James R. McFerson

Visionary or Disaster? New Apple Plantings Continue, Backed by Science

Are U.S. apple growers visionaries, or are they making the worst decisions in their history by planting more […]

Major Challenges to the Fruit Industry Are Closer than You Think

Don’t underestimate the need for research, as innovation is becoming an urgent necessity for our future.

Focusing On Phenomics In Specialty Crops

It’s not just the nature of your crops — the genomics — it’s also how they are nurtured.

Cracks In Your Orchard’s Infrastructure Expose Bigger Flaws

Modern blocks can increase your production, but if your training system is shoddy, you could see major losses.

It’s Been A Tough Year For Pacific Northwest Growers

So far, 2015 is not treating the Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry all that well. We knew the […]

Why We’re Breeding Apples For Climate Change

The Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry is ready for climate change. That is not saying we welcome its inevitable […]

The Story Of Honeycrisp Is One Of Challenges And Success

‘Everything’s different’ in this world of 150 million 40-pound box world of apple growing.

Seeing The Positives In Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Invasion

When it comes to tree fruit and many other specialty crops, BMSB probably falls into the catastrophic category.

What’s In An Apple Cultivar’s Name?

Honeycrisp aside, sometimes all it takes for a successful new cultivar is superior characteristics.

Tree Fruit: Taking The Loser Mentality In The Produce Industry

“The story seems different for specialty crops, like apple, that are directly consumed, viewed as inherently healthy and perhaps held to a different standard. Like it or not, the apple industry has apparently won the opportunity to be a pioneer in testing the consumer’s response to a GMO variety.”

Tree Fruit: The Climate Of Weather And Politics

The precipitation and temperature extremes throughout our tree fruit growing regions have been stressful on people and plants both.

RosBREED: A Jewel Of A Program

Although funding for RosBREED is over, we will continue to reap rewards of this research.

Is Nighttime The Right Time For Harvest?

Many activities on the orchard can be done at night thanks to fluorescent or LED lights mounted on mechanical harvesters or specialized movable towers for traditional hand-harvested blocks

Washington Apple Growers Feeling Euphoric

Have you ever wondered what euphoria feels like? Try being an apple producer in Washington in the spring […]

Making A Commitment To Agriculture

“Saving Extension is not the right goal.” I said that almost two years ago in a piece on […]

The Promise And Despair Of The Farm Bill

Every four years, national elections in the U.S. either bring in a new Administration or return one. It […]

Time To Treat Apples Like Cows?

We need to manage orchards like dairy cows. I have been going to the wrong kinds of meetings […]

2012 Farm Bill May Be A Welcome Surprise

This crop season has offered up a couple of real surprises. One has been absolutely awful, but the […]

Labor, Crop Management Will Determine This Year’s Crop Size

This spring’s series of disastrous weather events has wreaked havoc across many tree fruit production regions, but those […]

Timing Is Everything In Springtime Orchard Decisions

Every year in the spring I greatly enjoy observing a couple things, and each inevitably provides a surprise […]