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Fruit News 2018

By Forrest Scharf (PAg) Provincial Specialist, Fruit Crops

Apple sensory evaluation testing
University of Saskatchewan
Apple Sensory Evaluation Testing
It’s difficult to capture the entire breadth of important news that occurred within the Saskatchewan fruit industry in the past year, but it is hoped that the articles included in this edition will provide a general industry overview, and will be of interest to new growers as well as industry veterans.

The article “Business Planning” was included for new fruit growers, and is a simple roadmap for people wanting to know where they can obtain assistance with agribusiness planning (in the fruit industry and otherwise).

The article “Brown Marmorated Stink Bug” (BMSB) is about a new invasive insect pest that has been detected in other fruit-growing regions of Canada (and the U.S.A.), but not in the Canadian prairies (to date).  The article is for industry veterans, but anyone could contribute to identifying the presence of this pest.  The faster an infestation is detected, the easier long-term management will be. 

Other articles regarding pests include “Cedar Waxwings and Starlings,” as well as “Cherry Fruit Fly and Apple Maggot in 2017.” Cedar waxwings have been identified as serious pests of haskap, but starlings are beginning to give them some competition.

The ”Canadian Cherry Producer’s Inc. (CCPI) Update” provides links to that organizations new website. They did a fantastic job of rebranding themselves, and just in time to help address some intriguing new market opportunities.

Haskap Canada Inc. has created a new website and a new governance model for itself. The new structure will see the formation of a council from provincial representatives.  Each province will have to appoint a representative from its membership. The Saskatchewan haskap association has developed bylaws, and is quickly moving forward. North 49 Fruit Corporation has also launched itself into the marketplace and, at present, opportunities appear endless.

The “Saskatchewan Fruit Growers Association (SFGA) Update” includes information about the SFGA’s effort to create a new strategic plan. Growers are encouraged to provide feedback to the SFGA about this initiative.

The “Canadian Agricultural Partnership” (CAP) article provides an overview of the new program replacing the federal/provincial Growing Forward 2 (GF2) suite of agricultural programs. Many of the Saskatchewan-managed CAP programs will have titles similar to their GF2 ones), but there are a significant number of new features. Growers and agri-businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the funding opportunities, and to apply to programs that will help achieve specific business goals.  

Information reflective of a sad facet of the passage of time is that Rick Sawatzky has retired from the University of Saskatchewan Fruit Program after working for the program for 46.5 years. A short overview of Rick’s many contributions to the fruit industry is included.

Another news item of interest to anyone considering marketing fruit or processed fruit products into Sobeys grocery stores is “Sobeys' Local Roadshow.” The article provides information about two meetings that occurred in Saskatoon and Regina, and a new Sobeys “Local Food” program launch.

The final topic considered in this edition of Fruit Production News is “A Bad Winter, Wild Bees, Pollination, and a new Bee Specialist in 2018.” This article highlights the negative effects this past winter had on fruit crops, and bees. It also provides a brief introduction to Graham Parsons, the new Pollinator Biosecurity Specialist in the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

Some topic issues not included in this edition are pesticide updates, soil mapping and drainage, Spotted Wing Drosophila scouting and the fifth agri-value workshop.  Growers interested in these topics are encouraged to contact Forrest Scharf for more information.

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