Dec 13, 2010
Mathison named WSHA board president

The Washington State Horticultural Association completed its 106th annual meeting Dec. 8. During the three-day meeting in Yakima, WSHA selected West Mathison as its 2011 board president, succeeding John Verbrugge.

Market researcher Desmond O’Rourke spoke to the association on current and future trends in the fruit industry. O’Rourke’s advice is for growers to look to international markets to supplant the decreasing domestic consumption of apples. O’Rourke sees great opportunities in the Asian markets of India, Indonesia and China, along with Brazil and Russia.

O’Rourke said the apple industry has to do a better job of promoting itself and believes the state of Washington has to take a primary role in leading and financing a national promotion board.

David Granatstein, sustainable agriculture specialist at Washington State University, told growers that the organic apple and cherry industry had seen some shrinkage in acreage for the first time following years of rapid expansion. Granatstein said that organic prices had rebounded slightly in 2010, following declining prices in 2008 and 2009.
Granatstein also was cited for his many years of work and advocacy in the organic fruit industry with the WSHA Organic Industry Service Award.

Some of the major issues addressed during the conference included the upcoming phase out of AZM (Guthion) and the discovery of Spotted Winged Drosophila in eastern Washington this past year.

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