[Banner Top] Willamette - March 03/31

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Editorial Blogs

Returning to the birthplace of apples in North America

The International Fruit Tree Association is holding its 58th Annual Conference in Canada's eastern province of Nova Scotia, where apples were first grown in North America. Larry Lutz of Scotian Gold Cooperative laid out some of the history at the beginning of the conference. He said apples have been grown in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley since 1605, when Samuel D'Champlain first settled there. British settlers, many of them Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, replaced the original French settlers, and found a maritime climate ideal for growing apples. Fast forward to the 1930s, when the province' apple industry reached a production peak. Most of its apples were shipped to Europe at the time, but by the end of World War II most of those markets were gone, Lutz said. Fast forward again to 1996, when Honeycrisp was introduced to Nova Scotia. Lutz called that a 'turning……  » Read more

Anatomy of a new pest battle

Anatomy of a new pest battle

FGN assistant editor Gary Pullano is blogging from the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The manager of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s (PDA) entomology program is optimistic a new invasive pest discovered during last year’s growing season at a Berks County specialty stone company that imports product from Asia could be eradicated in short order – if containment strategies are swift and effective. Sven-Erik Spichiger confirmed for a Tuesday educational session audience at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention that spotted lanternfly has the potential to impact the grape, fruit tree and hardwood industries. He indicated the department is getting ready to announce a tree banding program using sticky tape rolls in the infected area and possibly elsewhere to help control its spread and kill the pests. The finding of the pests prompted the immediate quarantine of Pike and District townships, according……  » Read more

Labeling a controversy

Labeling a controversy

Gary Pullano, Fruit Growers News Assistant Editor, is providing blog coverage of the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Blizzard conditions (actual and fictional) in much of the northeast didn’t appear to significantly impact attendance at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention that kicked off Tuesday in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Part of the juggling act by attendees is determining which educational sessions have the most meaning to the success of their operation, and what ideas and concepts can best impact – or threaten – their bottom line. Kick off an early-morning session with discussion of genetically modified food labeling legislation, and it’s apparently a non-starter in this crowd consisting largely of specialty crop growers. But should it be? Only a couple dozen folks heard Ross Pifer, director of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State Dickinson School of Law, present a thorough update……  » Read more

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