Good Fruit Grower

December 2015

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Page 14 of 95 Good Fruit Grower DECEMBER 2015 15 worsening drought conditions for the Pacifi c Northwest through winter and into spring of 2016. Many growers used emergency wells to get through this season as water was shut off in parts of Washington in early August. But who knows what the future holds, said Kevin Knight, this year's annual meeting chair and an apple, cherry and pear grower in Naches, Washington. "We've really only experienced one year at a time, but California is going on quite a few years straight of drought," Knight said. "With no snow or precipitation this winter, next year could get ugly for everybody." This year's conference includes in-depth seminars for specifi c crops, as well as sessions designed to address issues of interest to everyone, such as labor, pests and diseases, technology, and food safety. Another issue of concern is pollination, particularly for some cherry and pear growers who struggled at bloom this year. The declining bee population and expense to bring bees to the orchard are growing challenges, said Jose Ramirez, Washington State Tree Fruit Association board chair, who grows apples and cherries near Royal City and manages another orchard of apples, cherries, and pears. Knight said growers should expect updates on research into controlling diseases in Manchurian crab apples and research into alternative pollinizers. Manchurian crab apples have been widely planted in Pacifi c Northwest orchards because they bloom early enough to pollinate king blossoms of Red Delicious and work well with other varieties like Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith. However, the variety also can be subject to crab apple canker diseases, leading to postharvest rots and export issues. Returning to the program this year is a session on organics, in large part because that sector continues to be a bright spot for the industry (see "Gaining organic intelligence" on page 16). Consumer demand for organic foods pushed up U.S. retail organic sales by 11 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, and this growth is expected to continue. "Our industry is growing and, organically, it's growing a lot. We need to keep that program consistent," Ramirez said. "There's a lot to learn in organics. As a new grower, you see good pricing, but you don't see the work that goes into it and the issues that you face as an organic grower." • PHOTOS BY TJ MULLINAX/GOOD FRUIT GROWER Kevin Knight, an apple, cherry, and pear grower in Naches, Washington, is this year's annual meeting chair. Dr. Melba Salazar-Gutierrez, WSU, speaks at last year's event. She will speak about tree fruit thinning this year. ONLINE The Washington State Tree Fruit Association Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo will be held December 7-9 at the Yakima Convention Center and the Yakima SunDome. Visit or for offi cial event information. Go to for Good Fruit Grower's comprehensive coverage and to download our new app for mobile devices. Retrot Your CA Facility To A Safer, More Cost Eective Alternative To Traditional Ammonia CA. . . The Frigadon HYCOOL® Secondary Refrigeration System Provides A Non-toxic CA Environment In Canada Call . . . 250-210-2015 or Email . . . In the Northwest Call . . . 509-969-4577 or Email . . . CA Environment The Frigadon HYCOOL ® Secondary Refrigeration System is designed to meet the environmental concerns of today and the future. Retrot Services 35,000 Bins at Auvil Fruit Retrot Services 35,000 Bins at Auvil Fruit • Non-toxic heat transfer uids • Reduce insurance cost with built-in safety features • New techniques and state-of-the art technologies • Increased life expectancy of the system • Centrally located mechanical unit engineered to provide exibility of serving several buildings • Installation costs are less expensive and require less time than complex ammonia CA facilities • Existing ammonia CA can be readily converted Retrot of the CA Facility at Auvil Fruit Company with a Frigadon HYCOOL® Secondary Refrigeration System Retrot of the CA Facility at Auvil Fruit Company with a Frigadon HYCOOL® Secondary Refrigeration System No Engine Room Required No Engine Room Required

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