Phytellilgence Propagation Pt 1

Phytellilgence Propagation Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. It's not about pest control, but the biotech plant propagation company Phytelligence may feel like they've built a better mouse trap.

CEO Ken Hunt says Phytelligence was founded in 2012 by Washington State University ag professor Amat Dhingra after he discovered that apple growers had unmet needs...

HUNT ... "There's a tremendous shortage of materials in this space. We can't get our hands on enough rootstock. We can't get our hands on enough buds of desirable varieties that we can graft to the rootstock to grow trees."

Hunt says some of the problems came even after they got the needed rootstocks ...

HUNT ... "A lot of times when we do get an order in finally, you know, after all the shortage, there are mix ups in the deliveries. We don't get the right trees shipped to us, there was mortality rates from bare root from trees having to be transplanted frequently. There's mortality from disease and virus and all those sorts of things."

And, Hunt says that's when the light bulb over his head came on ...

HUNT ... "And so, he went back to the lab and really dusted off the decades-old technology of tissue culture and realized that originally tissue culture, the state-of-the-art at the time was really developed for tobacco, but apples are not tobacco, and systematically went about customizing tissue culture protocols for not just all apples, but every single variety of apple and rootstock.

Hunt says they also propagate for cherries, pears, berries, nuts, and others.

Listen tomorrow for more on this exciting micro-propagation technology and this growing company.

Phytelligence is also nourished by the strong, close relations between the university, its faculty, and alumni, as well as the broader agricultural community that thrives here in the Pacific Northwest.


BL: Welcome back to another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, let's announce the winner for the American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower, Apple Grower of the Year award, sponsored by Valent.

AW: Drumroll please. This year's award goes to both Judy and Philip Schwallier of Sparta, Michigan. Both come from apple growing families.

BL: they have a farm and market called Schwallier's Country Basket. They even have an apiary.

AW: We love to talk about bees on Fruit Bites! Yes, the farm market was started back in 1989 as a picnic table under a tree and has grown to about 200,000 visitors a year.

BL: Judy and Phil are the 3rd husband/wife team to win & it seems to be quite a family affair with their 4 children and 5 grandkids getting involved.

AW: This dynamic duo and family has a mission to preserve research, education and allow people to experience their farm firsthand. They will be presented the award this week at the US Apple Association's Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference in Chicago, IL.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.

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