Horticulture information meetings set for Wenatchee, Yakima

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WENATCHEE — Advance registration is open for an annual program of continuing education classes for cherry growers in Yakima. Four days of presentations for cherry, apple, pear and stone fruit growers is scheduled for Wenatchee. Both events are in January.

Both are sponsored by Washington State University. Orchardists who attend the meetings are eligible for continuing education credits.

The Cherry Institute is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Yakima Convention Center. Registration opens at 8 a.m.

The day starts with a review of the 2017 cherry crop, along with acreage projections. Growers will be asked what priorities they would recommend for cherry research.

Presentations are scheduled on improving cherry quality and how to use new cherry color charts. That’s followed by discussions of new sweet cherry varieties, and rootstock and growing techniques for the new varieties.

Other sessions focus on improving cherry quality, including ways to reduce splitting after harvest and ways to improve bee activity during bloom season. Diseases and pests are covered during the afternoon. There’s also a review of the 2017 cherry market.

Registration is $15 for the classes, $25 for the luncheon, through Dec. 29. Registration for both is $35 through Dec. 29. Limited registration will be available at the door, but will be more expensive, according to a press release from WSU.

The four days of presentations and trade show in Wenatchee are scheduled for Jan. 15 through 18 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.

“Chelan Fruit Day,” is 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 15; it’s co-sponsored by the Chelan High School FFA. All four days are free.

Presentations cover apples and pears and include an update on a new variety coming into production known as WA38. There are presentations on pear tree diseases and apple pests, as well as spray techniques, including reducing drift.

Stone Fruit Day, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan 16, focuses on cherries. Presentations include ways to combat cherry diseases and pests, along with growing techniques. A discussion is scheduled on the 2017 cherry crop and surveys of existing and projected cherry acreage.

Pear Day is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 17. Presentations cover ways to increase pear consumption and the labor market for pear growers. There will be discussions of pear diseases and integrated pest management, and a review of the 2017 pear crop.

Apple Day is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18. Topics scheduled include irrigation techniques and improving soil quality, orchard management, fighting pests and a grower panel on fighting a disease known as bitter pit.

People who want more information can contact the local WSU Extension office.

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