Good Fruit Grower

January 2015

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Page 22 of 39 GOOD FRUIT GROWER JANUARY 1, 2015 23 of the Alps, enjoying the mild Mediterranean climate and protected by the mountains from the continental climate. With 300 sunny days a year, the warm days and cool nights produce high quality fruit, both in sugar and color, Werth said. The upper valley is particularly noted for their typey, blushed Golden Delicious. Orchards in the lower valley near Bolzano are from 600 to 800 feet in altitude, while orchards further up the valley are up to 3,000 feet above sea level. Co-ops for everything Given that the people of South Tyrol seem divided— they speak Italian, Germany, and an ancient Latin-like language called Ladin, and were once an Austrian province lost to Italy after World War I—they seem super-cooperative. "Since the end of the Second World War, the various stakeholders involved in apple production and market- ing have organized themselves," Werth said. He calls the structure a LINSA, a "learning and innovation network for sustainable agriculture." "It is a highly sophisticated and adaptive network involving producers, their cooperatives and associa- tions, a research station, agricultural advisory services, and other public and private actors, all collaborating in a network of linkages that function because of the high level of understanding and cooperation among all the stakeholders," he wrote describing it. As an example, the growers all need frost protection, and they all do it in the same way at the same time. They use overhead irrigation, supplied by abundant water from well and glacial river water, and it all runs at once, coating every orchard with a protective layer of ice. At the other end, growers don't pick apples when they want to—they pick according to the dictates of their mar- keting cooperative, which tests fruit for maturity and sets a time frame during which each grower must harvest and deliver or face penalties for lower quality. Bins are owned by the co-ops (only indirectly by the growers), and growers fill them with apples and transport them to central facilities where they are stored, graded, packed, and sold under a brand. No apples are stored on farms. The co-op inspects the apples as they are deliv- ered, gives them a quality grade, and assigns them to long- or short-term storage. Growers are paid for quality, but all are paid alike for similar quality, no matter when the apples are sold. They receive several payments, with the fourth and last installment reflecting the co-op's marketing performance for the entire year. One of the brands used in marketing is VI.P's Sudtirol Val Venosta—with a logo that shows a seven-spotted lady beetle over a green valley, the snow-capped mountains of the Orties Group, and blue sky. IFTA members spent several hours at VI.P's super-modern, super-automated packing facility. • Growers & Fruit Industry Truck Buyers. . . Partner up with your GMC Business Elite Dealer Lee Peterson Motors Every dollar counts in the ag business, and you need hard working trucks from a reliable dealer you can trust, your GMC Business Elite Dealer. 4'JSTU4USFFUt:BLJNBt L P MOTORS .com www Click! Drive! Save! .0/'3* ".1. SAT ".1. SUN ".1. 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Standard Box Rich Ausink Fleet Manager Jim Peterson General Manager The right truck customized to your specific agricultural businees needs. Consider for your next planting: • BRUCE PONDER • SUSAN WILKINSON • ADAM WEIL • DAVE WEIL 503-538-2131 • FAX: 503-538-7616 BENEFITS: • Disease tolerant • Cold hardy • Adapts well to all cherry-growing districts • Forms flower buds and comes into bearing quicker than Mazzard with a better distribution of flower buds Roots available for SPRING DELIVERY Call Tree Connection: 800-421-4001 Dwarfing Cherry Rootstock Krymsk ® 5 Krymsk ® 6 [cv. VSL-2, USPP 15,723] [cv. LC-52, USPP 16,114] "Krymsk ® 5 and Krymsk ® 6 cherry rootstocks have proven to be the best rootstock for our orchards. They are yield efficient, grow and adapt well, and are cold hardy." —John Morton The Dalles, Oregon INDUSTRY strengths K urt Werth described the strengths of the South Tyrol region: —Intensive culture, since acreage is limited. —Italian policy is strongly pro-agricultural and the tax load is minimal. —South Tyrol has considerable political auton- omy with a local government that has "extensive competence." —There are well-organized institutions for research and education. —Farm property is protected by the "closed farm system." A law, passed in 1954, says that agri- cultural land cannot be divided by inheritance but should be passed down to one of the children to preserve the continuity of the single farm. Half of all the farms in South Tyrol (12,000 out of 26,600) were declared closed by the law. —European Union support. —A strong cooperative tradition. —A central location in Europe. —A single processing plant for industrial use of apples.

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