By Kate Wilhite, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University will hold a random drawing to determine which Washington growers will be the first to plant the newest apple developed by the WSU apple breeding program. This will facilitate a fair and equitable distribution of a limited number of WA 38 trees in the first year of release.
WSU anticipates there will be a small number of trees available in 2016; however, supply in 2017 should exceed 300,000. The university is working with a number of Northwest Nursery Improvement Institute-affiliated nurseries and other producers to increase certified WA 38 planting stock.
Online applications for the drawing will be accepted April 1-May 31, 2014. Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by June 30.
WSU will host two informational meetings for growers interested in learning more about WA 38 and the drawing:
Wednesday, April 2: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Confluence Technology Center, Wenatchee, Wash.
Thursday, April 3: 10 a.m.-noon, Hilton Garden Inn, Yakima, Wash.
For application instructions, details about the drawing or to submit an application, visit http://WA38.wsu.edu (the website will go live by Friday, March 28).
About the selection process
The distribution process will serve the needs of both small and large growers through its two-tier structure. Each applicant will select a tier. Tier 1 will consist of approximately 12 lots of 3,000-5,000 trees each; Tier 2 will consist of approximately 12 lots of up to 20,000 trees each.
WSU will offer licenses until all trees have been allocated. Growers, including LLCs and similar entities, are required to certify that they are Washington state residents with sufficient land to support the number of trees planted.
Each application will be assigned a number. Using a random number generator, the first 12 numbers drawn in each tier will be offered licenses. Applicants will have 30 days to sign a license agreement.
Growers who are not allocated trees in the initial drawing will be able to purchase WA 38 trees as they become available in 2018-19.
Read more about the WSU apple breeding program at http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/pages/breed/Home. The program was one of the 12 core U.S. breeding programs that formed the USDA-SCRI RosBREED project; see http://www.rosbreed.org/about.
James Moyer, WSU Agricultural Research Center, 509-335-4563, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Kelly, WSU Agricultural Research Center, 509-335-3691, email@example.com
Kate Wilhite, WSU CAHNRS Communications, 509-335-8164, firstname.lastname@example.org