TFREC is the research and extension center of Washington State University dedicated to the tree fruit sciences. Located in the primary fruit producing region of the world, the center features a cooperative, multidisciplinary approach to tree fruit production in the 21st century.
Hows and Whys of Soil Testing
October 29, 3—4PM, Large Conference Room@WSU-TFREC; live video to WSU Prosser
Dr. Joan Davenport will discuss soil testing, a tool to estimate nutrient availability over a single growing season. She will discuss the chemistry behind traditional soil testing, what a soil test does and does not tell you, and provide some information about other types of tests that are being promoted for use. Dr. Davenport will also discuss how soil moisture and water management influence nutrient availability as well as root system considerations.
This is the second in a series of educational opportunities focusing on soils in perennial fruit systems. A session on “Roots” is planned for the Wash. St. Hort. Assoc. meeting on Dec. 3, 2014, in Kennewick, and a more general workshop on “Building Soils for Better Crops” is planned for Dec. 10, 2014, in Moses Lake.(more; pdf...)
New look coming to WSU-TFREC web sites
In coordination with the development of the new WSU Tree Fruit one-stop website later this year, WSU-TFREC websites will receive a makeover. Readers are invited to view the initial stages of the project with a test version of the Orchard Pest Management resource at http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/opm.
Coming WSU One-Stop-Shop website for tree fruit
Dr. Desmond Layne and a team of other WSU faculty are in the process of creating a new, comprehensive, one-stop-shop tree fruit website with a targeted launch date by the end of 2014. Dr. Layne, Tree Fruit Extension Program Leader for WSU, in a Growing Produce column, described the on-going process to develop a single place to draw together the diverse information of numerous websites currently maintained by WSU for tree fruits (pdf)
Spotted Wing Drosophila update
July 11: Trap catches remain low again this week: Brewster, Wenatchee, Stemilt Hill and Mattawa all had positive trap catches for the first time this season however. Get updated monitoring information from the WSU Spotted Wing Drosophila website.
Little Cherry Disease…..a growing concern for Washington sweet cherry growers
Trees with little cherry disease produce cherries of small size and poor flavor making the fruit unmarketable. This disease has been present at low levels in Washington State since the 1940s, but became increasingly evident during 2011-2013 resulting in unpicked limbs/trees, tree removal, and even whole orchard removal. Little cherry disease has been verified in commercial sweet cherry orchards in Grant, Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties. To learn more about little cherry disease management, spread, and current WSU research, go to http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/LCD.
Life on a leaf
Amazing video describing mites that can be found on apple leaves; taken through a dissecting microscope, 10x-70x (more...)
WSU announces the name for its stellar new apple
Community Display Garden: Roses
Roses are now at full bloom in the Community Display Garden, southeast corner of the TFREC campus. Visitors may walk through the gardens anytime during daylight hours, and discover numerous ideas and concepts for their own gardens. Thanks to the hard work of the WSU Chelan County Master Gardeners.
Orchard diseases, finding a solution in the genes
Dr. Desmond Layne, in a May 2014 American Fruit Grower column, provides a summary of the progress toward breeding tree fruits for both disease resistance and superior fruit quality. Armed with tools that only recently became available, breeders have become more creative, accurate, and efficient (more; download pdf).
Predatory mites in northwest orchards
Information on predatory mites recently discovered in northwest orchards has been added to the Orchard Pest Management web articles.
As Extension celebrates 100 years, new goals are set for tree fruit
Dr. Desmond Layne recently laid out the next steps WSU is taking toward new tree fruit extension resources. In an article published in Goodfruit Grower on the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension, Dr. Layne, tree fruit program extension leader, described the several projects underway to enhance activities in tree fruits.
New timing tools for blossom thinning
A timing tool for blossom thinning on apples is available on the WSU AgWeatherNet (AWN) this spring. Based upon the rate of growth of pollen tubes, the tool differentiates the good and bad timings for effective blossom thinning with lime sulfur. More information and help files for the tool are available at AWN after user login.
El Niño alert for this summer or fall
The NWS-Climate Prediction Center has issued an El Niño watch for this summer and fall. In some years, insect developement, fruit maturity, and apple sunburn have been affected by El Niño conditions. Follow on the TFREC Climate Prediction links and use the WSU-DAS horticultural models.
TFREC welcomes physiologist to faculty
Dr. Lee Kalcsits joined the WSU-TFREC faculty March 1 in the position of plant physiologist. Lee grew up on a small acreage in Saskatchewan, Canada where he developed his passion for horticulture and trees. He completed his B.S. in Plant Sciences majoring in Horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan while also gaining experience in plantation forestry and domestic fruit breeding during the summers. He then completed his M.S. in tree ecophysiology looking at interactions between autumn temperature and dormancy development in hybrid poplar. He recently completed his PhD at the University of British Columbia where he worked towards developing a new integrated isotope approach to measure nitrogen-use traits in poplar and other plants. Since July, 2013, he has been working at the Centre for Forest Biology at the University of Victoria exploring the interactions between nitrogen source preference and temperature in tree seedlings. He is looking forward to introducing and developing new approaches for addressing physiological problems associated with tree fruit production
Potential March harvest for greenhouse peaches
Washington has the potential to produce greenhouse peaches with harvest as early as March if Washington growers follow a method used in China. Dr. Desmond Layne, WSU-TFREC horticulturalist, reported on practices used in 30,000 acres of greenhouses at the Jan 21st North Central Washington Stone Fruit Day (more at Capital Press)
“WA 38,” an eye-catching, large, dark red apple
Remarkably firm, sweet, tangy, crisp, and unbelievably juicy. These are words that describe WA 38, the latest creation of WSU’s world-class tree fruit breeding program. After more than 16 years in the making, this eye-catching, dark-red beauty is ready for launch into the marketplace...to help ensure a fair distribution of initial inventories amount Washington growers, the university will conduct a lottery in late spring 2014 for trees to be distributed in 2017. (more)
WSU-CAHNRS to provide additional resources for DAS
WSU-College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences acknowledged the importance of the tree fruit Decision Aid System by announcing additional support for the system, and the appointment of DAS leader Vince Jones to an Extension position (more)
Fruit Testing Technology Tries to Catch Up With Our Mouths
"pierce a peach with your teeth....too soft, you’ll pull back before any spoiled mush slips past your gums...too hard, you probably won’t even take the first bite." October Modern Farmer features an interview with WSU-TFREC researchers Katherine Evans and Desmond Layne discussing technology to duplicate what every fruit lover knows about just right firmness.
Colored nets over your orchard, and your investment
Recent arrivals at TFREC, Drs. Desmond Layne and Stefano Musacchi, plan to establish research plots to test new advances in protecting high value orchards with netting. In a recent commentary in Growing Produce, Dr. Layne describes orchards in Europe and South Africa using netting to reduce sunburn, hail, and pest damage. Forthcoming changes in national food safety regulations may impact the ability of fruit growers to use overhead evaporative cooling for sunburn protection. (download pdf)
Great For New Cultivars Or Systems
Test blocks: words of wisdom on creating your own test blocks from Desmond Layne, WSU Tree Fruit Extension Program Leader, appear in Growing Produce. Dr. Layne lays out the six steps for trying out new cultivars or systems before establishing them in commercial orchards; discover if the latest and greatest works for you. (download article in pdf)
Fruit quality matters...to the consumer...to the bottom line of the producer
In a new article in American Fruit Grower, Desmond Layne tells the story of Peter Welacky Sr., a Hungarian immigrant, and how he taught his young picking crew the importance of fruit quality...that if you have "peaches and when picked tree-ripe, and handled carefully, and displayed nicely, they would literally sell themselves." (download article in pdf)
2012 Red Delicious Economics Factsheet
A new fact sheet with updated values for Establishing, Producing, and Packing Red Delicious Apples in Washington is now available. Produced by Karina Gallardo and Suzette Galinato, the pdf document has an accompanying MS Excel worksheet. This and other enterprise budgets can be downloaded from the Extension Economics website.
Organic Fruit Presentations Online
Presentations from the 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium held June 2012 in Leavenworth, WA are now on-line. eOrganic recorded the sessions and has now made them available on their web site at www.extension.org/pages/64359/2nd-international-organic-fruit-research-symposium. This information will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn the latest developments in the worldwide organic fruit supply chain.
Establishing, Producing, and Packing Honeycrisp Apples
Production costs and returns for Honeycrisp apples is now available in a new publication from WSU economists, "2011 Cost Estimates of Establishing, Producing, and Packing Honeycrisp Apples in Washington (FS062E)." A separate spreadsheet (Excel) is also available for downloading.
USDA updates cold hardiness map
The USDA recently finished a new cold hardiness map. The results are of no surprise to growers who have been testing the limits over the last ten years, but they do make it somewhat official. The interactive map is available at http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/InteractiveMap.aspx
Integrating New Insecticides--interactive presentation
Integrating New Insecticides Into a Strategic Plan for Codling Moth and Leafroller: the Apple IPM Transition Project has prepared an interactive presentation addressing topics related to implementing new insecticides for codling moth and leafroller control as the industry transitions away from organophosphate insecticides (more...)
Visual Guide to Adult Stink Bugs
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive species native to eastern Asia where it is considered a major economic pest of soybeans and woody plants. Its presence in the US was first discovered in 2001 in Pennsylvania, and has since spread west with detections as far as California and Oregon. As in Asia, this pest is known to attack our high valued tree fruit crops as well as vegetables and small fruit. (more at PMTP)
Organic Tree Fruit Management in the West
New concepts and techniques are featured in Organic Tree Fruit Pest Management in the West: Bringing New Science to Old Problems. The presentations from this symposium are now available on-line at http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/tforg/
Domestic apple genome published
An international team of scientists from Italy, France, New Zealand, Belgium and the USA have published a draft sequence of the domestic apple genome in the current issue of Nature Genetics. The availability of a genome sequence for the apple will allow scientists to more rapidly identify which genes provide desirable characteristics to the fruit and which genes and gene variants provide disease or drought resistance to the plant (more...)
Updated cost estimates for producing sweet cherries
WA 2: first WSU apple variety
After 15 years, the WSU apple breeding program has released its first apple cultivar. Currently known as ‘WA 2’ was released because of its outstanding eating quality, appearance and productivity and therefore it’s potential to be a successful cultivar in Washington State.
It is attractive with an orange-red to pinkish-red blush over a yellow background and has large and conspicuous lenticels which usually make it easily distinguishable from other cultivars and add to its overall pleasing appearance. The fruit has outstanding texture, being very firm, crisp and juicy and loses very little firmness in storage and on the shelf (more...)
Establishing and Producing Gala Apples in Washington
Since the first commercial plantings of Gala apples in the 1980s, the popularity of this cultivar has grown exponentially until today Gala is the second largest cultivar grown in Washington. This new WSU Extension Fact Sheet identifies typical practices and corresponding costs of a modern, well-managed Gala apple orchard. It indicates current trends in the industry, and as such, can be helpful in estimating the physical and financial requirements. (fact sheet)
The Consumer Horticulture Community at eXtension has a new web site to provide resources on backyard horticulture with such topics as composting, pollinators, and tree selection (go to eXtension).
WSU-TFREC Sites of Interest
Tree fruit economics
Integrated Pest Management
- Pest Management Transition Project
- Western Orchard Pest & Disease Management Conference (moved)
- Enhancing Western Orchard Biological Control
- Survey results: pest management practices 1990 & 2000
- IPM Decision Aid System (DAS)
- EB0419: Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruit (web page format)
- Orchard Pest Management: a Resource for the Pacific Northwest
- Evapotranspiration predictor
- Soils & Fertilizers: a Presentation
- Peshastin Creek Areawide Organic Project
Harvest and Postharvest