Good Fruit Grower

April 15

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46 APRIL 15, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER Innovative packing U nitec, an Italian manufacturer of fruit processing, sorting, and packing lines, has developed a num- ber of systems for nondestructive sorting of internal and external quality of tree fruits. UNI_ONE LF jolly is an electronic sorter that can han- dle a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of different shapes (including apricots, peaches, apples, and pears), which reduces the investment costs. The Unical 200 cherry system is designed to handle the fruit gently while maintaining high productivity. The Cherry Vision system provides nondestructive testing of the external and internal quality of cherries, reducing hand labor and enhancing the value of the product because of more accurate sorting. Uni Fly is an optical electronic sorter for smaller fruits, like blueberries, which can be installed in existing lines to sort out defects and foreign bodies. For more information check the website at Rain protection S implot Growers Solutions and Western Ag Improvement are exclusive distributors in North America of a product called Cherry Armor, a product designed to strengthen a cherry's natural resistance to rain. Cherry Armor originated in Europe in 2001 and is applied to more than 45,000 acres around the world. It is available in North America starting this season. According to the manufacturer Jet Harvest Solutions, Cherry Armor is made from food-grade materials and is organically certified. It can be applied twice during the sea- son and can be tank mixed with most products, including gibberellic acid. As well as helping to reduce splitting, the product also helps increase stem retention, according to the company. For more information, visit or Stinger for thistle A pple growers can use the herbicide Stinger this year and next, under a special sup- plemental label issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year. The label expires September 27, 2015, unless EPA gives it full Section 3 approval by then. According to Michigan State University horticulturist and weed control specialist Dr. Bernard Zandstra, Stinger (clopyralid from Dow AgroSciences) is effective against a family of difficult-to-control composite weeds (Asteraceae) that includes Canada thistle, burdock, cocklebur, horseweed, goldenrod, dandelion, and others. It will also eliminate legumes like alfalfa, clovers, and vetch, and members of the nightshade family. It will stunt horsenettle, plantains, and smartweed. "Stinger is a hormonal herbicide that translocates throughout the plants," Zandstra said. "It can cause some curling and twisting of leaves and new shoots, so the label advises to avoid direct application to apple foliage, fruit, or trunks. Slight contact with apple plants will not cause permanent crop injury." The preharvest interval is 30 days. Pennsylvania State University horticulturist Dr. Rob Crassweller said, "If you are specifically going after this- tles, be aware that there are two windows for control. The first opportunity is a spray in early to mid-June from the rosette stage to when the flower buds are just forming but have not opened. The second window of opportunity is in August to October when thistle regrowth is about ten inches high." Since thistles often grow in clumps or patches, the best approach might be to use a hand sprayer for spot spraying, he said. The label allows up to two applications per season, but no more than two-thirds of a pint per acre per year. Stinger is not cleared for use in Florida or in the New York counties of Nassau and Suffolk. Early cherries sell at top prices C herries grown in high-tech glasshouses in Lleida, Spain, came on the market in March. Producer SAT Edoa claims that the cherries are the only ones avail- able in Europe at that time—a full month before the first early-season imports from California arrive. Because they are produced in small quantities, the cherries—sold under the brand name Glamour Cher- ries—are expensive and found in upmarket depart- ment stores such as Harrods of London. A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) bamboo punnet (basket) can cost between 85 and 125 euros (U.S.$118 to $124), according to press release from SAT Edoa. Harvesting of the 2014 crop began on March 10 and was scheduled to end on April 27, with some 72,000 kilos (158,400 pounds) harvested. The company's total production area covers 50,000 square meters (more than 12 acres), with an additional 10,000 square meters (2.5 acres) of young trees that will not produce fruit for another two years. Russia, Dubai, Qatar, and the United Kingdom are the top export markets for Glamour cherries. The company is also targeting Canada and Singapore. A selection of the latest products and services for tree fruit and grape growers. GOOD STUFF PHOTO COURTESY OF UNITEC The Unical 200 cherry vision system sorts cherries by internal and external quality.

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