Good Fruit Grower

January 2017

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Page 14 of 39 GOOD FRUIT GROWER JANUARY 1, 2017 15 Improving packouts Lindsey Morrison, field consultant for Columbia Fruit Packers in Wenatchee, Washington, shared some common issues warehouses saw with the fruit during the 2016 harvest: —Mold. "When it shows up on the fruit, it can go downhill very quickly, as can your packouts," she said. —Lenticel decay. Packers saw more of it this year — and in varieties that haven't had issues in the past. "We're doing some brainstorming to figure out what it can be attributed to," she said. —Splits, especially in more-susceptible Galas. "We're picking in August and they don't have the protection with the new systems or the canopy cover they used to have." That's also why packers are seeing a lot of sunburn. —Insect damage and quite a few different kinds of rot also popped up in packing houses. "Harvest timing is critical to everything. If you allow the fruit to become overripe, you increase chance for postharvest issues and reducing your packout," she said. And a reminder: keep harvested bins out of the sun. Morrison advised grow- ers to keep a close eye on whether pickers are bruis- ing the fruit or picking too much green fruit, which will affect the packout. She also recommended sending fruit straight to the processor if, for instance, an entire block gets hit by hail or has poor color or really large or small fruit. "It doesn't have to go through the warehouse. Cut out the middle man," she said. And if you are sending to the warehouse, pay atten- tion to their message, Milne said. "They have a band of opportunity for every apple, every pear, every cherry, a moment when it will make the best profit," he said. "If you forced the warehouse to fire sale, you've just lost ultimate potential for that fruit to earn money." Goldy agreed. Growers create, by their own success, a cyclical business model. "It's one that, when we're riding the wave up, we just keep doing more if it until we doom it and tip over," Goldy said. The world is getting more complex, and to prepare for it, growers need to better anticipate where they're going to be a week or two weeks out. "If you're just wak- ing up in the morning and reacting to what you have on your plate today, you're never going to get ahead," he said. • Lindsey Morrison TJ MULLINAX/GOOD FRUIT GROWER An apple orchard just about ready for harvest in 2016 near Mattawa, Washington. A successful — and profitable — crop often depends on managing crop load and balancing soil nutrients. Providing growing supplies for over 25 years. SHADE, WIND, HAIL FABRICS AND STRUCTURE DESIGN • ASK US ABOUT OUR DIFFERENT FABRIC OPTIONS THAT PROVIDE KEY BENEFITS TO YOUR ORCHARD • LET US HELP YOU WITH THE STRUCTURE. YAKIMA VALLEY CALIFORNIA Steve Kuhn 509-728-1929 YAKIMA VALLEY OREGON/MEXICO Juan Pinon 509-728-1339 WENATCHEE / BASIN WESTERN WASHINGTON Bill Johnson 509-728-0664 CALIFORNIA Chris Siems 507-301-5106 Aaron Sherer 805-550-2022 PASCO/HORSE HEAVEN Matt Blevins 509-728-0570 PHONE: 503-538-2131 • FAX: 503-538-7616 • Call today to place your order! 800-421-4001 Trees available! 2017 Aztec Fuji ® B118/Emla 26 Buckeye ® Gala M9-337/Nic ® 29 Buckeye ® Prime M9-337 Crimson Gold Pajam ® 2 Pink Lady ® Cripps Pink cv. B10/B118 Honeycrisp TM Pajam ® 2/Geneva ® 30/Geneva ® 222 2018 Aztec ® Geneva ® 41 Buckeye ® Prime M9-337 Pink Lady ® Cripps Pink cv. Geneva ® 41 Foxtrot TM Gala M9-337 Wildfire TM Gala M9-337/Pajam ® 2/B10 ® 2019 Contracts Available for Aztec ® Buckeye ® Prime Cosmic Crisp TM Firestorm TM Foxtrot TM Gala Lady in Red ® Pink Lady ® Cripps Pink cv. Premier TM Honeycrisp Royal Red Honeycrisp ® Wildfire TM Gala

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