Good Fruit Grower

October 2016

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34 OCTOBER 2016 Good Fruit Grower New York grower Dan Pettit shares his experience growing Honeybear Brands' latest club variety. by Dave Weinstock S eeing the potential for high returns, Pettit Farms of Medina, New York, committed five of its 100 acres of apples to Pazazz. The Honeybear Brands club variety com- mands a premium, close to Honeycrisp or other club varieties, according to Tim Mansfield, director of marketing and sales for Sun Orchard Fruit Co. of Burt, New York, the exclusive packer in the Eastern United States. And that's how Pettit Farms first heard of the apple. "We've been doing business with Sun Orchard for 40 years," said Dan Pettit, an owner and general manager who made the decision with his Pettit Farms partners — his dad, Charles, his uncle, Thomas Pettit, and Matt Crandall, a full-time employee. Pettit likes Pazazz's harvest time, because prior to planting it, the farm devoted late September and early October to picking Empires. "The returns for Empires are not as favorable as they are for some varieties," he said. Pettit shared his experiences growing Pazazz during the 2016 International Fruit Tree Association's New York Study Tour in July. Getting started The farm's first and second plantings are 4 and 3 years old. Rows are 12 feet apart with 2.5 feet between trees on a three-wire trellis with bamboo stakes for vertical support. They procured trees for the first planting from a local grower and, for the later one, from a Washington grower. All Pazazz propagation is done under the author- ity and direction of Willow Drive Nursery of Ephrata, Washington. Trees from both sources grew on Nic.29 rootstock. Because the nurseries weren't familiar with the trees' growth habits, they chose a vigorous one. "If we were to do it again, we'd possibly try the less vigorous B.9," Pettit said. They planted the trees on their best ground — crop- land converted to orchards that retain moisture and is tile-drained. Outside of their placement, the trees get no special treatment. In years one and two, the Pettits applied 200 pounds of calcium nitrate twice a year — when the trees began to green and again a month later. For year three, they applied 100 pounds twice. Growing with Pazazz! IFTA New York study tour COURTESY OF DAN PETTIT Sun Orchard Fruit Co., Honeybear Brands' exclusive Eastern U.S. packing partner, will pay a premium for Pazazz apples, similar to those paid for Honeycrisp or other club varieties. Foliar and/or Fertigation Programs Custom built programs using Cal-8 technology Improved stress tolerance Proactive farming Reduce yield loss / Cal-8 W W W . B I O G R O . C O M L E A R N M O R E A T A G R O N O M I S T S RANDALL MONTGOMERY (509) 439-3018 MIKE HULBERT (360) 770-2374 CAL-8 NUE Simply Honest QUALITY CA PRODUCT + 35% ORGANIC ACIDS COMPLETE FERTILITY SOLUTIONS 2017 CROP FERTILITY BEGINS POSTHARVEST Agronomy MADE in ITALY MASH • Mark Hollingsworth • 170 White Fences Drive, Irvington, VA 22480 804-480-0000 • • The best professional tools for pruning trees, orchards and vineyards Light and strong. Blade and counter blade are forged. Aluminium parts are life time guaranteed against breakings.

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