Good Fruit Grower

January 15

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by Geraldine Warner ashington's fresh cherry packers will continue to be allowed to ship 12-row red cherries, members of the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee decided at their meeting in early December. The committee commissioned economist Dr. Desmond O'Rourke to study the financial impact on the industry of shipping 12-row cherries, the smallest size packed. B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, said some industry people favored eliminating 12-row cherries from the market because of the increasing volumes of cherries being produced in the Pacific Northwest and the fear that small cherries would drag down prices. In the early 1990s, the committee eliminated size 11.5 and 12-row Rainier cherries in a successful attempt to keep that variety viable and profitable. However, O'Rourke reported that it was difficult to separate the impact of small cherries on the market from other factors, such as rain or extreme heat. Committee members wanting to retain size 12 cherries pointed out that Northwest cherry packers now have sophisticated sorting equipment to ensure both the internal and external quality of cherries and that the volume of small cherries shipped is very small. O'Rourke reported that over the past five years, 1.8 percent of fresh red cherries shipped from the Pacific Northwest were 12 row. Shipments of small sizes tend to be higher at the start of the season when fewer cherries are available to buyers. They pointed out that other states that the Northwest competes against, such as California, have no size restrictions. Committee members voted 11 to 5 in favor of allowing 12-row cherries to be shipped from Washington State. Thurlby said the marketing committee creates an avenue for the industry to discuss raising the bar on quality. "It was positive to see it was a good, serious discussion," he said. "Some people were disappointed about not getting 12-row cherries eliminated, but it's those types of discussions this industry needs to have to continue to be successful." W • Call Now for Availability Committee decides not to eliminate 12-row red cherries. Willow Drive Nursery No ban on small cherries 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 ® 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 Ltd. Honeycrisp Kootenay TM Introduced in 1991, Honeycrisp is creating quite an interest with commercial growers. The wellbalanced, sub-acid flavor combined with a crisp, juicy texture make for an enjoyable eating experience. Additional Varieties Ambrosia™ Gala: Buckeye® Gala Blondee™ Ultima Gala® Cameo® brand Chrisolyn™ Jonathan Early Fuji: Morning Mist™ Granny Smith Rising Sun® Jonastar™ Jonagold Braeburn: Pink Lady® Brand Kumeu Crimson® RubyMac® Mariri Red™ Snowsweet® Spartan Zestar!® This Lapins mutation was discovered in Creston, B.C. Kootenay matures at Sweetheart timing, but more closely resembles the Lapins fruit. The fruit is dark red with red flesh, and is self-fertile. Willow Drive recommends Kootenay for testing at this time. USPP# 18,849 TM TM 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. Willow Drive Nursery, Inc. Call Toll Free: 1-888-548-7337 3539 Road 5 NW, Ephrata, WA 98823, GOOD FRUIT GROWER JANUARY 15, 2014 7

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