May 2022 - 1

High-Tech Tools
Grower, researcher
look at the viability
of FruitScout
Texas vineyard succeeds
in hostile growing
Domestic, global
tart cherry market is
a priority
May 2022 | Volume 61 |
IFG adds cherry focus to influence
industry progression
By Doug Ohlemeier
Assistant Editor
International Fruit Genetics (IFG)
breeding programs could change the
cherry growing industry and help it adapt
to a changing
climate. The
fruit breeding
new low-chill
cherries could change how growers grow
cherries and drive demand by adapting to
new consumer preferences.
Known for its Cotton Candy and
Sweet Globe table grape varieties, the
Bakersfield, California-based IFG is giving
more attention to cherries.
" Cherries are such a special fruit, " said
Alwyn van Jaarsveld, IFG's international
commercial cherry manager. " It's
something that takes a lifetime to get right. "
Compared to other fruits, like apples,
cherry production is smaller, with
a corresponding focus on breeding
" Cherries pale in comparison, " said van
Jaarsveld. " But, they're a very interesting
fruit. They're definitely high-end. They are
something that appeals to consumers. Not
children, but adult consumers. "
Because of consumer excitement
generated by cherries each season and their
ability to attract eyes in the fruit aisle, van
Jaarsveld calls cherries a " magnetic fruit. "
" If it's on the shelf, people will go to
them and have a look at what's there,
looking at the price and seeing what they
can afford to buy, " he said.
IFG has released 10 commercial sweet
cherry varieties. That's dwarfed by the 35 it
has released for table grapes. IFG is testing
about 40 different types of cherry varieties.
Commercially, about five times that many
breeds are grown.
Changing climate
As Southern California's climate
becomes increasingly warmer and dryer,
growing cherries becomes even more
IFG's low-chill cherry varieties will
perform better in the southern part of the
San Joaquin Valley, where temperatures
aren't as low as those near Sacramento,
California, and other northern areas.
Temperatures in Sacramento are lower
longer than around Bakersfield, where
summer temperatures last longer.
" The cherry tree needs to survive both, "
See IFG, page 6
Alwyn van Jaarsveld, International Fruit Genetics (IFG) international commercial
cherry manager, breeds low-chill sweet cherries to help growers adapt to dryer
and warmer growing conditions. Photos: IFG
Issue 5
Growers feel fertilizer, input cost crunch
By Doug Ohlemeier
Assistant Editor
Agriculture's tenuous relationship with
global events, increasing input costs and
competition posed by other growing
regions were brought into focus at this
year's Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook
The March event at the University of
Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences' (UF/IFAS) Mid-Florida Research
and Education Center in Apopka featured
economists and researchers discussing
how policy issues could affect production.
A big issue is fertilizer costs. John Walt
Boatright, director of national affairs and
interim director of state legislative affairs
for the Florida Farm Bureau, said fertilizer
costs and overall inflation increases of
input costs
are the biggest
issues affecting
growers. He
discussed a
effort to
the Biden
to implement
certain types
of waivers on
tariffs and other costs associated with
importing fertilizers.
" High fertilizer prices are massive
concerns for farmers, " said Boatright.
" Nitrogen fertilizers are way up because of
problems with gas suppliers, especially in
Europe. "
Nitrogen prices were so high that
at one point, many European Union
plants shut down, which undercut world
nitrogen fertilizer supplies and capacities.
Additionally, the former Soviet Union used
to require American help to feed itself but
is now a breadbasket.
" Things have gone very well in
agriculture for the last four years in terms
of the ability to grow and feed the world,
See COST, page 7

May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2022

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