Good Fruit Grower

March 1

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 36 of 47 Good Fruit Grower MARCH 1, 2016 37 Plum pox virus control zone G etting local fruit varieties into local orchards is a particular challenge in Ontario because breeding work takes place within the Niagara region, where the movement of plant material is limited in an effort to prevent the spread of plum pox virus (PPV). While the industry established a mother block for propagating clean plant material outside the quarantine zone near Windsor, north of Detroit, Michigan, budwood must first go to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's key plant health laboratory in Sidney, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, for cleanup. "That's a three- to four-year process, so all of a sudden, if variety X looks good, then a grower almost has to wait six or seven years to start testing it or look at it on their commercial site," said Michael Kauzlaric, a researcher with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre who works with growers seeking new varieties. To give growers a head start, the evaluation committee won a relaxation of the quarantine rules. Growers within the PPV control zone are able to receive plant material from Vineland and develop plantings of new varieties on a limited basis. Commercial orchards in the Niagara region now have trial plantings totaling approximately 1,200 trees of eight peach and nectarine varieties now moving through final testing and registration. "We're doing virus cleanup in parallel to com- mercial testing," Kauzlaric said. "Growers (will) have had four or five years of experience with the variety at their own site, and they can say yes or no, and then – boom! – 10,000 or 20,000 trees can get planted ... instead of waiting another three or four years after it arrives in Windsor." —Peter Mitham Subramanian said of the four peach and four nectarine varieties on trial in commercial orchards right now, two might not have made the cut without feedback from industry. "I might have very well removed them because they weren't in any way compa- rable to Vee Blush in terms of quality," he said. "But the point the industry made was, 'Yeah, that's true, Jay, but look at those fruits — they're large and they come a good week to 10 days before Vee Blush, which means we have that window and any fruit that goes early into the mar- ket will give us that extra dollar.'" It's not only growers who stand to profit from participation in the variety selection process; the more appealing a variety release, the greater the uptake and, in turn, the greater the licensing fees it generates. This makes for a more cost-efficient selection process from start to finish. "It's the way that Ontario wants to see new varieties being brought on. It's a three-year filtering process, and after the third year, it's a go or no-go, essentially," said Kauzlaric, who helps growers identify new varieties on behalf of Vineland, which commercializes the new varieties on behalf of the breeders (fulfilling a function similar to that of Summerland Varieties Corp., formerly the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corp., in British Columbia). With eight new stone fruit varieties nearing release, Kauzlaric is keen to offer new, locally developed varieties along- side existing selections from programs at Rutgers and in Michigan. He said the committee hopes within 12 months to have a handful of varieties named and available for commercial planting in 2018. That's good news to Phil Tregunno of Tregunno Fruit Farms Inc. near Niagara- on-the-Lake and chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers. "The evaluation committee brings marketers, growers, nursery operators and researchers all together to share information which has been very beneficial in ramping up production," he said. "Vineland varieties of peaches and nectarines, as well as fire blight-resistant pears and improved varieties of apricots, are all being planted, which give growers a longer production season and consumers a wider choice of local fruit replacing imports." • Peter Mitham is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vollie, a yellow-fleshed peach, was released to mark the centennial of the Vinland research station in 2006. ® Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow Always read and follow label directions. Delegate ® Insecticide. Insecticide applications may target a single pest, but other pests are likely residing in your orchard. With Delegate, you can control multiple pests at once, including: n  Codling moth n Thrips n Leafroller n  Leafminer n Spotted wing Drosophila n Cherry fruit fly n Pear psylla Pests are controlled by contact and ingestion. And the translaminar movement (into the leaf) of Delegate helps reach pests out of the direct line of spray. To learn more, visit MULTIPLE PESTS LURK. COINCIDENTALLY, DELEGATE ® CONTROLS MULTIPLE PESTS.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - March 1