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Search Assists Growers in Variety Selection

-Win Cowgill, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station & Jon Clements, UMass – Amherst is a new website designed to assist apple growers in variety and cultivar selection for new orchard plantings. It is also designed to provide a location for anyone conducting cooperative apple evaluation and testing to report and archive their findings using a unified protocol for apple variety fruit and trees.
Variety and cultivar selection is the largest economic decision a grower can make when establishing a new high-density orchard block of a thousand trees or more per acre using tall spindle systems. allows growers or potential growers to log on and view records of a variety from different locations over multiple years to assist making their planting decisions.

The online records allow cooperators and growers to see what variety characteristics are performing best in their area. The database will include pictures and casual observations in addition to fruit quality measurements and important horticultural characteristics including tree habit, bloom time, disease tolerance, mortality, precociousness, fruit appearance, taste, storability, and more.

Paulared AppleTester Database Record Form
Directions for use:
Point your web browser to:
Click on the apple testers database Guest Login
This brings you to our login page, select the guest account button and click login.
This brings you to a data base record; you are now in the system.

The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the database layout. In the tool bar at the top, all the way to the right is a help button. Click the help button to open a new window that contains the directions as to how the database works. Read through and see what it’s all about. This window will stay open for reference for you at any time.

Example of Use:
Lets look at one search as an example of one way to use the database.
AppleTester database picture: Paulared, Belchertown, MA
In the tool bar select the button Find. This will bring up a blank data base record, you can search on any criteria but lets select the cultivar box by typing a cultivar/variety, lets say Zestar.
Then go back up to the tool bar and click the Perform Find button. This brings up 7 records for Zestar. You know this by again looking at the toolbar on top in the left hand corner at Found Records. With Zestar (As of 12/15/12) you will see 7 records that you can cycle trough using the arrows to the left of the Found Records icon. will become an important repository of cultivar/strain information on tree growth and fruit quality over many seasons. Such information should be very useful to apple growers looking for more and/or unbiased variety/strain information to make future planting decisions.

Funding for this project was provided by a North East SARE partnership grant.