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Entries tagged with: Apples


Crunch Pak issues voluntary recall of apple slices

Crunch Pak is voluntarily recalling 5,471 cases of Crunch Pak Apple Slices due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. 
No illnesses have been reported in association with this recall to date. No other Crunch Pak products are affected by this recall. FDA is aware that the company is undertaking this voluntary action. 

 The company sold the recalled product to retail customers and because, in some cases, the recalled product was shipped to…  » Read more

Companies plan special activities at PMA foodservice show

Three companies are each planning special events for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Foodservice Conference July 25-27 in Monterey, Calif. Crunch Pak will feature peach mango flavored sliced apples. These are sliced apples dipped in a solution that infuses the apples with the aroma and taste of peaches and mangos. The company will offer the apples in a 1-pound bag to foodservice customers with several application options. “Peach FlavorZ are excellent for foodservice operators looking…  » Read more

Washington harvests record apple crop

For Washington state’s apple growers, 2012 turned out to be a record year. According to industry estimates, they harvested 129 million bushels of fresh apples last fall – smashing the previous record of 109 million bushels set in 2010, according to the Washington Apple Commission (WAC). As of February 2013, apple shipments were still moving at a record pace, and pricing was good for the 2,000 or so members of the Washington Growers Clearing House…  » Read more
McDonald’s TV commercials promote Michigan apples

McDonald’s TV commercials promote Michigan apples

Starring in TV commercials? Watched by millions? Mike Dietrich seems to be taking it in stride. “They did a nice job,” he said. “We were real pleased with it.” Mike, a fruit grower from Conklin, Mich., is appearing in a series of McDonald’s commercials, along with several members of his family. Mike and his brother, Jim, run Leo Dietrich & Sons, growing apples and cherries (tart and sweet) on about 500 acres. The sweet cherries…  » Read more
Protecting your fruit from frost and freeze

Protecting your fruit from frost and freeze

After the damaging frosts and freezes many endured in 2012, growers are looking at frost prevention methods coming into 2013. This led to a packed house at the 2012 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in Grand Rapids, Mich., for a session covering weather risk management. There are a few things growers need to know to effectively initiate frost protection. One thing is the temperature at which catastrophic damage will occur. This is…  » Read more

Engelsma’s Apple Barn wins annual cider contest

Jim and Becky Engelsma of Engelsma's Apple Barn in Grand Rapids, Mich., have taken home another first place win in the 16th annual Michigan Apple Cider Contest. The cider makers have received first place in the contest four times, in 2005, 2007, 2010 and this year. "I am honored to represent our industry again, and recognize that there are many people that have made this win possible," said Jim Engelsma. "I am very proud of…  » Read more
Sandy’s effects on fruit being measured

Sandy’s effects on fruit being measured

Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, was a tough blow to growers who already had to deal with a rough spring, and a boom for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Sandy was the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history, only surpassed by Katrina in 2005, according to The Weather Channel. In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected at least 24 states, from Florida to Maine and as far west as Wisconsin. New Jersey and New York took the brunt, however, according to The Weather Channel.…  » Read more
Fruit stand works for Washington orchard

Fruit stand works for Washington orchard

It’s 30˚ F in the Wenatchee Valley, the sun isn’t up yet and Dennis Nicholson is hard at work at Nicholson’s Orchard Fresh in Peshastin, Wash., finishing a block of pears. This is exactly the type of work Nicholson expected when he and his wife Nancy decided to pack up the kids and move back to the family orchard in 1987, after working in Seattle for 15 years. “My grandfather grew up on Prince Edward…  » Read more
Sweet corn, peaches pair well for Ohio grower

Sweet corn, peaches pair well for Ohio grower

There aren’t many young fruit and vegetable growers out there, and it worries Gordon Hahn. Hahn, 55, grows fruit, vegetable and grain crops in Huron, Ohio. His seed salesman tells him he’s one of the youngest customers he has. “I hate to think we’re kind of a dying breed,” Hahn said. Still, he has mixed feelings about his own children returning to the farm. He and his wife have gotten plenty of help from their…  » Read more

Unprecedented weather hits Ontario fruit farmers hard

Chris Hall's family has been growing apples in Brockville, Ontario, since 1947. Hall learned as a boy that the orchards usually produce myriad pink and white blossoms in late May. This year, unseasonably warm temperatures brought out the blossoms in April. After the warm spell, temperatures suddenly dropped below freezing, and Hall lost 20 percent of his apples. Hall's not the only Ontario farmer reeling from a chaotic spring and summer. Some growers lost their…  » Read more

Washington state selling record high amount of apples

Washington apple shippers and packers say this year's fresh apple crop will reach record highs despite early worries about hail damage and not enough pickers. The apple crop is expected to hit 121.5 million boxes, according to a recent poll by Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association. That number of 40-pound boxes is what Jon DeVaney, the association's executive director, said they estimate based on what packers currently have in storage. It reflects the apples that they…  » Read more
Private/public partnerships help Quebec thrive

Private/public partnerships help Quebec thrive

Unlike their counterparts in the United States, apple growers in Quebec, Canada, don’t have access to a university- or Extension-based research system. The province’s apple industry has found other ways to meet its research needs, however, by banding together and partnering with the provincial and federal governments. Members of the International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) visited several Quebec orchards in July, and saw examples of how public/private partnerships work in the Canadian province. At the…  » Read more
Apple harvesting platform readies for production

Apple harvesting platform readies for production

The mechanized apple harvesting platform created by Phil Brown, Mike Rasch and Chuck Dietrich under the company named DBR Conveyor Concepts is almost ready for full production and should be available in 2013, Dietrich said. The core concept of the machine is to eliminate extra labor from the harvesting process. As the machine moves, workers on the row or nearby pick apples and place them into its tubes, where air sucks the apples into a…  » Read more
Apple stays EverCrisp

Apple stays EverCrisp

After more than a decade of breeding, the Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) is ready to release its first apple variety: EverCrisp. MAIA, a loose organization of private breeders, is calling EverCrisp a “managed open” release. The association will charge trademark and royalty fees to those who want to grow the new variety (to help perpetuate the breeding program), but no one will be excluded, said Bill Dodd, MAIA’s president. “We’re not going to limit…  » Read more
New apple stays EverCrisp

New apple stays EverCrisp

  After more than a decade of breeding, the Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) is ready to release its first apple variety: EverCrisp.   MAIA, a loose organization of private breeders, is calling EverCrisp a “managed open” release. The association will charge trademark and royalty fees to those who want to grow the new variety (to help perpetuate the breeding program), but no one will be excluded, said Bill Dodd, MAIA’s president.   “We’re not…  » Read more

Fall tradition hit hard

Michigan apple farmers suffered their largest crop loss since the 1940's this year. Early spring warmth followed by hard frosts killed fruit tree buds. The harvest is not all in yet, but state officials predict a 90 percent reduction in apple yield. WKAR's Melissa Benmark spoke with Michigan Apple Committee executive director Diane Smith about how farmers are coping. WKAR Read more of the story here.

Canadian growers release new apple variety

Apple lovers will have a new variety to sink their teeth into that is set to debut in select stores this fall. The Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, revealed the name of the newest apple on the market today at the annual University of British Columbia  Apple Festival by introducing the Salish. "This is a delicious example of government and industry working together to…  » Read more

Heeren Bros. Inc. moving to new $22 million facility in Alpine Township

Heeren Bros. Inc., the state's largest family-owned wholesaler, marketer and distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables, announced today it will build and move to a new $22 million facility in Alpine Township. The new 170,000-square foot facility at 1055 7 Mile Road will be home to the company’s corporate headquarters, warehouse and distribution center, and apple storage and packing facility with new apple grading and packing lines. Heeren Bros. will be leaving its traditional base…  » Read more
Central Illinois farm market going strong despite drought, frost

Central Illinois farm market going strong despite drought, frost

Tanner’s Orchard is celebrating its 65th year as a family-run business. The 80-acre, Speer, Ill., farm and market was founded in 1947 by John Tanner. The original family farm was started in 1906 in Deer Creek, Ill., by Rudolf Tanner and his wife, who emigrated from Switzerland. The Deer Creek location, however, was too far from a major roadway to be successful. The Speer location turned out to be the right one for the Tanner…  » Read more
Cider apples might work for Washington growers

Cider apples might work for Washington growers

Where can hard cider connoisseurs roam the countryside, traveling from estate to estate and sampling the artisan crafts of local producers? Western Washington will be the venue for such activity, if Washington State University (WSU) researchers have their way. Their goal is not just improvement of production and harvest techniques, but creation of a “hard cider culture,” with thriving producers and ardent consumers. Carol Miles of the WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center (NWREC)…  » Read more
Apple slice processors get ready for ‘interesting’ season

Apple slice processors get ready for ‘interesting’ season

When your product is as simple as fresh-sliced apples, substitutions aren’t an option. You need fresh apples. Period. So producers of fresh-sliced apples are in for an interesting ride. With a significantly reduced crop in the wake of last spring’s freeze followed by pockets of hail damage, processors are watching to see how the crop plays out as they look for ways to economize and make contingency plans. “The supply of apples is certainly going…  » Read more
Acreage down, trees up for Michigan fruit growers

Acreage down, trees up for Michigan fruit growers

According to a census of apple varieties and acreage conducted by the Michigan office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, total acreage for Michigan has decreased since 2000, when the total was 47,500. In 2011, the total was 36,500 acres. Red Delicious had the most acres of any variety in the state, with 6,810. Golden Delicious had 4,120 acres, Idared 2,820 acres and Jonathan 2,800 acres. All of those varieties, however, are declining in total…  » Read more
EPA extends Guthion usage for a year

EPA extends Guthion usage for a year

EPA recently decided to allow growers to use their existing stocks of azinphos-methyl (AZM) for another year. The new deadline is Sept. 30, 2013. The deadline cancelling the distribution or sale of AZM, however, was kept at Sept. 30, 2012. EPA extended the usage deadline “due to unusual bad weather conditions in 2012,” according to an Aug. 30 announcement. The cancellation order applies to growers of apples, blueberries, sweet and tart cherries and pears, according…  » Read more
Looking forward to normal

Looking forward to normal

1945 has 2012 to thank for one thing: 1945 is no longer the black sheep of the fruit crop years. 2012 may have taken over that spot. And as far as Mark Fleckenstein is concerned, if it’s another 67 years before apple growers see the fruits of their labors destroyed in a freak burst of weather, that’s fine with him. Fleckenstein represents one of four families who run the fourth-generation Beak and Skiff Apple Farms…  » Read more

New apple harvester unveiled in United Kingdom

A mechanical apple harvesting aid that could save growers more than 35% on labour costs made its debut in Chatham-Kent Tuesday. The $80,000 machine, manufactured in Spain, attracted the attention of several fruit farmers from the Cedar Springs area as well as from neighbouring Essex County. Werner Zurbuchen of Tazu Technology Fruit and Farm Equipment of Waterford, said the machines are in widespread use in Europe and South America. He said the fruit-picking machines with…  » Read more

Shriveled Mich. apple harvest means fewer jobs, tough year ahead

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation. Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers…  » Read more

New apple varieties being developed in Geneva, N.Y.

Waiting for the new crop of fall apples may seem like an exercise in delayed gratification. But it’s child’s play when you consider the amount of time it takes to actually create a new apple variety and see it evolve from a cross between two parent varieties to a commercially viable apple that you can pack in your lunch or slice and bake into pies. Susan Brown, a Cornell University horticulture professor and apple breeder,…  » Read more

Workers needed for state’s second-largest apple crop

Every Washington apple is removed from the tree by hand. And this year, there may not be enough hands for all the apples. Though statewide hail damage cut into what had promised to be the state's largest apple crop, it is expected to be the state's second largest. And most of the other apples still will be picked for processing -- if growers can find the workers. "Indications are that everybody's on the edge and…  » Read more

‘Extraordinary’ fruit crop loss hits farmers, migrant workers where it hurts

Farmers and fruit growers in West Michigan are concerned about the small crop coming up in the fall and the impact these dismal numbers will have when it comes to migrant workers, packagers and an entire industry. Apple and peach crops were almost lost this year due to extremely warm weather in March and two frosts in April. Scott Wells, owner of Wells Orchard in Grand Rapids, said he's expecting less than a 1 percent…  » Read more
Can pilfering PYO pickers be pinched?

Can pilfering PYO pickers be pinched?

  Who hasn’t seen someone “sample” the fruit in a pick-your-own stand, or seen kids walk out from the strawberry patch with as many berries on them as they have in the bucket? In some cases, theft in pick-your-own (PYO) blocks has gone to a new level, and some growers have gone to great lengths to put an end to it. Farms like Soergel Orchards in Wexford, Pa., are diverse. Soergel’s has a market, bakery,…  » Read more
Don’t over-nitrate your apples

Don’t over-nitrate your apples

Have you had a problem with apples not turning the right color, or issues with spoilage while the apples are in storage? There is a good chance you’re over-nitrating your fruit, said Esmaeil Fallahi, a professor and director of the pomology program at the University of Idaho. Fallahi has been studying the effects of irrigation and rootstocks on different apple varieties, and he took a careful look at apple nutrient uptake. What he found was…  » Read more
New storage and packing facility opens markets

New storage and packing facility opens markets

North Bay Produce Inc., a grower-owned fresh produce marketing and distribution cooperative based in Traverse City, Mich., recently opened a new 36,000-square-foot cold storage and packing facility at the Mid America Airport in Mascoutah, Ill. The goal is to facilitate the forward distribution of perishables from the cooperative’s members, said North Bay President Mark Girardin. “The new facility is a tremendous asset to us,” Girardin said. “It allows us to move fresh produce more effectively…  » Read more
Hail damages Washington apples, lowers crop estimate

Hail damages Washington apples, lowers crop estimate

  With Midwest and Eastern apple crops down this year, the saving grace for the industry was expected to be a bumper crop out of Washington state. That crop, however, was damaged by July hailstorms that cut through the state’s apple-growing areas like a scythe. Even after the hail, however, the state was projected to have its second-largest fresh apple crop ever, at 109 million boxes, said Jon DeVaney, chairman of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers…  » Read more
High-density not a cure-all for Quebec orchard

High-density not a cure-all for Quebec orchard

  When Dean Thomson was 25, he just knew high-density apple plantings were the way to go. “Twenty-five is the best age, because you know everything,” he said. “I was tying branches down, sideways, up – making every branch go where it was supposed to go. It looked really impressive.” Over the next two decades, however, Thomson realized that his approach might be a little too straightforward. When he looked at his high-density blocks with…  » Read more
2012 apple crop down 10 percent from last year

2012 apple crop down 10 percent from last year

The size of the 2012 U.S. apple crop will be 202.1 million bushels, according to the U.S. Apple Association (USApple). That estimate was given during the association’s annual Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference held Aug. 16-17 in Chicago. USApple’s 2012 estimate is down 10 percent from last year’s crop, but is higher than USDA’s 2012 estimate of 192 million bushels. Both estimates are smaller than the five-year average. East USApple estimated the Eastern crop…  » Read more

Study finds organic food is no better on vitamins, nutrients

Patient after patient asked: Is eating organic food, which costs more, really better for me? Unsure, Stanford University doctors dug through reams of research to find out -- and concluded there's little evidence that going organic is much healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics. Eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower exposure to pesticides, including for children -- but the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits, the…  » Read more

Growers get one more year of Guthion

Federal regulators will allow fruit growers to use the insecticide Guthion for an additional year. EPA said Thursday the extension is due to higher-than-normal stocks of the organophosphate chemical in grower hands because of crop losses in the Midwest and East. Fruit growers in Michigan, New York and elsewhere suffered extensive crop losses this spring due to frost damage. At the same time, the agency reaffirmed its decision to ban the sale of Guthion, the…  » Read more
Washington releases apple industry economic impact study

Washington releases apple industry economic impact study

  The Washington Apple Commission has released an economic impact study on the effect the state's apple industry has on the area.  Washington’s apple industry is a major contributor of income, employment and tax revenues to the state’s economy. The industry boosted the Washington economy by an estimated $7.02 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic activity in 2010-2011. This sector also accounted for an estimated 59,650 jobs and total annual employee compensation of $1.95…  » Read more

Starch chart for Honeycrisp apple fruit

Ines Hanrahan of the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission has recently developed a starch chart for Honeycrisp apples (see figure). The starch index ranges from 1 to 6 on this chart, which differs from that of the more commonly used chart from Cornell, which ranges from 1 to 8. In both charts, the higher the index, the less dark staining of starch by iodine so that as fruit ripen, starch is converted to sugar (sugar does…  » Read more

Apple growers suggest customers come early this year

Local apple growers are urging residents and visitors to come early this year if they want to enjoy the limited crop of fresh apples before they’re gone. Warm weather in late winter followed by freezing spring temperatures took a heavy toll on a pair of Sauk County, Wis.’s apple producers. “We’re so used to having a huge amount of apples that this year when we out in the orchard we were like, ‘Where are they…  » Read more