Orchards – D Sharma http://dsharma.org/ Sat, 04 Dec 2021 00:37:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://dsharma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Orchards – D Sharma http://dsharma.org/ 32 32 How climate change is affecting orchards and cider on the West Slope https://dsharma.org/how-climate-change-is-affecting-orchards-and-cider-on-the-west-slope/ Sat, 04 Dec 2021 00:37:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/how-climate-change-is-affecting-orchards-and-cider-on-the-west-slope/ Kari Williams owns Snow-Capped Cider outside of Cedaredge, Colorado, where she makes hard ciders exclusively from apples grown in Colorado. She has a unique advantage as a local cider producer: her family grows all the apples that go into her making. It all started years ago when she got married with a heritage of fruit […]]]>

Kari Williams owns Snow-Capped Cider outside of Cedaredge, Colorado, where she makes hard ciders exclusively from apples grown in Colorado. She has a unique advantage as a local cider producer: her family grows all the apples that go into her making.

It all started years ago when she got married with a heritage of fruit growing.

“My husband is a fourth generation fruit grower,” said Williams. “The family has been growing stone fruits and apples in the Surface Creek area for 109 years. “

The family’s extensive apple orchards and packing facilities are found in Delta County. At an elevation of 6,130 feet, this is not the most obvious area for growing fruit.

“It’s very unpredictable and it can be very volatile,” she said of growing the fruit at altitude.

Rae Solomon

Snow Capped Cider’s Kari Williams examines a cider apple in her family’s orchard in Cedaredge, Colorado.

According to Williams, they need to be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions, including the likelihood of an unusual frost. The family has an array of protocols to deal with this kind of situation: aggressive pruning throughout the winter, log fires, propane heaters, and wind turbines to warm the air.

“We are doing things to grow here that other growers in other areas just don’t have to think about in order to survive, to grow fruit in this area,” she said.

Williams makes his cider from cider apples grown in Colorado – grape varieties native to France and England. In order to cultivate the fruit, she draws on her family’s hard-earned intergenerational knowledge about tending an orchard on the Western Slope of Colorado.

Williams compares cider apples to wine grapes, in terms of what they add to the end product.

“They are amazing,” she said. But they are also difficult to cultivate. She calls them “cantankerous” and says they are small, produce little juice, and are prone to disease.

She insists that the extra effort is worth it in her family’s Colorado orchards because of the unique qualities that the region’s climate gives to the fruit.

“The flavor is so intense compared to other growing areas,” Williams said. “Whether it’s a sweet tart apple like Honeycrisp or a Dabinett English Cider Apple, I’m telling you it produces a very hyper-expressive flavor. That’s why we’re doing it. It is an incredible fruit.

Horst Caspari is a professor of horticulture at Colorado State University and a state winegrower. He says a combination of Colorado’s high UV radiation, alkaline soils, and snowmelt irrigation explains the fruit’s terroir.

“I think it’s the freshness,” he said. “High mountain air in a food product.”

But from a horticultural point of view, he says it’s impossible to determine exactly what’s in it.

“When we don’t know and we have no explanation for anything else, we call it terroir,” he says. “It’s the soil, the environment. It’s the human spirit, whatever. It is the terroir. It is unique in this place. Exactly what it is … if you knew that, you wouldn’t call it terroir.

But, perhaps the most important ingredient is the variation in temperature between the region’s hot days and cool nights. Caspari says Colorado sunlight enhances photosynthesis, resulting in a higher sugar content in the fruit. Cooler nighttime conditions reduce respiration, allowing the fruit to retain more energy and therefore flavor.

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Rae Solomon

Rows of dead peach trees that were killed during the October 2020 frost.

But as the climate changes, these temperature variations become more and more extreme. In 2020, the region experienced one of the hottest October on record and a major frost in the same month.

“We were running 70s, 80s and we should be running 60s or 50s,” Caspari said. “All of our plants were leafing, being happy, for it was nice and warm. And then we went to 14 degrees.

Caspari says this event killed many plants right down to the roots. He estimates that the Great Valley has lost 70% of its various crops.

Talbot is the manager of Talbot’s Mountain Gold farm, where he grows peaches, cherries and wine grapes.

“In the end, probably 40% of everything we have is damaged to the point of shortening the life of these orchards, if there is no need to replace them immediately,” he said.

Like many Western Slope producers, he doubts these weather events are linked to man-made climate change. But he recognizes a central irony: that the same temperature fluctuations that make Colorado fruit so exceptional could become the region’s biggest handicap.

“Extremes in a range are good for us,” he said. “But the extremes outside of this range are going to be destructive to the fruits, trees and vines.”

Back in her apple orchard, Kari Williams says they have replaced 150,000 trees since the big frost of 2020.

“It’s very sporadic where the damage is,” she said. “Whole orchards are dead, whole peach orchards are just brown.”

But other areas of his orchard were hardly affected.

“It just depends on where that cold sets in,” she said.

The trees that were lucky and survived produced a bountiful harvest this year.


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Kashmir: Apple orchards may not cope with climate change, with farmers losing up to 40% of their harvest each year, India News News https://dsharma.org/kashmir-apple-orchards-may-not-cope-with-climate-change-with-farmers-losing-up-to-40-of-their-harvest-each-year-india-news-news/ Mon, 29 Nov 2021 11:29:40 +0000 https://dsharma.org/kashmir-apple-orchards-may-not-cope-with-climate-change-with-farmers-losing-up-to-40-of-their-harvest-each-year-india-news-news/ The famous apple orchards of the Kashmir Valley may soon disappear due to erratic climate changes in the region. Over the past decade, the valley has experienced major climate changes, such as early snowfall, due to which farmers have lost around 40 percent of the harvest each year. In 2021, the first snowfall of the […]]]>

The famous apple orchards of the Kashmir Valley may soon disappear due to erratic climate changes in the region. Over the past decade, the valley has experienced major climate changes, such as early snowfall, due to which farmers have lost around 40 percent of the harvest each year.

In 2021, the first snowfall of the season in the Kashmir Valley occurred in October. At that time, the majority of farmers had not harvested the produce. Researchers say the damage to apple orchards and produce ranged from 4 to 40 percent.

New research by Dr Irfan Rashid suggests that the apple orchards in the valley may not survive if these climatic conditions prevail.

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“We have a significant number of farmers throughout the Kashmir Valley who practice apple cultivation. What has happened over the past two or three decades is that we are experiencing changes in many meteorological parameters. We have some very useful evidence with us, which is the temperature and precipitation models. If you look at the precipitation patterns, we were getting substantial precipitation in the winter, there were also sporadic events in the spring, but the fall was dry, but what we are seeing now is irregular snowfall in the fall ” said Dr Irfan Rashid, Coordinator, Department of Geoinformatics, Kashmir University.

“If we look at Met History, we had some really heavy snowfall in the first week of November in 2018 and in 2019. We got snowfall in October, which is very early. There are many varieties of apples which are harvested in November, so obviously when we have irregular snowfall the harvest will suffer and damage the trees as well. In 2018, we conducted a survey which suggested that 4 to 50 percent of the damage, some orchards were damaged up to 50 percent. On average, around 35% of our crop was damaged, ” he added.

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He also said that if we do not make the required changes, the horticulture industry, which is the backbone of Kashmir’s GDP, will be severely affected.

“ If we do not take into consideration the erratic snowfall that Kashmir is experiencing, this promulgation of horticulture as the economic savior of Jammu and Kashmir will not be sustainable in the long run, ” added Dr Irfan Rashid, Coordinator, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir.

Researchers believe the past two decades have seen major climate change in the Kashmir Valley, but over the past five years, apple orchard farmers have been hit the hardest. This year was the third consecutive crop destroyed by early snowfall.

2019 saw the maximum damage as Kashmir witnessed the heaviest snowfall this year, damaging crops and trees worth millions.

The Horticultural Department promotes high density apple orchards to farmers. A large number of farms have been converted from traditional apple orchards to high density orchards. The horticulture department and researchers also believe that the switch to high density could save the industry.

“In my research too, we basically vouched for high density apple orchards, but we have to take into consideration the harvest season and the timing shouldn’t be October and November, it has to be early. if we get snowfall in october like this year, it may be that in the years to come it may be that the snow will return in october, so if we have varieties of apples where apples are harvested in the month of October, it won’t be sustainable, but if we have varieties that can be harvested in mid-September or late September, which could be a good way to support and channel horticulture, ” said the Dr Irfan Rashid, Coordinator of the Department of Geoinformatics at the University of Kashmir.

Farmers, on the other hand, say it would be extremely difficult to switch to high density orchards. Existing traditional apple orchards would have to be completely removed to plant new trees, resulting in huge losses for farmers.


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New tart cherry research project could help farmers manage their orchards https://dsharma.org/new-tart-cherry-research-project-could-help-farmers-manage-their-orchards/ Tue, 23 Nov 2021 21:15:29 +0000 https://dsharma.org/new-tart-cherry-research-project-could-help-farmers-manage-their-orchards/ Kailey Foster: I shared some of my conversations with Brent Black, USU Extension Fruit Specialist, who reviewed a research grant USU received on tart cherries. We continue this conversation and take a look at how this project can help Utah farmers. In our last segment, you told us how great Utah elevation can be for […]]]>

Kailey Foster: I shared some of my conversations with Brent Black, USU Extension Fruit Specialist, who reviewed a research grant USU received on tart cherries. We continue this conversation and take a look at how this project can help Utah farmers.

In our last segment, you told us how great Utah elevation can be for growing tart cherries. Why is that?

Brent Black: Well, because of our surroundings, this high altitude, the cool nights; what happens with fruits is that when we have hot sunny days and cool nights it really results in the build up of sugar in the fruits.

The scientific basis for this is that plants breathe all the time, they burn sugar for energy for their growth. And at night, when it’s hot, breathing rates are higher. And so, they end up burning again most of the sugar that they have accumulated during the day.

Whereas if we have cool nights there is not as much nocturnal breathing and therefore more of that energy goes into the sugar in the fruit. So in the market, in fact, high altitude fruits have a premium in the market because the sugar content is higher.

KF: And this information you collect will specifically help orchards switch to new crops. And it’s not something I think about often so can you expand on that?

BB: The typical lifespan of a block of tart cherry in the orchard is around 30 years. And that varies in part from producer to producer, depending on the history of the site and issues like that. So about every 30 years they are looking to replant that orchard. And sometimes they replant the same crop, sometimes they can change.

And one of the challenges with tart cherries is that they don’t really go into production until around the seventh or eighth year after planting. And so, one of the challenges is that if you wait until the eighth year to get a harvest, you’re not very anxious to pull up that orchard and start over.

And some of the things we’re going to measure with the technology available is to look at what the tree canopy is, the size of individual trees, the fruiting potential of individual trees in an entire orchard with some of our remote sensing technology. , and then what is the yield potential of these. This gives the grower the opportunity, we hope, as this technology develops, to identify when enough of these trees have reached a critical point where it is not worth keeping them and that they it’s time to remove the whole orchard.

KF: And is there any information you would like to add?

BB: I think one of the things this project illustrates is that there are some really exciting opportunities for technology in agriculture. A lot of times people think farming is, you know, that old-fashioned, traditional type of business.

And there are some really amazing technologies associated with remote sensing with drones with cloud-based data storage that are dictating how farmers can and will manage their crops in the future.


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Dries Orchards Moves to the Next Generation and Diversifies Its Operations | The heart of the farm is the family https://dsharma.org/dries-orchards-moves-to-the-next-generation-and-diversifies-its-operations-the-heart-of-the-farm-is-the-family/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 05:45:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/dries-orchards-moves-to-the-next-generation-and-diversifies-its-operations-the-heart-of-the-farm-is-the-family/ What started as a small apple orchard business by Ken and Mary Jo Dries outside of Sunbury, Pennsylvania has flourished over its six decades of history. The farm business is now in the process of being passed to the Dries’ nephew John Bzdil as business manager and son-in-law Michael Stahl as field manager. The Dries […]]]>

What started as a small apple orchard business by Ken and Mary Jo Dries outside of Sunbury, Pennsylvania has flourished over its six decades of history. The farm business is now in the process of being passed to the Dries’ nephew John Bzdil as business manager and son-in-law Michael Stahl as field manager.

The Dries family uses a Farm Vitality Planning Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which helps pay for professional services on farms looking to transition to a younger generation. According to the grant program’s website, the maximum grant amount is $ 7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs.

The Dries Orchards‘ strategic transition began with a simple conversation at a Christmas dinner 12 years ago: Ken asked John if he would be interested in learning the business and taking it over when the time came.






Founder Ken Dries surveys apple orchards with land manager and new co-owner Michael Stahl.




The timing was perfect. With an undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton in Business and a Masters in Health Finance, John had enjoyed working in New York City as Director of Clinical Trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for 13 years. , but he was eager for a change of pace.

John graduated from Shikellamy High School in Sunbury in 1992 and hoped to return to his hometown, so he took a leap of faith. It was a successful decision.

Back home, he met his future wife in the nearby town of Lewisburg and began to learn about the family business, but he had to win it over. Ken decided to teach him from scratch, starting with working on the apple grading line.

Over the years John has learned all the complex and diverse aspects of the orchard business, of which there are many. The list included fruit picking and packaging, cider production, management of a workforce, a public U-pick interface, a retail store, commercial contracts with grocery stores and universities, the wholesale market, various roadside stalls, etc.






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A view of the classification and sorting area. The apples are then packaged for customers.




Dries Orchard has 240 acres of fruit trees, including 200 apples, plus 25 acres of peaches and nectarines, 5 acres of strawberries, and a few acres of pears, grapes, black raspberries, sour cherries and sweet cherries. Dries also has a large cider production and bottling facility and commercial contracts with large local companies such as Weis Markets, Giant and several universities including Bucknell University and Susquehanna University, and Lycoming College.

For John it was truly the adventure of a lifetime, as every day was different and every season had its own challenges. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t foresee how a year in the orchard might unfold, thanks to forces beyond his control: frost and hail in particular. Three years ago John learned a hard lesson in “counting your chickens before they hatch” when hail hit in September and impacted performance throughout the season.

Volatility due to COVID-19, weather conditions and many other factors

This year, the orchard was blessed with its best apple harvest ever, according to John – and he was welcome after a dismal 2020.

Normally, the orchard would produce 80 to 90,000 bushels of apples and store 70,000 bushels. In 2020, that number was around 40,000 bushels plucked. But this year the farm produced well over 120,000 bushels due to perfect variables – weather, flowering, pollination and temperature.

However, there were countless challenges, many of them due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March 2020 and continues until now. Labor shortages – the effects of a pandemic – have caused additional stress as all apples are picked by hand, of which nearly 13 million according to John’s count. Like many farms, by far the biggest challenge has been making sure the workers pick and pack the apples. Dries Orchard also had to cut farmers’ markets at two locations in Lewisburg due to the shortage of jobs.

And there have been equipment shortages as well. John said they were running out of bins – wood and plastic – and he ordered jugs of cider in June, hoping they would be delivered by September. Transportation was also a problem – finding enough truck drivers each week to haul apples across the region.

“(COVID-19) safety precautions have been a challenge; it’s hard to separate people on a ranking line, ”John said.

Dries employs 50 workers during the peak of the season.

As they provide housing for their seasonal farm workers, many of whom are Haitians in Florida, they have rented additional housing in nearby Danville to keep everyone safe and healthy during the pandemic.

“Throughout COVID-19, social media and word of mouth have really helped – local students come in the fall to pick and visit the store,” John said.

As in any fruit farm, deer are a major problem. To deter them from saplings, workers hang scented soap bars on the trees. The family also allows deer hunting on the property.

Fungus and insect control is also a priority for the farm team, who use sprays as well as integrated pest management, or IPM, due to the environmental impacts and cost of sprays.

To combat spring frost, they use a machine called a Frost Dragon portable heater that is powered by four 100-pound propane tanks. The machine travels at 6 mph along a set route to blow hot air into the orchard.

They also use two wind turbines to combat the cold.

“The cold air will settle in and the warmer air will rise; the wind machines help lower the warmer air, ”John said. “In the summer we worry about having enough rain. This year has been a little too humid – it disturbs the flavors of the apples; carbohydrates and sugars are a bit off. But, he says, the apples are still very tasty this year.

Hail also causes some anxiety, but remains beyond their control.






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A view of the front of the Dries Orchards retail store in Sunbury, Pa., Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.




“Ken had the foresight of having land scattered miles from each other – not all fruit trees are in the same area, which contributes to hail and weather conditions,” John said.

One of the first keys to success is pollination. To set the bloom for success, Dries rents up to 150 bee hives for 10 days of spring pollination from Paul Burt of Burt’s Bees, Florida.

For harder-to-reach areas and higher tunnels, they hire bumblebees, as they can enter areas that bees cannot reach and are able to pollinate in rain and wind.

Once the threat of frost has passed and a good period of pollination, the orchard workers examine the number of apples on the tree and thin them out; Dropping a few at the start of the season balances size and spacing.

Storage is key

Storage, some of which in a controlled atmosphere, is essential to keep apples fresh long after they have been picked in the fall. Dries extracts oxygen from the air and pumps nitrogen, then seals the storage area at 36 degrees. According to John, apples in storage will be fresh in the following spring and summer, until the next round of apples can be picked.

Dries also uses a product called SmartFresh, an ethylene-based spray that guarantees crispy apples months after picking. Packaged apples are used for cider as well as wholesale and retail markets throughout the winter.

While the farm has around 30 employees in the winter, there is also plenty to do around this time. Ten employees in the field prune the trees throughout the winter and 20 people work on the packaging line and the bottling of the cider.

In addition to wholesale and retail apples, Dries branched out into cider more than two decades ago.

“Cider is a great way to use cull apples – large and small, and potatoes,” John said. “A large part of our business is apple cider for Weis Markets.”

Ken and Mary Jo Dries started this relationship 50 years ago, “one Sunbury business to another Sunbury business,” John said of Weis’ local headquarters.

“They packed apples and went from there to the cider,” he said. “About six years ago we were able to get a contract with Giant (to) pack apples for them and they do their own transport. “

Dries Orchard also supplies apples and cider to institutions of higher education Bucknell, Susquehanna and Lycoming through their respective catering companies: Parkhurst, Aramark and Eat and Park.

Cider also goes to Old Forge Brewing Co. in Danville and Civil War Cider in Lewisburg for the production of microbreweries and hard cider.

According to John, Ken was also very focused on diversifying the fruit farm itself. While the main crop is apples, the farm offers strawberries, sour and sweet cherries, grapes, black raspberries, pears, peaches and nectarines.

“We have around 900 cherry trees under tall tunnels, which gives us the option of bringing the cherries a week or two earlier if needed or leaving them open, protecting them from freezing,” John said.

They plan to plant over 300 sour cherry trees soon and already have some on the ground.






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A young customer picks his own apples in the orchard.




Six years ago, they added U-pick grapes and apples to their public offerings.

John strongly believes that agrotourism in the region is strong; people want to go out and see an orchard and where their fruit comes from.

The farm also plants various varieties of each fruit, especially apples and peaches. Having a variety of apples allows them to start picking in early August and finish in early November.

Dries offers the following apple varieties: Lodi, Paula Red, Ida Red, Summer Rambo, Ginger Gold, Red and Yellow Delicious, Honey Crisp, Winesap, Gala, Cortland, Jonathan, Macintosh (early and regular), Cameo, Rome, Fuji , JonaGold, Granny Smith and Pink Lady.

Gala and Honeycrisp remain the most popular locally and across the United States, along with a new variety called Evercrisp, which is a combination of Honeycrisp and Fuji.

John said it’s a bit of a guessing game deciding which varieties of apples to plant, and once planted he said you’ve been committed to trees for 20 years.

While an apple tree can produce fruit for 100 years, after around 20-25 years Dries tends to remove and replace them to ensure the best production.

Dries retail store is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit DriesOrchards.com.


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More lively consumption, higher prices and new orchards for persimmons https://dsharma.org/more-lively-consumption-higher-prices-and-new-orchards-for-persimmons/ Thu, 11 Nov 2021 13:22:31 +0000 https://dsharma.org/more-lively-consumption-higher-prices-and-new-orchards-for-persimmons/ The Italian persimmon campaign started a few weeks ago – growers seem happy with both production and marketing and the produce is selling well. “The notes are excellent and the fruits color 10 to 15 days earlier than in previous years thanks to the considerable temperature differences between night and day in October (up to […]]]>

The Italian persimmon campaign started a few weeks ago – growers seem happy with both production and marketing and the produce is selling well. “The notes are excellent and the fruits color 10 to 15 days earlier than in previous years thanks to the considerable temperature differences between night and day in October (up to 10 ° C in some regions)”, explains Vito Vitelli, agronomist and creator of Circuit Melotto.

The “Rojo Brillante” persimmons with excellent qualities, which were ready to be harvested in the region of Metaponto and Caserta already at the end of October.

“Prices have gone from an average of 0.40 € / kg in 2020 to 0.60 € / kg currently. Consumption is on the rise and new orchards are being planted. Spain has always been a competitor, as it has contributed to aggressive trade policies and downward pressure which caused prices paid to producers to drop from 0.35-0.40 € / kg six / seven years ago to 0.20-0.25 € / kg currently (to reach as little as 0.08-0.10 € / kg in 2019). Over the past 20 years, the country has only increased its production of persimmon, resulting in abundant supplies and lower prices. ”

Whiteflies are among the problems affecting Spanish persimmons

“A physiological crisis and a monoculture environment led to a series of problems (eg whiteflies and Planococcus). As this was not enough, at the end of September some growing areas in Spain were hit by downpours and hailstorms which damaged many productions of Rojo Brillante, making the start of the season more difficult after years already compromised by the point view of profits. Right: Planococcus sp. (citrus scale).

“Spanish growers, especially mid-low level ones who were already working with low profit margins, started pulling plants to focus on other productions such as citrus. Therefore, it might be a good time for Italy to invest in persimmon production. What happened in Spain should not make us think that we should no longer promote the cultivation of persimmon, because the mission is to extend the harvest calendar from October to January and then to make the product available until in March with adapted post-harvest and cold storage techniques. ”

Italian growers have shown a lot of interest in the production of persimmon in recent years. We are evaluating the possibility of extending the harvest until January with special techniques in environments protected by netting.

“We must point out that Spain has invested in around 20,000 hectares for the production of Rojo Brillante, while Italy has barely 3,000 now. We still need orchards to meet domestic demand, given that there will be no more invasion of foreign products wholesaled for just under a euro. As for Turkey, around 1000 hectares have been reached so far, but this does not appear to be a particular threat to Italy, as the country is mainly interested in Arab and Eastern European markets.


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Orchards in central Otago fear they won’t have enough staff this season https://dsharma.org/orchards-in-central-otago-fear-they-wont-have-enough-staff-this-season/ Tue, 09 Nov 2021 22:05:59 +0000 https://dsharma.org/orchards-in-central-otago-fear-they-wont-have-enough-staff-this-season/ Some orchards in central Otago are struggling to find enough staff with less than a month to harvest. Workers in the Pacific Islands have been described as invaluable to New Zealand’s horticultural and wine industries. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades During the peak summer season in December and January, more than 5,000 seasonal workers are […]]]>

Some orchards in central Otago are struggling to find enough staff with less than a month to harvest.

Workers in the Pacific Islands have been described as invaluable to New Zealand’s horticultural and wine industries.
Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

During the peak summer season in December and January, more than 5,000 seasonal workers are needed in the horticultural and viticultural sectors.

But their usual supply of backpackers remains cut and it is not known how many CSR workers will be present.

Earlier this year, growers feared the shortage of workers during pruning and thinning could come back to bite them.

Kevin Paulin, co-owner of Clyde Orchards, said they managed to get all their work done before harvest, but it was hard work.

“I noticed in the neighborhood that there seem to be a few blocks that haven’t been fully pruned or thinned… there have been labor issues over the past 12 months.

“I mean it’s not going to be any easier. Once the harvest is in full swing, that’s when the pressure is really going to build.”

They had worked tirelessly all winter to recruit, which had paid off.

Paulin said they were also in a better position with CSR workers than last year after the green light was given to one-way, no-quarantine travel for CSR workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

“They represent a very important part of our workforce, but we have 13 CSR workers out of our 150 employees, so this is still a relatively small proportion.”

Central Otago District Council has launched its Spare Room – Spare Time campaign, urging residents to participate and encourage their friends and family to choose this summer to alleviate anticipated worker shortages.

Every year, Kevin Paulin’s nieces came down from Tauranga to stay with him and pick cherries, nectarines and peaches.

“We often had friends and family during the harvest season to help us. My two nieces have come down, probably the oldest is her 10th time coming to help during the harvest.

“It is a good experience for them to come and spend time with the family and also to earn money for their university studies and so on.”

Staff shortages were inevitable after Christmas, especially if they had a bumper crop of cherries, he said.

For Simon Webb, owner of Webb’s Fruit, the summer staff search began months earlier than usual in June.

He grows summer stone fruits, apples and pears on 45 acres near Cromwell.

He said they were in a good position for staff to start the season, but worried about what February and March might bring.

“You have a few school kids leaving at the end of January. We are replacing with backpackers from the cherry orchards and then as we get busier as we go into February we used to take more and more backpackers. , so that’s our scary thing right now.

“The rest of our workforce is pretty stable. We have less CSR than normal, but we’ve made up for that with students and some older people.”

He hired four CSR workers, but wasn’t sure how the rest would be allocated for the coming season.

“There are a lot of cherry guys out there who probably haven’t beefed up all their staff yet, so they’re going to run for the last staff and if there’s a good harvest or if we get a little bit of period off. hot weather, it’s going to be hard working there. “

Webb expected to feel a labor shortage around March and April.

“Here in central Otago we’re pretty busy harvesting the grapes and applying the harvest during that time, so you need 10 extra hands on your orchard.

“Everyone is fighting for every available staff member at this time and there is no free hand to be honest. If you haven’t laid the groundwork early and put your staff in place early, this will become very difficult. “

Cheeki Cherries was gearing up for a summer with just two orchards.

Its owner, Martin Milne, said he sold his largest orchard, meaning he would only need around 10 employees instead of more than 100.

“We have three varieties of trees and it’s pretty full on where you could pick 25 tons a day, so you need over 100 people.

“Now at the moment we have probably 22-23 varieties, so our season is probably starting in about 10 days and it will end in early February, so rather than having this intense time where we need everyone, the work is now really spreading out. “

These employees alternated between mail ordering, picking and in-store work.

He expected housing to be scarce as some large packing plants required small producers to provide their own housing for staff.

“Therefore, people have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to put up sewage tanks and accommodation blocks and rent cabins and all kinds.

“I think that’s probably more of a concern right now than actually getting people in, that’s where you can welcome them.”


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Grazing in orchards, mutually beneficial vineyards https://dsharma.org/grazing-in-orchards-mutually-beneficial-vineyards/ Tue, 02 Nov 2021 12:13:12 +0000 https://dsharma.org/grazing-in-orchards-mutually-beneficial-vineyards/ Cattle grazing serves several purposes. It feeds livestock, regenerates plant and soil health and, when animals graze in orchards or woods, decreases the severity of forest fires by reducing fuel loads. Agroforestry brings together several agricultural practices that integrate trees into cropping and livestock systems for holistic benefits for the environment, the agricultural economy and […]]]>

Cattle grazing serves several purposes. It feeds livestock, regenerates plant and soil health and, when animals graze in orchards or woods, decreases the severity of forest fires by reducing fuel loads.

Agroforestry brings together several agricultural practices that integrate trees into cropping and livestock systems for holistic benefits for the environment, the agricultural economy and society. Silvopasture specifically refers to land that is intensively managed for the upper story, trees, fodder and livestock to produce both tree and animal products.

In order for woodlots to be maintained for a healthy timber harvest, they must be managed for pest infestations, soils and hydrology.

“A challenge for forest managers,” says Mark Batcheler, a Washington State University doctoral student studying agroforestry in the Pacific Northwest, “is that forests need disturbance. ecological for maximum health. Here in eastern Washington, it happens naturally due to wildfires, windfall and disease. Managers must mimic ecological processes. Controlled burns are most similar to a natural process, but pose the greatest risk to human populations. Another alternative is to masticate with machines to chop down felled trees, grasses and shrubs.

One holistic way to provide the ecological disturbance a forest needs for its ultimate health and to add a source of income is to graze livestock in high density for short periods of time.

Batcheler studies how managed silvopastoral grazing compares to unmanaged grazing in woodlands, ungrazed forests and grazed pastures without trees.

“Last summer was very hot and dry across the West,” he says. “I, along with others, have observed that the grass is finishing and drying out faster than normal. This happened whether there were trees present or not. However, we noticed that the grasses shaded by the trees remained greener for longer despite severe drought conditions. The forage quality lasted longer and produced a higher yield under the trees.

The silvopasture provided increased quality and quantity of forage from July through September, which is the driest time of the year in eastern Washington.

Shelter for livestock

Trees also provide thermal shelter for livestock. “You’ve seen it,” Batcheler says, “if there’s a single tree in a pasture, the whole herd is shaded under it on a hot day. It has a negative impact. The soil is compacted, all the forage is gone, and the bare soil contributes to erosion and invasive plant species.

In the silvopature, which contains several trees, the cattle spread out more. This avoids a negative impact on a single tree and a single area. By grazing in the shade, the body temperature of the animals remains lower. They gain weight faster and maintain their physical condition because they are not stressed by the heat.

Silvopastoral practices can also benefit fruit trees, such as nuts and fruits, as well as vines. “Because orchards and vineyards produce food crops for humans,” says Batcheler, “food safety must be kept in mind to keep animal droppings away from food products. However, there is huge potential to incorporate more grazing land for livestock, as the vegetation between the rows has to be managed.

Several wineries employ sheep and ducks to graze vegetation and, in the case of ducks, to control pest populations. “Ducks have been used in vineyards for hundreds of years in France,” says Batcheler. “Most people think that ducks live in your pond, but duck is very good meat. There is a high value niche market for duck meat and duck eggs.

“The beauty of agroforestry is its ability to stack ecological functions and sources of economic income for holistic management. Instead of monoculture – whether timber, pears, grapes, cattle or ducks – under agroforestry management, some can be combined for mutual environmental service. For example, there are sheep grazing in the orchard. Sheep keep vegetation low for easy harvesting and healthier trees, and enrich the nutrient cycle. The trees of the orchard shelter the sheep and the fodder between the rows feeds the sheep.

As wildfires burn the western states, agroforestry combined with targeted grazing can be used to utilize livestock to reduce fire fuel loads.

“Wildfires are happening and will happen,” Batcheler said. “When a fire reaches an area where the understory has been managed by cattle grazing, it is likely to reduce the severity of the fire. This is one of the ecosystem services that livestock, grazed with silvopastoral methods, can provide.

In addition, there is carbon sequestration, maintenance of wildlife habitat, regeneration of soil health, and protection of watercourses from erosion and turbidity. Agroforestry practices become more important as the climate fluctuates and the summers get hotter. Livestock grazing on forests offers more adaptability and resilience to producers, both environmentally and economically.


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Premature snow damages apple orchards in Kulgam, Shopian districts of Kashmir https://dsharma.org/premature-snow-damages-apple-orchards-in-kulgam-shopian-districts-of-kashmir/ Sun, 31 Oct 2021 20:18:25 +0000 https://dsharma.org/premature-snow-damages-apple-orchards-in-kulgam-shopian-districts-of-kashmir/ Early snowfall in the southern region in October caused heavy damage to the orchards and 30% of the fruit crop that was ready for harvest was lost due to the fury of nature. Officials said this year, while orchards in northern Kashmir saw fewer fruit harvests, orchards in the south had a bumper crop. The […]]]>

Early snowfall in the southern region in October caused heavy damage to the orchards and 30% of the fruit crop that was ready for harvest was lost due to the fury of nature.

Officials said this year, while orchards in northern Kashmir saw fewer fruit harvests, orchards in the south had a bumper crop. The untimely snowfall of the third week, especially in the upper parts of Kulgam and Shopian districts, affected not only the fruits, but also the trees were damaged or uprooted in many places.

Horticultural Director Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, who visited apple orchards in southern Kashmir, said initial estimates show 30 percent of fruit crops have been damaged by untimely snowfall.

He said that in southern Kashmir, growers had a bumper harvest this year.

“Unfortunately, growers suffered damage to 30% of the crop or lost mature apple trees due to snowfall,” he said.

He said the snow damaged the apple in the upper belts of Shopian and Kulgam districts.

Before the snowfall, the horticulture department had issued a notice to producers asking them to finish harvesting apples before the snowfall of October 22 and 23.

“Despite our advice, many growers were unable to complete their harvest due to lack of manpower and other issues. After migrant workers left Kashmir in mid-October shortly after the killing of non-locals in different parts of Kashmir, labor shortages also affected the timely harvest in some areas, although most of the harvests are carried out by the inhabitants themselves, ”he added.

“A timely harvest has reduced losses to some extent, otherwise things would have been worse,” said Bhat, who called on growers to finish harvesting apples until the third week of October. “Sometimes growers deliberately delay the harvest, resulting in a loss of fruit harvest or damage from unwanted snow. Sometimes that helps producers get good rates in the market, ”Bhat said.

Despite the losses, many growers say the rates of apples in mandis are good. “We are getting good rates for our products, which will help offset losses,” said Farooq Sofi, a producer from northern Kashmir.

J&K Lt. Gov. Manoj Sinha on Thursday said farmers in Jammu and Kashmir who suffered losses in the recent snowfall would be given assistance.

Sinha said the snowfall was declared a natural disaster.

“The loss assessment is ongoing. Farmers will get all the help they can get, ”Sinha told the media after opening an apple festival at the Sheri Kashmir International Convention Center in Srinagar.

“We suffered losses due to untimely snowfall. This is the second time since 2019 that the snow has completely damaged our harvest. The government should declare this a natural calamity and compensate producers who have suffered losses, otherwise we are bankrupt, ”said Yasir Banday, a producer from Shopian.


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Heckman Orchards pumps a lot of apple cider https://dsharma.org/heckman-orchards-pumps-a-lot-of-apple-cider/ Thu, 28 Oct 2021 21:33:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/heckman-orchards-pumps-a-lot-of-apple-cider/ Apple cider from a Poconos farm is flying off the shelves this year. The owner says the weather this past spring and summer has been conducive to a great harvest. EFFORT, Pa. – The fall has been busy at Heckman Orchards near Effort. Part of the blame for this year’s apple harvest is, and with […]]]>

Apple cider from a Poconos farm is flying off the shelves this year. The owner says the weather this past spring and summer has been conducive to a great harvest.

EFFORT, Pa. – The fall has been busy at Heckman Orchards near Effort.

Part of the blame for this year’s apple harvest is, and with good reason.

“These are delicious. I think the best around,” said Dorrance Balliet, Bowmanstown.

This year the apples got bigger and juicier than ever, and that’s great news for cider lovers.

But a lot of work for these guys and girls. The fruits of their labor are flying off the shelves this year, and the demand for this sweet product is not slowing down.

“Yes, it’s been a busy year. It’s been good for us. We’ve had a very good apple harvest and we have a lot of apples. It looks like the demand this year has been very high with our fresh cider. We’ve been squeezing more days than normal just to keep up with all the stuff, ”said Mark Heckman, Heckman Orchards.

On press days, between 900 and a thousand gallons of cider are filled into different sized jugs, the price is stamped and shipped.

Because the orchard has had such a good year, other companies that use cider are reaching out to form a partnership.

“We will be making bulk cider for a few wineries and breweries. Some have ordered up to 3,000 gallons to meet their needs because they said the demand for their products is so high,” Heckman said.

Don’t worry, lots of cider ends up here at the farm stand.

This is where Angela Liero is manager.

She says it’s not every year that the harvest goes like this.

“It’s been a great year for apples. They call it a bumper crop. We have a really big apple crop and a lot of cider to do,” said Angela Liero, Heckman.

Because Heckman Orchards pumps out so much cider and several days a week, the gallon you collect is likely to be hot from the press.

Check out the WNEP YouTube page.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries


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whitefly infestation hits coconut orchards in Andhra Pradesh | Vijayawada News https://dsharma.org/whitefly-infestation-hits-coconut-orchards-in-andhra-pradesh-vijayawada-news/ Wed, 27 Oct 2021 22:30:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/whitefly-infestation-hits-coconut-orchards-in-andhra-pradesh-vijayawada-news/ VIJAYAWADA: Several coconut orchards in Andhra Pradesh are affected by the Rough Spiral Whitefly (RSW), affecting coconut production. Whitefly disease has also infested oil palms. The problem is widely felt in the Konaseema region of East Godavari district, where around 30% of the cultivated area has been infected with whitefly. India is the third largest […]]]>
VIJAYAWADA: Several coconut orchards in Andhra Pradesh are affected by the Rough Spiral Whitefly (RSW), affecting coconut production. Whitefly disease has also infested oil palms. The problem is widely felt in the Konaseema region of East Godavari district, where around 30% of the cultivated area has been infected with whitefly.
India is the third largest coconut growing country after Indonesia and the Philippines, with a production of 1.46 crore metric tons per year. Andhra Pradesh is India’s fourth largest state – after Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu – for coconut cultivation. In the state, up to 1.23 lakh hectares of land are cultivated with coconuts, while 1.70 lakh hectares are under palm oil plantation.
The eastern and western districts of Godavari, mainly Konaseema region, have a large coconut plantation and the coconuts grown in this region are in huge demand due to the high oil content. But farmers have been facing serious problems since 2018 due to the whitefly infestation. According to horticultural scientists, the whitefly directly attacks the plant by sucking its juice and forms a white mold resembling a fungus. The yield drops dramatically and it is difficult to control the problem if it is not identified in the early stages.
MVS Nagireddy, vice president of AP Agriculture Mission, said they are focusing on methods to control infection and recover production. “The whitefly infestation started in 2018 in Tamil Nadu. It gradually spread to all states. We visited the Agricultural University of Tamil Nadu and inquired about the situation there. About 60% of Tamil Nadu’s coconut plantations have been affected. We are on alert and are developing an action plan with the Ambajipet coconut research center. Likewise, AP leads other states in oil palm cultivation with around 1.7 lakh of hectares cultivated. We have alerted the farmers and we are focusing on control measures, ”he said.
Dr T Janaki Ram, vice-chancellor of YSR University of Horticulture, said a biological control laboratory has been established on the university campus to undertake research on controlling whitefly infection in plantations. coconut and other horticultural crops. “Biocontrol methods are effective in controlling whiteflies. Farmers should focus on them instead of using chemical insecticides. They are effective and inexpensive, ”he said, adding that whitefly infection can spread to papaya and cream apple plantations.


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