Washington State fruit industry is one of the largest worldwide. The apple production is certainly one of excellence in the world due to very favorable climatic and cultural conditions. In addition the low level of humidity minimizes the need of pesticides treatments and this represents an undeniable advantage for plant protection and product healthiness.
However, the cultivation practices and technology used for apple and pear can be significantly improved.
The main need we see for the fruit industry is to modify the overall orchard design and training systems to improve crop quality and introduce mechanization techniques, in order to meet the demands of consumers, growers and packing houses throughout the whole supply chain. In addition, it will be necessary to study pre- and post-harvest fruit quality to improve storability by improving consistency throughout the supply chain.
Our research and efforts are focused to help the industry to move towards these improvements.