Pear Breeding Part 2

Pear Breeding Part 2

Pear Breeding Part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Kate Evans with WSU is in the process of developing a pear breeding program here in the state. She talks about some of the possibilities.

EVANS: Size control, an obvious issue in terms of pear rootstocks for labor issues, spray efficiency, all of the really obvious size concerns. Precocity has to be way up there in terms of getting a return on your investment if you are planting a new orchard. Consistent good yield, again another obvious thing.

She says these are not in any particular order and they are looking at what the most pressing needs will be.

EVANS: Fruit quality from a rootstock perspective. Here I’m talking about things like effects on harvest date and skin finish. Winter hardiness. This is one of the things we have issue with, with using quince rootstocks here, It may be that some material that we can bring in and trial some of the supposedly more hardy quince rootstocks would be an opportunity here in the states.

Other possibilities that they are looking being able to control are things like resistance to fire blight, wooly pear aphid resistance, resistance to phytophora and adaptability to the environment, in addition to the ease of propagation.

EVANS: This is something that has been a real issue in rootstock programs. Particularly pyrus rootstocks have a tendency to be very difficult to propagate and it’s an issue in terms of apple rootstock breeding – is also becoming more of a problem now.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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