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Bob Larson National Strawberry Month Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 10, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. May is National Strawberry Month and northwest berry growers are just a few weeks away from this year’s harvest. One of the more well-known growers in Western Washington is Biringer Farms that started growing strawberries in Marysville back in 1948 …

BIRINGER … “Marysville has real sandy soil and it was good soil for berries. It was a new thing for them.”

Dianna Biringer says they’re still best known for their strawberries, but they’ve expanded over the years …

BIRINGER … “My husband and I, the farmer and I’m the Strawberry Lady, we farm the strawberries and the raspberries. And then, our son grows tayberries, black caps, blackberries and now blueberries. It will be the first year we’ll be harvesting them for the public.”

And, Diana says this looks like another great year …

BIRINGER … “The crop just looks fantastic. I was just up at the farm yesterday where we have one early variety that’s a little past first bloom right now that could come in the end of May, but Mr. Farmer is guessing that first week in June that we’ll be ready to pick berries.”

She says weather wasn’t a problem this year …

BIRINGER … “We didn’t have any flooding, but everything was soaked for a while, the ground.”

And, if you’re interested, Diana says they’re looking for pickers …

BIRINGER … “We just upgraded our website today and we’re taking applications now for hourly and pickers.”

Listen tomorrow for more on Biringer Farms and the tradition they’ve built over the past 70 years.

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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, Plant Growth Regulators. And why are they used in tree fruit?

AW: Plant Growth Regulators, PGRs for short, are plant hormones that tell the plant to grow, stop growing, thin fruit, shape fruit, drop fruit, or ripen fruit, but we can manipulate the plant to respond how we would like them to and in this case, for fruit production.

BL: putting plant hormones on fruit trees?

AW: yes or enhancing what is already there. For example, let’s say that last year your apples trees had almost no fruit. Since apples can have alternate bearing years, this years’ crop load might be huge! So you could apply a PGR which signals the tree to drop more of the fruit than usual.

BL: what other things can PGRs do?

AW: You can induce branching, optimize fruit size and quality, have better return bloom next year to prevent alternate bearing, keep fruit from dropping off the tree before harvest, but if applied incorrectly, you can even make mutant shaped fruit.

AW: For specific PGR advice, contact your local Valent sales rep.

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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