Western Colorado Horticultural Society, WCHS

WCHS & VinCO Annual Conference, Jan 17-19 2017


Monday, January 16


PRE-CONFERENCE SHORTCOURSE

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule Training at Orchard Mesa Research Station

Monday, Jan. 16. from 8:00-5:00 a Special Shortcourse will be offered at CSU’s Orchard Mesa Research Center for growers wishing to receive training in Food Safety. The full day program will be offered to 35 participants for a fee of $100 (includes lunch and training materials) The course will satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule - requirement outlined in subsection 112.22(c).

Orchard Mesa Research Station

3168 B 1/2 Road

Grand Junction, CO 81503

For more information, please call Donna Iovanni at (970) 434-3264 or Greg Litus at (970) 568-6042.

Register Online


Tuesday, January 17


ORCHARD BUS TOUR

The Orchard Bus Tour will take you on a comfortable tour bus to see examples of farming practices like these, as it travels from Grand Junction to production areas in Olathe and Palisade. Visit with conference speakers and make new contacts in the industry. Lunch will be served.

  • Learn pruning & thinning techniques to maximize yields and fruit size
  • Develop Farm-to-Table marketing skills
  • Discover the differences of high-density vs. four-tier pruning and replanting
  • Get a closer look at cytospora control
  • Enjoy a demonstration of sulfur tank implementation for lowering soil ph

Get on the bus! Seminar speakers will be on the bus sharing running commentary between destinations.

Bus Tour Schedule

7:30 am    Registration begins at Two Rivers Convention Center

8:00 am    Depart for Palisade

1st Stop

Rocky Mountain Peach Company-3636 E ¼ Road, Palisade, CO 81526

John Cox and Eric Favier will discuss copper/cytospora canker experiments and lower density practices for higher yield.

Background: John Cox has been in the peach business for 40 years. Eric Favier is currently running the daily operations under John’s supervision.

Morton’s Organic Orchards-3651 E 1/4 Rd, Palisade, CO 81526

Dave Morton will show his cold sink for frost protection.

Background: Morton’s Organic Orchards is the premier grower of certified organic peaches, apricots, cherries, pears, as well as jam, jelly, salsa and preserves since 1979.

2nd Stop

Talbott’s Mountain Gold LLLP-3801 F 1/4 Rd, Palisade, CO 81526

Bruce Talbott will discuss delayed pruning for earlier yield and increased/larger growth, breaking trees to create a canopy and soil health.

Background: Talbott Farms is a fifth generation family owned company. Their geat great grandfather planted some of the early orchards in Palisade. Talbott’s Mountain Gold has grown to become a large producer of peaches, wine grapes and fresh apple cider in Colorado.

3rd Stop

LUNCH-Veteran’s Community Center- 120 W 8th St, Palisade, CO 81526

Catered by a local favorite, Diorio’s Pizza

4th Stop-Destination Olathe

Mattic’s Orchards-8163 High Mesa Road, Olathe, CO 81425

Kerri and Tammy Mattics will discuss what they grow for a successful multi-faceted market.

Background: Mattic’s Orchards is one of the larger vegetable and fruit operations on the Western Slope. He runs a farm market in Montrose and also works closely with local entities including schools and local hospital. The family has lived on the same land since 1961 and takes stewardship responsibility seriously.

5th Stop

Suarez Orchard-7521 High Mesa Road, Olathe, CO 81425

Raul Suarez will demonstrate how fruit sizing is a pruning decision not a thinning decision. This pruning technique has proven to produce large peaches on a consistent basis year after year.

Return to Two Rivers Convention Center. ETA 4:45pm

Register Online


Wednesday, January 18


TRADE SHOW

8am-5pm


CONFERENCE SEMINARS

Robert Sakata, President, Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

Kick-Off Speaker, 8:30-9am

Robert Sakata has a long history of leadership in Colorado agriculture and is currently the President of the newly formed Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and President of the Colorado Onion Growers Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Fulton Irrigation and Ditch Company, and on the New Brantner Ditch Company, is a founding member the Metro Roundtable the Colorado Ag Water Alliance. In 2013 he was elected to serve on the Colorado Water Congress Board of Directors as one of its two designated agricultural representatives. He also seres on the Board of Trustees for the National Onion Association. Robert received the American Vegetable Grower’s 2014 Grower Achievement Award and in October of 2016 Robert was recognized in The Packer 25.

Robert is now the owner of Sakata Farms, headquartered in Brighton Colorado on the same corner where Robert grew up. On approximately 2500 acres of ground they grow, dry bulb onions, feed barley, pinto beans, fresh market sweet corn, and winter wheat.

A Dirt Farmer’s View of the World

After he graduating High School the last thing Robert wanted to do was to take over his parent’s farming operation. After majoring in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology, then working in a research laboratory, as a ski school instructor, and bartender he ended up choosing to be part of the 0.02% of the US population that grows vegetables for the other 99.98% of the US. Fruit and vegetable farmers face more challenges today than any time in history from government regulations, retail requirements, and resource shortages but find out why Robert feels that a farmer’s view from the ground up is the best place to be.


Gregory Lang, PhD., Professor of Tree Fruit Physiology, Michigan State University

Dr. Gregory Lang is a Professor of Tree Fruit Physiology at Michigan State University, having served previously on the faculties of Washington State University and Louisiana State University. He earned graduate degrees in Pomology and Plant Physiology from the University of California-Davis. Dr. Lang has conducted research in tree fruit production and environmental stress physiology, variety and rootstock evaluation, and innovative fruit production systems, with special emphasis on sweet cherries. His laboratory teams have been instrumental in advancing and adopting dwarfing precocious rootstocks and protective orchard covering technologies as well as the development of new cherry varieties and high efficiency canopy training systems. Dr. Lang received the Distinguished Research Award from the International Fruit Tree Association in 2001, and he travels extensively to speak on cherry production practices, and exchange ideas and experiences, with growers and scientists worldwide.

State-of-the-Art Cherry Training Systems: Optimizing Fruit Quality, Yields, and Labor Efficiencies

Sweet cherry production has increased dramatically worldwide, as new rootstocks, varieties, and foundational production research have improved fruit quality, yield consistency, and labor efficiency, while markets have remained strong even as supply increases. The advent of precocious, dwarfing rootstocks may have initiated this expansion, but recent innovations in training systems may make it possible to achieve such improvements across a spectrum of rootstock vigor levels. This opens the door for the rootstock component of new orchards to be focused on soil/climate adaptability, while training techniques facilitate the advancement of yield potential, fruit quality, and efficient use of labor (perhaps with partial mechanization of certain tasks). The latest results from 7-year-old sweet cherry training system trials across North America will be presented in the context of current and future state-of-the-art production systems.


David Granatstein

David Granatstein is with Washington State University (WSU) Extension based in Wenatchee, Washington. He has worked on sustainable agriculture and organic farming for over 35 years with different crops and in several states and countries.  He currently focuses on tree fruit production, organic systems, and soil quality.

Beneath the Canopy: Soil Health and Orchard Floor Management

The orchard floor has received less attention than above-ground tree management. As in all of agriculture, the appreciation for the role of soil in orchard systems is growing, along with interest in management options to improve orchard performance. Soil biology plays the key role in replant disease and recent research suggests new strategies for control. Practices such as cover crops, mulches, and soil amendments are also delivering results in orchards, and can pay their way.


Jane Stewart, PhD., and Stephan Miller

Jane E. Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology in the Department of Agricultural Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Oregon, her Master’s Degree in forestry from the University of Vermont and her PhD in plant pathology from Washington State University. She has also held postdoctoral positions at the USDA ARS Horticultural Research Lab in Corvallis, OR, and the Dept. of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. Jane has extensive experience in fungal biology, molecular diagnostics, and management of plant pathogens. She also currently teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in forest and tree health and management that focused on a broad array of diseases and their management.

Stephan Miller is a graduate student at Colorado State University in the department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management. Before joining the plant pathology team at CSU, Stephan graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science and Technology. While attending the University of Maryland, Stephan also worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in the Systematic Mycology and Microbiology laboratory where he became interested in fungal pathogens. Stephan is currently working on a project which involves the Cytospora canker fungus. The objective of this project is to uncover effective chemicals to combat the ubiquitous peach canker, while also monitoring the year round spore production of the cankers for a better understanding of when to apply chemicals to reduce inoculum load in the fields.

CSU Cytospora Research: Developing Management Applications

Peach production in the west is threatened by environmental stresses, such as diminishing water supplies, spring frosts, low winter temperatures, and alkaline soils. Further exasperating the environmental stresses are pest problems like persistent Cytospora canker disease, which leads to major reductions in productivity, profitability, and orchard longevity. The consensus among growers is that Cytospora canker is the most challenging problem they face in maintaining profitable peach orchards. The extent and severity of infections in western Colorado has reached a critical level. In a CSU survey of 192 orchard-acres conducted in March and April of 2015, 100% of the orchards surveyed throughout the Grand Valley, North Fork of the Gunnison River region and as far south as Olathe were infected with Cytospora. On average, 75% of trees were infected in orchards surveyed; however, many orchards were 100% infected, especially those at the typical age of peak production. At the newly established Cytospora Working Group meeting, growers discussed potential measures needed to combat this disease. Chemical measures are of high importance to growers. Currently, few fungicidal options exist for preventing new infections and decreasing inoculum load. Therefore, our specific objectives were to 1. evaluate conventional and organic fungicides efficacy for Cytospora spp. in-vivo and in planta, and 2. test bark and wound sealing with effective fungicides embedded in paints to develop a preventive approach for Cytospora management in existing orchards. We found that Captan, Topsin and Lime Sulfur were effective as preventatives on newly wounded tissues. Further, we found that Latex paint alone and Surround mixed with Lime Sulfur were effective at reducing sporulation on existing cankers, thereby reducing the risk of new infection. Using these chemical measures, future infections within existing orchards can be reduced, thereby increasing orchard longevity.


Steve Hammersmith, PhD.

President, CEO of Shur Farms frost Protection. Steve is the author of a new book “Cold Air Accumulation and Growers Guide to Frost Protection”, WestBow Press.

Fire and Wind for Freeze and Protection

Using Steve’s combined Twenty years of experience of battling frost on his family farm and his studies and apprentice ship under Dr. Rafael Guarga , President of University of Uruguay, has developed new frost protection methods of controlling cold air flows and draining cold air masses.


Esmaeil Fallahi, PhD., Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, Parma Research Extension Center, University of Idaho

Dr. Fallahi received his PhD from Oregon State University, M.S. from Washington State University and B.S. from Jundishapour Ahvas, Iran. Dr. Fallahi has published a significant number of papers relating to the fruit industry. This includes a paper written in 2012 about influence of rootstocks and irrigation methods on water use, mineral nutrition, growth, fruit yield and quality in Gala apples.

Peach Variety Trials in Idaho

Dr. Fallahi will speak on his 15 years of extensive research on various peach varieties.


Horst Caspari, PhD., Viticulturist and Professor in the Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University

Horst Caspari is a Professor in the Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University, and Colorado’s State Viticulturist. He holds the equivalent of a MSc and PhD in Agricultural Science from the University of Bonn, Germany. From 1990-1993, he was a visiting scientist at the Horticultural Science Department at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. He worked as Post-Doc (1994) and Research Scientist (1995-2000) for the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand at the Marlborough Research Center in Blenheim, New Zealand before joining Colorado State University in July 2000.

Understanding and Avoiding Cold Temperature Injury in Orchards and Vineyards

Cold damage to fruit and grape buds during dormancy and/or after bud break in spring are common occurrences in Western Colorado. Dormant season cold damage has caused significant crop losses in grapes in 2010, 2013, and 2014. Late spring frosts have severely reduced the peach crop in Mesa County in 2013, and caused significant losses to all tree fruit crops in Delta County in 2015. Due to the topography of the high mountain valleys in Western Colorado, large temperature inversions develop during calm and clear nights. When temperatures near the ground are low enough to cause bud damage, wind machines can be used to pull down warmer air aloft and stir up the cold air layer near the ground, thereby elevating the temperature in orchards / vineyards. But when should a wind machine be started? And where should we measure the temperature(s)? In this talk we will present information on temperature variability within vineyards/orchards and discuss the practical implications regarding cold damage.


MEET THE VENDORS & SPEAKERS

4:30-6:30pm

Presented by American Ag Credit

Roving Keg, Hard Cider, Wine, Beer & Hors d'oeuvres


Thursday, January 19


TRADE SHOW

8:30am-4pm


CONFERENCE SEMINARS

Esmaeil Fallahi, PhD.

Dr. Fallahi received his PhD from Oregon State University, M.S. from Washington State University and B.S. from Jundishapour Ahvas, Iran. Dr. Fallahi has published a significant number of papers relating to the fruit industry. This includes a paper written in 2012 about influence of rootstocks and irrigation methods on water use, mineral nutrition, growth, fruit yield and quality in Gala apples.

Table Grapes

Dr. Fallahi will speak on the state of the grape industry in Idaho. For more than two decades Dr. Fallahi has showed local grape growers that table grapes could thrive in the Southwest Idaho region.


David Granatstein

David Granatstein is with Washington State University (WSU) Extension based in Wenatchee, Washington. He has worked on sustainable agriculture and organic farming for over 35 years with different crops and in several states and countries.  He currently focuses on tree fruit production, organic systems, and soil quality.

Fire Blight Management in Organic Orchards

Changes in the National Organic Program have eliminated the use of antibiotics for control of fire blight in organic apples and pears. Fortunately, several new products became available at the same time to help formulate new approaches. These include Blossom Protect, a yeast biocontrol product, and soluble coppers that can be applied during bloom. A systems approach is needed to achieve the best chance for control, and risk of fruit russetting remains a concern. On-going research may lead to further controls such as an Erwinia specific bacteriophage. Success with the new tools has varied with geographic location and local testing and refinement is necessary.


Gregory Lang, PhD., Professor of Tree Fruit Physiology at Michigan State University

Dr. Gregory Lang is a Professor of Tree Fruit Physiology at Michigan State University, having served previously on the faculties of Washington State University and Louisiana State University. He earned graduate degrees in Pomology and Plant Physiology from the University of California-Davis. Dr. Lang has conducted research in tree fruit production and environmental stress physiology, variety and rootstock evaluation, and innovative fruit production systems, with special emphasis on sweet cherries. His laboratory teams have been instrumental in advancing and adopting dwarfing precocious rootstocks and protective orchard covering technologies as well as the development of new cherry varieties and high efficiency canopy training systems. Dr. Lang received the Distinguished Research Award from the International Fruit Tree Association in 2001, and he travels extensively to speak on cherry production practices, and exchange ideas and experiences, with growers and scientists worldwide.

Fruit Production Under Protective Covers: Creating Your Own Climate Change Is Not Just for Cherries Anymore

A significant component of the increased consistency of sweet cherry production around the world has been the use of various orchard covering systems to reduce climatic risks, such as frosts during spring and rain during ripening. Secondary advantages include the reduction of some pests and diseases, and consequently reduced pesticide use. Such covering systems also can be used for production of other stone fruits where high value market niches are feasible but climatic risks may be limiting, such as early-blooming apricots in cold climates or bacterial disease-susceptible nectarine varieties in rainy climates. The results from 12 years of covered cherry research and 5 years of covered stone fruit research will be presented.


Kay Rentzel, Director of the National Peach Council

National Peach Council Updates

The National Peach Council is a voluntary organization comprised of growers, packers, shippers, processors and othes affiliated with the U.S. peach industry. The Council was formed in 1948 to unite the industry and provide a voice at the national level on issues facing the industry. Kay will discuss the industry trends and opportunities for peaches as revealed by recent research with the Nielsen Perishables Group and tracking of the 2015 crop. Additionally, the presentation will address the role of the Council in addressing issues that impact the industry of Colorado and the various grant opportunities that may be open to the industry.


Ioannis Minas, PhD., Assistant Professor of Pomology

Dr. Minas received his PhD in Pomology and Postharvest Physiology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. During his PhD studies was appointed as a Junior Specialist at the Dept. Plant Sciences at University of California Davis, CA. Since October 2015, he coordinates the CSU Pomology research program at WCRC-OM with interest on Cytospora canker management and on tree fruit physiology. The tree fruit physiology program emphasizes on orchard and environmental factors affecting productivity, harvest quality and postharvest performance of peaches, apples and sweet cherries.

CSU Pomology Research Program Update: Peach varieties, training and thinning systems

Dr. Minas' talk is going to cover the development of novel non-distractive sensors to estimate peach and apple internal qualities using near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and the impact of crop load on harvest and postharvest quality. Additionally, he will focus on cold hardiness assessment of peach flower buds using differential thermal analysis (DTA). Finally, he is going to provide an update on the existing and upcoming peach, apple and sweet cherry NC-140 rootstock trials at WCRC-OM.


Jeff Tranel, Colorado State University

Jeff received his Masters of Science (agricultural economics) from the University of Wyoming and has been a staff member of CSU since 1987. Jeff’s primary interests are in financial management, legacy/cessation/estate planning, risk management, business structures, tax management, and record-keeping and human resource management.

Legacy Planning Part 1

Jeff will be speaking on farm estate planning, cessation and legacy programs. Estate planning is important, but legacy planning is even more critical for today’s farm and rancher families.

Legacy Planning Part 2

Jeff will be speaking on ways for farm and ranch families to document their legacies and ease the burden of transferring life experiences to future generations.


HAPPY HOUR

6-7pm


INDUSTRY CELEBRATION BANQUET

7-9:30pm


Babydoll southdown sheep Bus Tour
Trace Bundy concert Innovation Awardee
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