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Wine Grapes, Christmas Trees, Pear Trees, Munchies

Posted by | November 29, 2006

It’s a Fact

Wine grapes are grown on more than 30,000 acres in the state. Approximately 18 million gallons of wine are produced in Washington with an estimated retail value of more than $685 million. The total economic impact of the wine industry on Washington state is estimated at $3 billion.

On Solid Ground is a weekly, electronic newsletter for the friends and stakeholders of the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), WSU Extension and the WSU Agricultural Research Center.

Searching for the Perfect Christmas Tree

Gary Chastagner, professor of plant pathology at WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center, is recognized nationally and internationally for his research and extension programs relating to management of diseases in Christmas trees and the factors affect their post-harvest quality and safety. Currently, that research is focused on understanding the spread and management of Annosus root rot and the identification of sources of different types of trees that have superior needle retention.

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No Pests in the Pear Tree

Associate Entomologist John Dunley and his research colleagues are working on pest management in pears. The team is working on new ways to fight pests such as pear psylla, grape mealy bugs, pear slugs and stink bugs, which also cause serious damage in apples, cherries and peaches.

Dunley also is the advisor for the Peshastin Creek Project, a joint effort between the Peshastin Creek Growers Association and the Pear Entomology Lab of WSU-TFREC. The goal is to enhance environmental quality in a cooperative area-wide program of tree fruit production, using environmentally-friendly pest management practices that will improve water and soil quality, improve worker safety, and reduce pesticide inputs. It is working to establish an area-wide insect pest management program based on the use of organic insect control tactics.

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WSU Researchers Make Munchies Meaningful

What do you get when you mix dry peas, potato starch and apple fiber? Surprisingly, the base for snack foods and breakfast cereal with twice as much protein and four times more dietary fiber than other snack products. Developed by a team of scientists from the WSU departments of biological systems engineering and food science and human nutrition, the new snacks are healthy for both the consumer and for Washington farmers. “The added health benefits will definitely help promote the products in both domestic and international markets and bring economic returns to the growers in the state of Washington,” said Professor Juming Tang, leader of the project.

Post-doctoral researcher Ramabhau Patil said the team’s goal was to create healthy snacks that offer consumers a convenient way to eat well. “Without an easy way to consume legumes, people will not consume this healthy product,” he said. “The snacks are a good way for consumers to easily consume protein and dietary fiber in legumes. They are high in thiamin and foliate, and very low in saturated fat with no cholesterol.”

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