Washington Fruit and Produce Co. and Yakima Fresh announce partnership

September 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

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

Chile to take U.S. West Coast blueberries

August 5th, 2020|0 Comments

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

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Pear Bureau Northwest will meet via webinar May 26–29

May 21st, 2020|0 Comments

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

  • The annual 5-state meeting of Cherry Growers Northwest, normally held in a Richland, Washington, hotel, convened virtually on May 13 with more than 100 participants by either Zoom or conference call. Sweet cherry producers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana collectively estimated a crop of 20.15 million 20-pound box equivalents. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Northwest Cherry Growers holds virtual 5-state annual meeting

May 13th, 2020|0 Comments

The annual 5-state meeting of Cherry Growers Northwest, normally held in a Richland, Washington, hotel, convened virtually on May 13 with more than 100 participants by either Zoom or conference call. Sweet cherry producers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana collectively estimated a crop of 20.15 million 20-pound box

Wine of the times

April 16th, 2020|0 Comments

In an era of too many bottles for too few drinkers, industry must adapt to new tastes, say experts at the Washington Winegrowers Association’s annual gathering.

  • In March, blueberries will join apples, pears, cherries and peaches among the ranks of fruit with their own smart phone emojis. (Courtesy U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council)

Feeling blue?

February 5th, 2020|0 Comments

Blueberries, already lauded for health benefits, have a new honor: Their own emoji. The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit group that aims to set standards for digital communication, has approved the addition of the blueberries emoji for release in March, when it will join other fruit emojis such as the apple,

Kevin Shaw and Lance Davison, young growers from Vernon, British Columbia

January 1st, 2020|0 Comments

Kevin Shaw, a first-generation farmer, grew up in Kenya and pursued an engineering degree. Lance Davison, a fourth-generation farmer, grew up in Vernon and focused on horticulture in college. Kevin married Lance’s sister, Laura. The family business includes parents, Tamra and Tom Davison, and grandparents, Dora and Bob Davison.

  • 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

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USApple announces 2019 Young Apple Leaders

February 15th, 2019|0 Comments

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

  • 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.

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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California council schedules June MRL workshop

March 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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

  • 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.

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

February 10th, 2016|0 Comments

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

  • 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|3 Comments

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|2 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