketing arm of Kuhn Orchards. Right: David Wenk and uncle carry on the family farm that dates to 1796. Richard Lehnert Sidney Kuhn and Ben Wenk are neighbors, as the crow flies, but they’re 15 miles apart on the winding mountain roads of

New generation finds marketing niche

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Sidney, left, her father David, and Katy Lesser Clowney sort apples that have come back from the market unsold. They may go to Knouse Foods, the cider mill, or into the cull bin. Richard Lehnert Before joining the family business at Cashtown, Pennsylvania, Sidney Kuhn earned a degree in landscape

Food alliance certifies eastern orchards

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Last year, Three Springs Fruit Farm, operated by Dave, John, and Ben Wenk in Aspers, Pennsylvania, was certified by Food Alliance. An Oregon-based organization, Food Alliance provides third-party certification that sustainable agricultural and food handling practices are used in a farm’s operation. Since then, Food Alliance announced certification of two

Retail is cool

February 15th, 2012|0 Comments

Ben, 26, carries on the transition from growing fruit for processing to growing fruit for retail sales Richard Lehnert What Ben Wenk is building on has been a long time in the making.     His father, Dave, came back to the family business in Aspers, Pennsylvania, in 1980 with a

Economy down, wine sales up

February 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Despite a bleak economic picture for many Americans, it’s a good time for Washington State wines. Grocery story data collected both nationally and within the state show consistent growth in the wine category for the last two years, according to marketing and category management specialists. Since 2008, the United States

MAP funds granted for stone fruits

February 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Dissolution of the California Tree Fruit Agreement created opportunity for Washington State stone fruit, says Ingrid Mohn, FAS market development specialist. About $250,000 was redirected to a new market access program for Washington's stone fruit. With federal budget cuts looming, the future is murky for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s

Cherry marketing order passes

February 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Washington State sweet cherry growers voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates sweet cherries.  During the referendum held in November, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating volume, favored continuing the marketing order that was established in 1957. A referendum is required

Why do new varieties fail?

January 15th, 2012|0 Comments

In spite of the 70 breeding programs around the world developing new tree fruit cultivars, most new varieties are disappointments and don’t succeed, says a European researcher. Growers, packers, and marketers have responded well to improved clones of established varieties like Gala and Golden Delicious apples, but the industry has

Reds likely to reign overseas

January 15th, 2012|0 Comments

As the Washington State apple crop shifts in terms of varieties and volumes, the Washington Apple Commission must match its export efforts to what is happening in the industry, says Todd Fryhover, commission president. The big upsurge in Honeycrisp, which is selling at high prices on the domestic market, will

Committee nominations

January 1st, 2012|0 Comments

Nominations for board positions with several Pacific Northwest fruit industry groups will be held during upcoming horticultural meetings. Cherry Marketing Committee Nominations for three grower positions in District 1 will be held during the North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center on January 19. Current members

Markets shrink for upscale pear

December 1st, 2011|1 Comment

Comice is the perfect pear for gift boxes, but the gift business has declined. Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest Comice is sometimes referred to as the Queen of Pears, because of its superlative eating quality. “It probably has the best flavor of the whole gamut of pears,” is the assessment of

Reinventing Comice

December 1st, 2011|0 Comments

During the Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, last summer, its regional managers proposed ideas on how to strengthen demand for Comice pears. Tim Corkill, regional manager for the West and Southwest, suggested that the variety needs to be reintroduced to the market with small, one-layer packages, similar

7 billion apple slices sold

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Crunch Pak counts apple slices like McDonald’s counts hamburgers—and the count is nearing 7 billion slices sold since the company created the industry 11 years ago. It bills itself as the original and leading supplier of fresh sliced apples in the world. Tony Freytag, a company founder and national marketing

Futures market for concentrate coming soon

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

The status of the long-awaited futures trading contract in apple-juice concentrate hasn’t changed. It’s still coming “soon.” “We are extremely close to being there,” said Rita Maloney, with Minnesota Grain Exchange, which is the principal futures and options market for hard red spring wheat and is developing the apple juice

How many pears can the market take?

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Most fresh pears nowadays are still grown on old trees in long-established orchards. But if, through research, the Pacific Northwest pear industry were able to start growing pears more efficiently in intensive orchards with trees on dwarfing rootstocks, would there be a market for all the additional fruit? “We’re limited

An apple a day…

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Should apple growers follow the lead set by berries and fruits like tart cherries and use health ­benefits as a way to sell more apples? That might be a useful strategy, says Dr. Dianne Hyson, the department chair in family and consumer science at California State University in Sacramento and

Consumers are price conscious

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Consumers are coming back to normal—if by normal we mean the more “old-fashioned” way—being responsive to prices and being ­willing to buy less or substitute lower-priced products if the price seems wrong. That may make it harder to sell apples this year than it was last year. “2011 won’t look

Count the people

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

If you’re looking for answers to perplexing questions—like what’s the future of Social Security, will China dominate the world, or how many apples can we grow and sell in the future—the first approach is do the math. The answers, interestingly, are that Social Security will get financial support from a

The big picture

October 1st, 2011|0 Comments

When the U.S. Apple Association holds its annual marketing and outlook conference in Chicago in August, it’s an occasion to look at the big picture. Not only do the 300 or so apple growers, packers, and shippers evaluate the size and condition of the United States crop, they try for

Reviving the British pear

September 1st, 2011|0 Comments

British pear growers have been removing pear orchards at an alarming rate because they’ve not been profitable. Now, the East Malling Research Center in the United Kingdom is trying to demonstrate the feasibility of growing pears using modern systems. It’s been reported that U.K. pear acreage dropped by 40 percent

Buy local gets a boost

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Many growers have children in school and have been frustrated that their taxes have been paying for apples from competitors for school lunch programs. The “buy local” movement got a shot in the arm this spring when the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented a new rule allowing some buyers—especially schools—to

What do consumers think of MCP?

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

The Pear Bureau Northwest is planning a study to find out how well consumers like pears that have been treated with MCP (1-methylcyclopropene), which is sold under the brand name SmartFresh. Pears can be treated with MCP after harvest to extend their shelf life and to control scald on sensitive

Put us to work for you

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

I am fortunate to travel the country meeting with apple growers, packers, and other USApple members, and hear firsthand the issues and challenges they are facing daily. I am often asked, “What are the important issues?” and I want to provide an inside look at the challenges your staff at

Quality wine by the glass

August 1st, 2011|0 Comments

James Martin spent two years converting the ground flour of the old flour mill into a tasting room and production facility for Copa Di Vino wines. The milling machinery was left in place. James Martin hopes to enhance the reputation of single-serving wine containers with his upscale product called Copa

Problems with pear ripening

August 1st, 2011|17 Comments

The ripening inhibitor SmartFresh (MCP) holds promise for maintaining pear quality over a longer period of time and reducing disorders such as scald, but the pear industry reports that some treated pears won’t ripen. Dr. Eugene Kupferman, retired Washington State University postharvest specialist, said Bartlett pears, which are harvested in

Management entity is a work in progress

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

WA 2, the first release of Washington State University's apple breeding program, is a blushed, orange-red apple. GERALDINE WARNER The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission is in the process of setting up a nonprofit organization to manage Washington State University’s new tree fruit varieties. Once the 501(c)(3) organization is set

Honeycrisp challenges club concept

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

The name SweeTango captures the apple’s sweet, tangy taste. COURTESY SALLY & WILFRID MENNELL Honeycrisp has set the standard for new varieties to follow in terms of consumer acceptance and the returns that growers expect, apple marketers say. t’s also one of the few varieties that producers can freely plant

WSU to protect new varieties

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Washington State University is taking steps to protect its new apple variety, WA 2, in overseas countries. WA 2, the first variety to emanate from its apple breeding program, is moving into the commercialization phase and is available to Washington growers only. Dr. Kate Evans, WSU’s pome fruit breeder, said

Honeycrisp season expanded

June 1st, 2011|1 Comment

Wescott Agri Products Right from the get-go, Fred Wescott thought Honeycrisp would be a new force in the apple market. And he bet on it. He planted orchards in Minnesota and northern Washington. And, now, his company is bringing Honeycrisp into the United States from partners in Chile, starting its

Peaches aplenty

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

For more than a century, the freestone peach market in the eastern United States was dominated by two varieties. First was Elberta, a peach from Georgia that dominated production from 1880 to about 1950. Then, along came Michigan’s Redhaven, which became the world’s most-planted peach for the rest of the

NY seeks marketing strategy

June 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Those new apples from New York are being prepared to come to market, with the first expected in quantity in direct farm markets in 2014 and in commercial markets in 2015 or 2016. At least, that’s what’s envisioned in the overall plan that’s in the process of development. The apples

Michigan growers want to market fresh cherries

May 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Fruit growers in the northeastern quadrant of the country are witnessing the ongoing clamor for sweet cherries, from consumers wanting them bigger, darker, sweeter, for longer—and, if possible, locally grown. These growers want to play a bigger part in supplying them. Michigan growers produce a fifth of the nation’s sweet

The functional side of cherries

May 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Sweet cherry promoters would like to be able to say “a bowl of cherries a day will keep cancer away,” but more research is needed before such claims can be made. The Pacific Northwest and California cherry industries are building on past health studies to develop credible research that can

McDonald’s boosts cherry sales

May 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Since McDonald’s rolled out its new milkshakes earlier this year, the U.S. cherry industry is “lovin’ it.” Sitting like a crown jewel on top of the McCafé shake, on a pillow of whipped cream, is a bright, red maraschino cherry. The simple act of the restaurant giant topping their milkshakes

Honeycrisp challenges club concept

May 1st, 2011|0 Comments

The name Ambrosia reflects the aromatic flavor of the apple. Courtesy Sally & Wilfrid Mennell Honeycrisp has set the standard for new varieties to follow in terms of consumer acceptance and the returns that growers expect, apple marketers say. It’s also one of the few varieties that producers can freely

The art of tart

May 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Six MBA students say a single-strength tart cherry juice produced and marketed by a grower cooperative could be a marketplace winner. What the tart cherry industry needs is a cooperative of growers that focuses on growing and marketing one outstanding product, like natural, healthful cherry juice. If that recipe sounds

Promoting tart cherries on a tiny budget

May 1st, 2011|0 Comments

The tart cherry industry is in year four of an advertising and promotion campaign developed by the Chicago advertising agency Weber Shandwick and its team led by Jeff Manning, who is credited with creation of the Got Milk? campaign for the dairy ­industry. Weber Shandwick vice president Michael Wheman came

Washington needs to own the Syrah variety

March 15th, 2011|0 Comments

The salvation to lagging wine sales of Syrah may be in Washington State owning the variety as it now does Riesling, says Bob Betz, who describes himself as an “unapologetic, unabashed ­supporter and lover of Syrah.” Betz, of Betz Family Winery in Woodinville, first tasted Syrah in France’s Côte Rotie

Sweet cherries thrive in a sea of apples

March 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Natalie, 16, greets customers and weighs the cherries they pick, using an old brass-beamed platform scale. Picking buckets hold about 15 pounds of cherries, and most U-pick customers will fill one or two. Photo by richard lehnert For several decades, Klenk Orchards has been an island of sweet cherries in

Washington Syrah: Rising or falling star?

March 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Syrah was to be one of the stars in Washington State’s wine lineup. But something happened along the way to greatness, and wineries have watched Syrah wine sales drop and inventories build. In the short term, creativity in blending and marketing may be needed to reduce backlogged inventories, while Washington’s

Food facts and fiction

March 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Appalled by what he calls “quacks in scientific garb,” Dr. Joseph Schwarcz is on a mission to demystify science, separate sense from nonsense, and help people learn to make sensible decisions about food. Despite the fact we eat (and overeat) three or more times a day, “there’s a lot of

More export focus needed

February 15th, 2011|0 Comments

Because of an increasingly competitive U.S. market, the salvation of the Washington apple industry will be overseas markets, and the industry will need to become more export oriented than in the past, says agricultural economist Dr. Desmond O’Rourke. O’Rourke sees little promise in the domestic market, where per-capita consumption of

Marketers line up exclusive apples

February 1st, 2011|0 Comments

Aurora Auvil Fruit Company For a long time, Auvil Fruit Company had been on the lookout for a yellow, good-tasting dessert apple to add to its lineup of varieties, which includes Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Cripps Pink, but not a single Red or Golden Delicious apple. Then along came Aurora,

Not the first GMO fruit

January 15th, 2011|0 Comments

HoneySweet plum Published January 15, 2011 If Okanagan Specialty Fruits’s nonbrowning apples win U.S. government approval for development and marketing, they will not be the first genetically modified fruits to come to market. The first, of course, was the FlavrSavr tomato, approved in 1994 and used in the manufacture of

Last Bite — The rise and fall of the fruit box label

December 1st, 2010|0 Comments

As this is the last article in this series, I decided to provide a brief overview of the history of the fruit box label, as described in The Ultimate Fruit Label Book, which I authored (with the help of many others). Between the years of about 1880 and 1956, millions

Keeping the customer satisfied

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Over the past ten years I have initiated a number of research trials that, when taken together, tell an important story about the link between apple quality and profitability. I often quote my mantra that “we are in the food business” along with McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and even

Last Bite – Exponential growth

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Capitalizing on Native American images to sell fruit, Skookum and Yum-Yum labels were developed in competing regions of Washington State. After large-scale irrigation systems and a railroad network became operational in the Pacific Northwest, there was an exponential growth in the amount of fruit being harvested and marketed. This put

Gearing up for a new season

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Several years ago, National Apple Week was expanded into National Apple Month, which is actually three months long and involves intense promotion of apples during the harvest season of September, October, and November. But for apple growers and marketers, marketing of the new crop kicks off the month before. More

The apple world in 2020

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

A panel of experts took a look ahead at what the apple industry might be like in 2020, ten years from now. It was part of the U.S. Apple Association’s outlook and marketing ­conference in Chicago in August. Perhaps not surprisingly, the marketing side of the apple business seems a

Totally RED

October 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Because the red pigments are antioxidants, red-fleshed apples do not turn brown when sliced. Swiss nursery owner and fruit breeder Markus Kobelt hit the headlines across Europe with the ­latest apple varieties he released. They are among the first red-fleshed apples in the world to go into commercial production. Kobelt,

Pear promotions pondered

September 1st, 2010|0 Comments

A pear industry task force is looking at how the Pear Bureau Northwest might coordinate its domestic pear promotions with the companies supplying the pears. The Pear Bureau works with 200 retailers around the United States to set up generic promotions for U.S. pears, leaving it up to the retailers

Apple Lines

August 1st, 2010|0 Comments

John Baker, center, talks with supermarket staff in Dubai, a major market for Washington apples. The Washington Apple Commission is running a training ­program for supermarkets in export markets to help retailers boost their sales of Washington apples and to ensure that consumers receive a high-quality product. The commission began

New apples for New York

July 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Dr. Susan Brown began breeding the new releases in 1996 and screened thousands of seedlings in the search. Right from the start, Dr. Susan Brown knew what she wanted: An apple that was as delightful to consumers as Honeycrisp but without all its warts. Honeycrisp has problems that make it

Exclusively New York

July 1st, 2010|0 Comments

A row of New York 1 apples nears maturity. Cornell University  has had an apple breeding program for about 110 years, and it’s been quite successful. New York 1 and New York 2 are the 65th and 66th new varieties released by Cornell since breeding began, and the list includes

A grower reaches out to consumers

July 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Rosa Lynn is a chance seedling discovered on Washington’s Royal Slope. The fruit stores well. If you discover an exciting new apple variety and want it to succeed, it’s going to take more than just delivering it to the warehouse, a marketer says. Dain Craver has been traveling the country

Last Bite – Low-grade labels highly valued

June 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Labels of "cooker" grade or C grade apples were usually green, yellow, or white. Today, collectors will often pay more for these rarer labels. The color of an apple box label generally determined the grade of the fruit. A blue label meant Extra Fancy, a red label meant the second

Keeping cherry growing profitable

May 15th, 2010|0 Comments

A “dream team” of cherry researchers from across the nation is working on a project designed to help assure the profitability of the fresh sweet cherry industry in the future. The project, entitled “A Total Systems Approach to Developing a Sustainable Stem-free Sweet Cherry Production, Processing and Marketing System,” was

Cigar box labels preceded fruit box labels

May 15th, 2010|0 Comments

In the late 1800s, cigar labels were embossed and gilded with gold leaf or bronzing. The rationale for eye-catching, well-designed fruit box labels was to create interest and brand loyalty in the marketplace—whether it was for fruit brokers or the ultimate consumer. Such a marketing technique was used before the

You hear that buzz?

May 15th, 2010|0 Comments

SweeTango orchards like this one at Pepin Heights produced enough fruit last year to start the buzz, which could rise to a crescendo this August if a good crop and the marketing plan come together as planned. SweeTango apples will, nature cooperating, begin flowing to market in commercial quantities in

Cherries still top summer produce item

May 15th, 2010|0 Comments

Market research conducted during the 2009 season on behalf of the Northwest Cherry Growers shows that cherries maintain the number-one retail produce spot during the month of July, with an average dollar per square foot contribution of $208, possibly the highest number that retailers see all year. The Northwest Cherry

Promoting ecolabel wines

May 1st, 2010|0 Comments

A program that began by certifying vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that were following practices to protect and restore salmon watersheds has grown to include more than half the wine grape acreage of Walla Walla Valley in Washington and Oregon and several vineyards in eastern Washington.

Last Bite–From doctor to farmer

May 1st, 2010|0 Comments

The altimeter on John Kloeber’s label at right shows an altitude of 1,500 feet, a suggestion that fruit grown in orchards at high altitudes is of high quality. Upper right: The Green River Hot Springs and Sanitarium Hotel pictured in 1908. Yakima Valley apple and pear rancher Dr. John S.

Last Bite — Legacy of labels from Montana

April 1st, 2010|0 Comments

The Big M Brand is a beautiful example of a rare Montana label; it bears the production date of September 30, 1932, by Traung Label Company. Bitterroot Valley, printed by Schmidt Lithographic Company, and Equity are equally attractive apple labels. Most fruit box label collectors focus on the Pacific Coast

Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

February 15th, 2010|0 Comments

As production volumes increase for Honeycrisp apples, the need for a longer marketing window becomes more important. Researchers like Ines Hanrahan are looking for ways to stretch storage of Honeycrisp beyond Christmas. With consumers and retailers clamoring for the popular variety, growers have responded to the strong demand by planting

Moving larger crops in the future

February 15th, 2010|0 Comments

Focus on what you can control was the message given to growers by cherry marketers who shared thoughts on how to move larger cherry crops in the future during a panel discussion at the Northwest Cherry Institute meeting in Yakima, Washington. Last year's late start of the Northwest cherry season

Last Bite – A double-duty fruit box label

February 1st, 2010|0 Comments

The ranch house still exists but the sign identifying the property, which was unusual for an area fruit ranch, is long gone. Ordinarily, this column begins with a history of an individual or company that was responsible for a particular label or label design. However, the unique quality of the

Washington wine industry should tell its story

February 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Although Washington State's wine industry is well positioned in the current 'value-driven' wine market, a wine consultant from Napa, California, offers some suggestions to help build demand for Washington wines. Barbara Insel, president of Stonebridge Research Group, spent a few days visiting vineyards and wineries from Washington's Walla Walla Valley

Wine market trends

February 1st, 2010|0 Comments

 About 250,000 wine SKUs (store keeping units) must funnel through fewer than 700 distributors to reach 450,000 wine-selling locations. Wine producers are learning that in this down economy, it's much easier to make the wine than sell it, says a Napa, California, wine business consultant. Barbara Insel, president and CEO

Turn tasting room visits into sales

February 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Winery owners must have solid financial management in place, says Barbara Insel, and that would include cutting out wines that are not profitable. With a backlog of wine inventories clogging wine distribution channels, direct marketing offers wineries a chance to supplement sales and keep cash flow moving. A wine business

Creating brand identity

February 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Pacific Rim’s wine portfolio includes dry and sweet Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, and a few blends, but the brand identity of “Riesling Rules” pervades all communications. In the hands of a creative marketer, 15 years of sweat and research can be boiled down to one word: BOING. That's the tag

Early Fujis kick-start the season

January 15th, 2010|0 Comments

September Wonder is one of several early Fuji strains. It's been said that when Grady Auvil discovered an early Fuji sport in his orchard in 1993, the tree fruit pioneer predicted it would "revolutionize" the Fuji market. More than 20 years later, early strains are helping to jumpstart

A new game

January 1st, 2010|0 Comments

New apple varieties from Washington State University's breeding program present opportunities for the state's growers, said Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. WSU has just released the first variety from its breeding program, WA 2, and has more in the pipeline. These varieties will be

Last Bite

January 1st, 2010|5 Comments

Perham Fruit Company used these five labels during the 1920s and 1930s. Some of the most beautiful and sought-after fruit labels that collectors desire are the old Perham labels. Illustrated here are the five original company labels from the 1920s and 1930s. There are variations of each label. Swan, Tulip,

Marketing maraschinos

January 1st, 2010|0 Comments

Chopped maraschino cherries destined for ice cream manufacturers. As well as being a major producer and exporter of fresh fruit, Carleti S.A. owns the largest cherry processing company in Argentina, which produces maraschino and preserved cherries and jams for export. Most of the processed cherries are yellow varieties, such as

Growers foresee change

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

There are too many new apple varieties, says Polish orchardist Krzysztof Hermanowicz. New market niches, more emphasis on eating quality, technological advances in the orchard, more regional focus on food, and closer relationships with retailers are changes that a handful of tree fruit growers across the globe envision in the

Exotic varieties, new regions

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

A new interest in clones and lesser-known varieties will drive vineyard plantings in Washington State in the next ten years, say industry experts. Limited retail shelf space could impact the success of new varieties. by Melissa Hansen Crystal ball visions given by a cross section of Washington State's wine grape

Last Bite – The Land of the Yakamas

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Cowin paid careful attention to marketing, and his high-quality fruit stood out in the marketplace. In 1909-1910, Earle Cowin earned the distinction of being one of first Pacific Northwest fruit growers to plant an orchard on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Established as a result of the Treaty of 1855 between

Cherry Institute looks to the future

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

As the Pacific Northwest sweet cherry industry moves toward larger crops in the future, it will take the industry working together to achieve success, says the president of Northwest Cherry Growers. The Cherry Institute, scheduled for January 15 at the Convention Center in Yakima, Washington, aims to bring all segments

Embracing change

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Laura Mrachek works to make a difference in the tree fruit industry. Laura Mrachek, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, likes change. So, when she predicts that orchardists are going to have to do things differently in the future, she sees the positive side of that. "There's a

How many is too many?

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth slot to feature seasonal varieties, like Honeycrisp in the early autumn months and other varieties

Should WAC come back?

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

A rack card developed by CMI tells consumers about the health benefits of eating apples, with a focus on fiber content. If the Washington apple industry wants to avoid losing shelf space, it should consider reinstating a general promotion program for the domestic market, suggests Steve Lutz, former president of

Produce expert

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

With an office in Yakima, Washington, Wal-Mart plans to keep prices lower and buy directly from growers, cutting out the middleman, says a former Wal-Mart executive. Former Wal-Mart insider Bruce Peterson sees the company's recent move to do more direct buying from apple growers as one of several issues that

Market limitations

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

How new varieties will coexist with those that have already carved out shelf space is the million-dollar question. The biggest change from a marketer's standpoint in the next decade will be the influence of the club varieties on the marketplace, says Bob Mast, marketing director at CMI (Columbia ­Marketing International)

Changes will come faster. Will you keep up?

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Agricultural economist Two decades ago, at a time when the industry had yet to produce more than 60 million boxes of apples and Red Delicious made up almost 75 percent of the crop, agricultural economist Dr. Des O'Rourke warned that it would be difficult for Washington to hold onto its

Apple marketing incentive

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

"If an apple were to explode like a hand grenade when it reached a stage of ripeness not permitting it to reach the consumer in good condition, we would have a red-hot incentive to do a better job. In some orchards pickers could not be induced to put a ladder

Identity crisis

December 1st, 2009|0 Comments

The flood of new apple varieties will continue until the consumer is so confused about the Washington apple identity that they might turn to something else that they can identify, predicts Dr. Don Heinicke, a grower at Orondo in north central Washington. Heinicke was asked to revisit the 1987 article

On the fast track

November 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Michael Weber picks some samples of Mairac in a Washington State test planting. With apple variety breeders putting a strong emphasis on accelerating the breeding process, it only makes sense to commercialize the resulting varieties as quickly as possible. That's the opinion of Michael Weber, managing director of a Swiss

Novel approach

November 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Pete Van Well (left) and Alessio Martinelli of CIV, Italy, admire the color of Rubens apples in Wenatchee, Washington, just before harvest. Rubens, a new apple variety from Italy, will be commercialized in North America in a novel way that is designed to reduce the risk for producers and to

Five food-safety lessons

November 1st, 2009|0 Comments

The tree fruit industry can learn some valuable lessons from past food-safety scares, according to Dr. David Gombas, senior vice president of scientific and technical affairs with the United Fresh Produce Association. Growers should be aware of, concerned about, and prepared for the following: 1 Consumers don't care about relative

Major organic player

November 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Using environmentally sound, sustainable practices to produce tree fruit is one of the core values of supplier-partners of FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, a new marketing firm in Yakima, Washington. Organic fruit will be an important part of the manifest at FirstFruits. Sales projections for organic fruit sales in the first

Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

November 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Walter Bolinger became a fruit grower and packer after working for many years as a shopkeeper. Merchant, politician, real estate developer, orchardist—each of these terms could be used to describe Walter Albert Bolinger. Bolinger was a pioneer mercantile businessman in north central Washington State, helped plat the new town site

Industry veteran is new CEO

November 1st, 2009|0 Comments

With more than 30 years' experience in all aspects of the tree fruit industry, Keith Mathews became CEO in October for the new marketing firm, FirstFruits Marketing of Washington. Mathews was executive director of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association for the past two years, and for five years in the

WSU releases its first apple variety

October 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Retired WSU apple breeder Dr. Bruce Barritt checks another promising selection in an evaluation plot in a commercial orchard. Washington State University has granted an exclusive license for its first apple variety to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, which plans to make it available to any Washington State grower.

In My View – Jay Grandy

September 1st, 2009|0 Comments

The conversation among Pacific Northwest fruit growers tends to focus on the fresh market, where returns are generally more favorable. A very small percentage of apples and cherries are sold for processing—usually the lesser grade fruit. Pears are the exception. Winter pear marketing is consistent with apples and cherries, but

Pear export prospects

September 1st, 2009|0 Comments

A family samples USA pears in a supermarket in the city of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is a significant market for USA Pears. Jeff Correa, Pear Bureau Northwest The Pear Bureau is looking forward to marketing one of the industry's largest pear crops for the 2009-2010 season. With warm

Tough cherry deal refocuses industry

September 1st, 2009|0 Comments

The 2009 season should have been a banner year for Northwest cherries, judging by the volume and quality of cherries shipped, the amount of retail shelf space and advertising devoted to cherries, and the feedback from the market. But for growers, it was a dud. An oversupplied market resulted in

In the Box

August 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Dear Good Fruit Grower: Over the years, being in Connecticut and trying to equate the delight fruit testers experience in western orchards with tree-ripe fruit, has been impossible. These testers are often important in deciding what --varieties of fruit are eventually grown and marketed. When fruit is harvested weeks before

Wine with a cause

August 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Winery owners Stacy Lill (left) and Kathy Johanson provide mentoring and scholarships for young women. The idea was hatched on Halloween night, 2006. Over dinner with their husbands, long-time pals Kathy Johanson and Stacy Lill decided to establish a winery for a good cause; specifically, to fund college scholarships for

Last Bite – The story behind letterheads

August 1st, 2009|0 Comments

For the past several years, each of these articles has focused on a particular fruit grower or marketer with distinctive crate labels. In this issue, for a change of pace, the focus will instead be on an equally distinctive form of the fruit grower's marketing art—company letterheads. Traung, Schmidt, and

Good crop on the tree

August 1st, 2009|0 Comments

The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a crop of large, high-quality apples this fall, which is what buyers want. "We're seeing excellent size and excellent type," said Bruce Grim, manager of the Washington Apple Growers Marketing Association. A year ago, marketers were trying to make their old-crop apples eke

Premium Rainiers

July 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Norm Gutzwiler wants growers who put more time and effort into raising quality cherries to be rewarded. The Washington State fresh cherry industry has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to introduce a premium grade for the state's Rainier cherries. The new grade, requested by the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee,

Last Bite – An Apple A Day

July 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Wilbert "Bill" Hansen was an exception to the rule about many successful fruit industry people being born and raised in the Midwest, because Hansen grew up right in the Yakima Valley on a small hardscrabble farm near Harrah, Washington. Everyone in the family, including Bill, worked hard to make ends

Big plans for WSU viticulture

July 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling tasted wines produced from Puget Sound appellation grapes during a visit to Washington State University's Northwest Research and Extension Center in Mt. Vernon. On the job only a few months, Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling already has big plans for Washington State University's viticulture and enology program. The Good

Cherums and peacotums

July 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Children enjoy novel hybrid fruits during a tasting at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Zaiger Genetics, Inc., internationally acclaimed for developing interspecific fruit, is breeding cherries and plums together in the search for a hybrid cherry-plum, or cherum. The Modesto, California, fruit-breeding company has had success in

Stone fruit crisis

July 1st, 2009|0 Comments

Changes in the fruit industry are related to changes in the global economy, says Terry Bacon of Sun World. California's stone fruit industry is in a deep crisis. Growers and marketers are being squeezed out of business by rising costs, overproduction, stagnant prices, water shortages, and the difficulties of getting

Canned pear assessment rises

July 1st, 2009|0 Comments

The promotional assessment on Pacific Northwest processed pears will increase from $5 to $7.11 per ton this season in an attempt to keep the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service functioning. The volume of pears grown for processing has declined significantly over the past 15 years, B.J. Thurlby, manager of the