Last year's Sunrise Research Orchard field day drew a crowd.

Last year’s Sunrise Research Orchard field day drew a crowd.

Growers and others in the tree fruit industry will have an opportunity to meet Washington State University’s new pomologist Dr. Stefano Musacchi during the annual Sunrise Research Orchard Field Day on August 7.

Musacchi, an internationally recognized leader in pome fruit physiology and production, fills a new endowed chair position at WSU, which was created as a result of a special research assessment that Washington growers are paying. He was previously assistant professor at the University of Bologna in Italy, where he studied propagation and training systems, evaluated rootstocks and cultivars, and did research on the mechanisms of graft incompatibility.

The field day will also highlight research on a solid-set canopy delivery system, various fabric coverings for protecting apple orchards, mechanical and chemical thinning, and control of replant disease.

Dr. Kate Evans will give an update of the apple breeding program and WSU’s new apple variety WA 38. Visitors might have an opportunity to test some new apple variety candidates.


Two workshops will be offered before the main field day, one on weed management and the other on enhancing biological control. In the bicontrol workshop, growers can learn how to identify natural enemies, including predators and parasitoids, in their various life stages, as well as their pest prey or hosts.

Various sampling techniques will be demonstrated, and participants will collect natural enemies from the orchard to practice identification skills. Scientists will discuss new monitoring tools, natural enemies, and pesticide effects, and provide take-home guides for further reference.

The workshops start at 3:00 p.m. and the main field day at 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be served in the equipment compound at 6:30 after the field day ends.

Sunrise Orchard is located on Sunrise Lane, off Highway 28 about 11 miles south of Wenatchee. The workshops are free, but let WSU know by July 31 which you would like to participate in by e-mailing or phoning (509) 663-8181.