Good Fruit Grower

December 2012

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don't get enough critical mass of money out of cherries, you're not going to be able to have the caliber of program we need." Bruce Allen, a member of the WSU Tree Fruit Endow- ment Advisory Committee, said that, considering the gross revenue per acre received from cherries versus other fruits, the rates are not disproportionate. "For the last twenty years, cherries have been more profitable than apples, and that's why we've seen such an investment in the cherry industry in terms of new acreage, new varieties, and extended marketing," he said. "But, cherries have been profitable for all growers, pretty much throughout the world, and there have been exten- sive plantings throughout the world. The ability to develop and maintain a competitive edge is something every cherry grower should think about." Ten or fifteen years ago, when growers planted cher- ries, it wasn't necessarily important what system, what density, or what varieties they planted, Allen said. "Today, in a more competitive environment, that you make the most effective decisions is going to be critical to your long-term viability as a cherry grower." Apple and pear growers began paying their special assessment on the 2012 crop. Already, WSU has filled a new position of Extension tree fruit leader and created a new endowed research pomologist position. Both will be based at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. Results of the cherry and stone fruit referendum should be announced in early February. If a majority of growers vote in favor, the special assessment would go into effect for the 2013 crop. • ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION seeks input establish a federal organic research and promotion order. One such forum will be held during the Washington T State Horticultural Association's annual meeting in Yakima at the end of the afternoon organics session on December 4. The Organic Trade Association, a membership- based business association for the organic industry in North America, represents businesses across the organic supply chain and addresses all things organic, including food, fiber, personal care products, and other new sectors. Earlier this year, the OTA board of directors decided to see if there is industry support to establish a new organic research and promotion check-off program. Federal research and promotion programs are simi- lar to marketing orders, with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but they are not as broad in scope and activity as marketing orders. Eighteen research and promotion boards are currently in place, including programs for beef, eggs, fluid milk, mush- rooms, and watermelons. OTA, according to its Web site, believes that a research and promotion program would help distin- guish organic in the marketplace, increase demand, and help the consumer understand all that organic he Organic Trade Association is holding town-hall forums across the country to gather industry thoughts about the association's proposal to delivers—goals OTA believes require collective resources and coordination beyond those currently available to industry. Reasons given to support a research and promotion program, detailed on OTA's Web site, include: • a protracted recession, tarnished trust in the organic seal, and blurred distinction between organic and unregulated natural and eco-labels that have contributed to slowed industry growth now averaging less than 6 percent annually instead of 20 percent • a need to share growing research evidence pointing to the attributes of organic • a need for sustained resources and coordination to help consumers connect the dots about the benefits of organic OTA began holding town-hall style forums across the country in October to gather industry input. Already, meetings have been held in western Washington, Florida, and Montana. After the meeting held in conjunction with the Hort Association's annual meeting in December, the road show continues to California, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Learn more about the research and promotion ini- tiative and upcoming meeting dates by visiting the OTA Web site at or call Laura Batcha, executive vice president, at (802) 275-3827. —M. Hansen Our Reputation Is Everything To Us! ® Performance You Can Count On! 3008, SWING HITCH 3210: 10.5' WIDTH 3210, SEMI MOUNT 3209: 9' WIDTH 3008: 8' WIDTH 290 Series Burrows Has Been a Full ServiceBush Hog Dealer for 45-plus Years! When you buy BUSH HOG, you get great performance NOW AND FOR YEARS TO COME. 5 Year Limited Gearbox Warranty GOOD FRUIT GROWER DECEMBER 2012 65 290 Series: 5', 6', 7' WIDTHS

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