Good Fruit Grower

December 2013

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SPECIALTY TRACTORS PHOTO BY RICHARD LEHNERT BUILT FOR ORCHARDS & VINEYARDS One of the crowd's favorite peaches was a numbered selection, FA 106, from Fruit Acres. Its harvest date is the same a named Stellar variety, so it remains unnamed, not competitor to the released variety. released. Stanley is an old standby that has one large virtue: It is somewhat self-fertile. "Pollination is very much a plum problem," Rood said. Most plums need to be planted with a suitable companion variety to get good fruit production. Rood commented that Vibrant was only recently named, but has been in the breeding pipeline for a long time. "We tried it 30 or 40 years ago," he said. "It does not drop. I like it a lot." He also grows some Muir plums. They were bred for California growers who grow plums for drying, which requires high sugar content. Paul Friday gave high marks to the Japanese plum Rubyqueen, bred by Dick Okie in the USDA program at Byron, Georgia. "It's the plum you want," Friday said. He also brought samples of Toka, a plum he sells to farm market customers under the name Bubble Gum, because of the flavor. Wanda Gale spoke about a new plum Summit Sales offers called BlackIce, a fresh market plum bred by Dr. Brian Smith at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. It's hardy to -35˚F, precocious, compact, grower-friendly, with good disease resistance, she said. It's a hybrid plum that needs pollination from another hybrid, like Toka, she said. 15x15 Mechanical Electro Hydraulic 3 - Remote Valve Tier 3 Perkins Four Wheel Electro Hydraulic 70, 80, 87, or 93 Peaches Peaches were well represented. Three Michigan breeders spoke about their programs, but there were peaches from the Rutgers breeding program as well. The Michigan breeding program, under Stanley Johnson, turned out the now-famous Haven series of peaches, including Redhaven, which is still—73 years later—the standard for comparison. Peaches are rated according to how many days before or after Redhaven they ripen. Paul Friday has more than 30 peaches that ripen from 30 days before Redhaven (PF-1) to 54 days after Redhaven (PF-Fashionably Late). Randy and Annette Bjorge, neighbors of Paul Friday, have developed the Stellar series whose names all end with Star. The 11 varieties stretch from Earlystar, 18 days before Redhaven, to Autumnstar, 37 days after. Annette grew up on a peach farm, owned by Jim Friday, and learned peach breeding from Dr. Bob Andersen while she was an intern at Michigan State University in the 1980s. Both the Bjorges and Paul Friday are major growers and marketers of peaches and plums, as well as breeders of new varieties. Shane revived Michigan State's peach breeding program several years ago, but was set back when plum pox was discovered near his research orchard. They were all eradicated. Luckily, elite lines were planted on other sites. Two years ago, he named and released Beaumont, which ripens 18 days after Redhaven. He is evaluating other selections. • F Series GE Series GT Series $3000 CASH or 0% for 5 YEARS! CENTRAL WASHINGTON EQUIPMENT YAKIMA IMPLEMENT HOOD RIVER SUPPLY 509-663-8187 509-452-5867 541-386-2757 WENATACHEE, WA YAKIMA, WA HOOD RIVER, OR GOOD FRUIT GROWER DECEMBER 2013 25

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