Good Fruit Grower

November 2015

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Page 30 of 55 GOOD FRUIT GROWER NOVEMBER 2015 31 Apple scab is a major problem but researchers have developed programs and protocols that work well enough to pro- duce high-quality fruit. Ostenson said the quality of their organic fruit was compa- rable to Washington's and sold for about double the conventional market price. France Ostenson and Granatstein visited an apple-growing region in the southern Rhône Valley in France where growers were switching to low-input and ecolog- ical growing methods, a strategy that is negatively impacting production. Yields were only about 25 bins per acre—half what they could have been. Hedgerows that had been planted to attract bene- ficial insects had reduced fruit damage by pests, but not to acceptable levels. Growers were still applying 30 to 35 sprays per season in organic orchards. "It's a different world," Granatstein commented. "It's warm and humid. It's like disease heaven." Although the French have been invest- ing in research to try to make organic fruit production more feasible, there did not appear to be much land being converted to organic because of the challenges they're facing. Switzerland Though Switzerland has a very small apple industry producing less than 8 million boxes, it makes a significant investment in research and extension. Ostenson and Granatstein visited the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture at Frick, which employs 100 people who focus exclusively on organic production. Switzerland tries to produce as much of its own fruit as possible and places tariffs on imports while domestic sup- plies are available. The two major grocery chains, Coop and Migros, are very sup- portive of organic. Granatstein said he had expected to see scab-resistant cultivars as the cor- nerstone of organic apple production in Europe, because of the humid climate, but that did not seem to be the case. There are reports of resistance breaking down and other flaws that stopped their expansion. Organic still looks like a good bet for Washington growers who are looking to diversify, Granatstein said, though the expected increase in organic production in Washington seems like a big increase for the market to digest. Most production so far has gone to the domestic market and Canada. Of last season's crop of 9.5 million boxes of organic apples, only 604,000 were exported, and 84 percent of those went to Canada. Although large global apple produc- tion increases will put pressure on prices overall, Ostenson does not think this will be the case with organic apples because demand exceeds supply. Last season, Washington produced 30 percent more organic apples than in the previous year but sold out in the same time frame. He expects that Washington's increasing organic apple production levels will be absorbed by an expansion to year-round supplies combined with increasing exports. Ostenson concludes that Washington will remain king of organic production for the foreseeable future because of its abil- ity to produce high yields of high-quality fruit. • Willow Drive Nursery, Inc. Call Toll Free: 1-888-548-7337 3539 Road 5 NW, Ephrata, WA 98823 Ambrosia™ Blondee™ Cameo® brand Chrisolyn™ Jonathan Granny Smith Jonastar™ Jonagold Pink Lady® Brand RubyMac® Snowsweet® Spartan Zestar!® Gala: Buckeye® Gala Ultima Gala® Early Fuji: Morning Mist™ Rising Sun® Braeburn: Kumeu Crimson® Mariri Red™ Additional Varieties Brookfield ® Gala (Baigent CV) From New Zealand we bring you Brookfield, ® the ultimate striped Gala.The bold red stripe over its red background is the obvious improvement. The apple's early color permits proper harvest timing for best storage maturity, flavor retention, and customer satisfaction. Lady in Red This high colored Cripps Pink sport begins color formation well over a month before harvest and finishes off with a beautiful, nice, reddish-pink hue. Lady in Red was shown to mature approximately one week earlier than the Cripps Pink cultivar grown in the same location in New Zealand. *Trademark license for Pink Lady® Brand available upon request (Lady in Red is a sport of Cripps Pink) USPP #18,787 Royal Red Honeycrisp ® Discovered in the Columbia Basin of Washington State, this exciting new color sport of Honeycrisp is catching attention from coast to coast. Royal Red Honeycrisp® is a blush type selection and maintains the crisp, juicy texture of its parent that so many consumers have come to love. Beyond the high color factor, initial tests indicate that it's improved storage characteristics may be equally important in improving pack-out. USPP #22,244 Aztec Fuji ® DT2 variety Aztec Fuji ® is a high colored Fuji sport from New Zealand. It has the sweet juicy flavor, crisp texture and harvest maturity of standard Fuji. Aztec is a blush type and observations show it to be one of the highest coloring Fuji sports to date. Aztec Fuji® is a protected trademark of Waimea Variety Management Early Robin ® This early Rainier-type cherry matures 7-10 days before standard Rainier. Early Robin ® is mild in flavor and medium to large in size. Early Robin ® requires a pollinizer but Van should not be used. USPP#13,951 Early Robin ® Aztec Fuji ® Royal Red Honeycrisp ® Willow Drive Nursery Call now for availability

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