Red Raspberries 2020 Pt 3

Red Raspberries 2020 Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Washington’s raspberry harvest is complete and looking pretty good ahead of the final numbers due at the end of the month.

But, even the best season, according to Henry Bierlink, executive director of the Washington Red Raspberry Commission, faces pricing challenges from imported fruit …

BIERLINK … “We’re producing a good product. The question is, can we sell it at a price that sustains our industries. And, at this point IQF is in that kind of camp and we’re struggling to get the B-grade or purees and juices into that kind of a range, mostly again because of imports that, they can produce quite a bit cheaper than we are.”

Many things, Bierlink says factor into the disparity …

BIERLINK … “Different priced land, different labor, different regulations. If they can just ship that in, at the same level we do, it’s hard for our customers to pass up those cheap prices.”

Bierlink says this problem is true for many crops …

BIERLINK … “Well, I think it’s not just raspberries, it’s really about U.S. specialty crop production, anything that has a labor-intensive side to it. Is our national policy going to be, we’re just going to buy that offshore and we’re not going to support famers who do that or do we really want to start getting serious about seeing how can we keep U.S. domestic production of these products, fruits and vegetables, viable because it’s a big question.”

Bierlink says it all comes down to pricing. If they can’t get a sustainable price, we stand to lose more growers, ahead of the many already lost over the past 10-years.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. And as always, joining us is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, something’s bugging me … or you really … in a good way …

AW: Ahh. My favorite part of Fruit Bites is yapping about insects. So we are at harvest and now is the time to start looking at your fruit to determine your insect pest levels. This will help create a solid plan for next season.

BL: What type of pests will you see?

AW: San Jose scale, if you see those red spots, flag or mark those trees to come back at delayed dormant with Esteem and oil. If you see codling moth, mow up any dropped & infested fruit. Try to clear away any wood piles. And prepare for mating disruption and rotating products for control next year.

BL: What about mites?

AW: with mites, you could do a post-harvest spray of a miticide to knock down overwintering females. Or be sure to include oil and a miticide come spring when those females wake up and start laying eggs.

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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