Minutes of the NE-183 Annual Meeting

Kearney Agricultural Center

Parlier, California

November 2-3, 2001

Presiding Chair: Peter Hirst

Secretary: Renae Moran

Meeting convened: 8:33 am

S. Johnson welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Dave Grance, from Kearney, who gave a brief description of the Kearney Ag. Center.

T. Roper had comments about next year’s meeting.  The dates will be November 7, 8, 9 for the NE-183, and November 11, 12, 13 for the NC-140.  The meetings will be held in Egg Harbor, WI.  He gave all in attendance a brochure for the hotel. 

Peter Hirst moved to accept the minutes from 2000, C. Hampson seconded.  The motion was passed.

Brief Summary of the Minutes:

               CApprove agenda

               CApprove minutes of 2000 NE-183 meeting

               CReport of administrative advisor (given by P. Hirst)

               CPublishing and committee reports for the 95 planting

               CPlanting and committee reports for the 99 planting

               CWebsite report

               CElect secretary for 2002

               CRoundtable discussion of apple varieties in the 95 planting

               CCooperator reports

               COther business


Membership and participants list

Membership list updates and changes are to be done by using website, members only section.

W. Cowgill urged all members to update member info on the website.

States and provinces attending:

Each person introduced themselves.

AAFC Summerland, British Columbia: C. Hampson

Purdue University, Indiana: P. Hirst

University of Maine: R. Moran

University of Massachusetts: D. Greene and J. Clements

AAFC BoucTouche, New Brunswick: J.P. Privé

Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Rutgers University, New Jersey: W. Cowgill, B. Belding and G. Lokaj

Cornell University, New York: R. Byard

Ag Canada Kentville, Nova Scotia: C. Embree

Ohio State University: D. Ferree

University of Guelph, Ontario: J. Cline

Penn State University: G. Greene and R. Crassweller

Utah State University: L. Anderson and T. Lindstrom

University of Vermont: E. Garcia

Virginia Tech AREC, Winchester: K. Yoder

Washington State University: B. Barritt

University of Wisconsin, Madison: T. Roper

Review and adoption of agenda

P. Hirst reviewed the 2001 agenda.  R. Crassweller brought to our attention that a discussion of weather data was not on the agenda.

G. Greene made a motion to accept the agenda.  B. Belding seconded.  The motion passed.

D. Greene had a suggestion about meeting minutes.  He wanted all action items to be bolded so that people with jobs to do will be able to easily find them in the minutes.  E. Garcia said it was done in last year’s minutes.  This year, action items will be italicised.


Two awards were accepted by P. Hirst in Washington, DC.  Our project was awarded by the USDA and by CSREES.  Each participant received two plaques, except those from Canada.

Comments by the Administrative Advisor– Dr. Seem

R. Seem was not in attendance, but sent an email with his comments.  He requested an abbreviation of the minutes posted on the website.  He needs a short statement addressing project objectives, and how we on track, particularly with publications.  P. Hirst and E. Garcia will send this short statement to R. Seem.

Comments T. Bewick

Bewick is the new CSREES representative in Washington DC and is also not in attendance.

Planting and committee reports

1995 Planting R. Belding

Hort subcommittee

G. Greene asked how long should we leave plantings in and continue to collect data as a group. 

Last year’s minutes indicate that those sites not wanting to continue, can remove their trees. The concensus is data after 6th leaf is up to the cooperators.  Sites keeping the planting could continue to collect yield through 8 years, but fruit quality data need not be collected.  If fruit quality on M9 is not reflective in the fourth year, they are problem trees.  This is enough time to identify good and bad varieties.  There may be enough plantings to do another publication after 8 years.

After we are done as a coordinated group, we are free to use plantings as we want or to remove them.  It would be useful to have on our website a list of the different projects that will continue and the types of data being collected. This would make it easier to coordinate and make consistent the different side projects being conducted, if more than one site is interested.  Possible side projects could include preharvest drop, biennial bearing, winter hardiness and postharvest issues with the NE103.  E. Garcia will send out an email to all members asking them if they are collecting data in addition to yield.  Members are to respond by a deadline.  E. Garcia will send the list to W. Cowgill to add to the website.

There was a discussion on how to measure biennial bearing.  B. Barritt suggested getting a biennial bearing estimate after 6 years.  There was a question of whether to use number or weight of fruit to estimate biennial bearing and a comment that there are too many variables for us to be measuring biennial bearing.

Publishing – Crasweller

R. Crassweller requested that we assign someone to look over the full data set (all sites) each year instead of at the end of the study. Waiting until the end of the study is too cumbersome and time-consuming and this is slowing him down in getting the publication finished.  G. Greene suggested having someone start this on the 99 planting.

There was a discussion of the papers to be published on the 95 planting.  After discussion of the different topics, a list of papers with major responsibility for writing was made.

Potential papers to be published and responsibility:

Tree growth and yield – R. Crassweller

Flowering and biennial bearing – D. Greene

Disease susceptibility – K. Yoder

Nutrition – T. Roper

Weather summary – I. Merwin

Introduction (project background and purpose) – D. Greene

Disasters (why trees died) – E. Garcia

Fruit quality – S. Miller

Sensory evaluation – S. Miller (check to see if he needs help)

Pest problems – undetermined

Rootstocks (M9 and Mark) – C. Hampson

There was a discussion of how to present data, whether to do a summary of all states or to do it by region.  D. Ferree suggested that the first paper should show the main effects of each variety.  And show interaction with location when they are significant.  When interactions are significant, it is not appropriate to show the main effect.  There is no reason to group all locations tegether if the interaction is significant. 

Tree growth and yield paper:

R. Crassweller said we all should have received a draft of the publication for the 95 planting.  He asked everyone involved to check to make sure your name is there.  He is  assuming the harvest date submitted to him is the optimum harvest date for each variety.  If this is not the case, he needs to be informed.

D. Greene mentioned there should be adjusted total yield.  Take mean fruit weight and multiply by drops to get back the lost fruit.  Yield efficiency should be based on this adjusted yield.  P. Hirst suggested having both total yield and harvested yield.  G. Greene suggested reporting the percentage of crop that was drop instead of number of drops so that it all adds up.  R. Crassweller said crop load will be presented as the number of fruit per cm2.

R. Crassweller brought up the problem of the data set containing errors.  He mentioned that it has missing data and extra numbers.  He is concerned about what data set R. McNew is analyzing and how it was put together.  D Greene said we have no choice but to check it for the sake of our credibility.  It was suggested that it be broken down into individual sites, posted on the website, or sent as an email to members, with a deadline for us to fix our errors.  R. Crassweller will send an email to each site containing an excel file of tree growth and yield data.  This is to be checked, corrected and returned to him by Dec. 15.  It was suggested that this also be done for the fruit quality data.

Fruit quality:

G. Greene was sent an email report by S. Miller.  S. Miller said in this email that he has not spent much time getting it written up.  Any fruit at a starch index of less than 3.5 or greater than 6.5 will be deleted from analysis. If only one tree's sample was outside this range than only that one tree of the potential 5 trees at a site would be dropped for that year for that cultivar.  P. Hirst said if we throw all data that is less than 4, we could lose data on most sites with short seasons.  D. Greene would like to see Wisconsin Goldrush because this tells us its bad in that site.  T. Roper said that grouping WI immature fruit may dilute the useful rating of a variety that is good elsewhere.  Pulling out sites where it’s a good apple gives us a better measure of cultivar potential.  D. Greene said this is why we need weather data, to be able to separate out sites.

Disease paper: 

K. Yoder has a pest planting and has all the data he needs, but mentioned disease yield should be separate from the horticulture planting.  Yield data from the pest plantings will be published separately from horticulture plantings.

Pest paper:

P. Hirst said we still need someone to do the pest paper.  Possibilities could be Straub, Hogmire, or Hull.  P. Hirst will contact Straub to see if he is willing to do the pest paper

Bloom paper:

R. Crassweller pointed out early ones were always early in each location and late ones were late. We have 4 sites with flowering data, bloom rating and bloom counts.  Each site needs to determine if  bloom data has been included.  R. Crassweller will send out copies of the data so that people can double check.  D. Ferree mentioned that he has a few years data on flower quality.  D. Greene suggested D. Ferree email others to see if there are other appropriate papers.

Weather summary:

R. Byard requested weather data for both the 95 and the 99 plantings as far back as the start of each study if it is available.  A template has been up on website since August. The daily minimum and maximum temperature and daily precipitation are what should be sent to her by email, if possible.  She requested daily min, max and precipitation.  Optional data to submit is contained in last page of protocol.  Email to Rachel at Cornell:  rrb1@cornell.edu.  L. Anderson mentioned he has weather data from the closest NOAA station.  R. Byard requested the closest weather station if available, but will use NOAA data when it is not.  D. Green brought up the point that it’s a focal point to explore regional difference on cultivars, so weather data should be sent by everyone who has its.

There was a discussion as to how to analyze the data and whether or not to group plantings by climatic regions to get a better understanding of varietal performance.  The decision was to let I. Merwin’s data decide the groupings and do the other papers by planting site.  Let I. Merwin work out weather and phenology, and regional performance of  varieties based on weather and include this in the popular articles.            

Nutrition paper:

There was a brief discussion of what data was collected.  R. Crassweller has multiple years of all varieties.  R. Byard has a composite for each variety.  R. Roper has N uptake efficiency.  R. Crassweller has  nutrition analysis for Golden Delicious and Braeburn for 6 sites. Those who have not sent in foliar analysis data need to do so.  T. Roper volunteered to write the paper.

Introductory paper:

This is to be an introductory paper to explain the history and purpose of this regional project.

Popular paper:

W. Cowgill needs some of the data to do the paper with J. Schupp.  This is holding up the popular paper.  W. Cowgill doesn’t think he will publish data, but does he have to wait for other papers to be published?  This question was answered by D. Ferree who said to wait until other papers are published before publishing popular articles, or until the final drafts in April 1.

Disasters paper:

This paper will summarize disasters that lead to tree loss including winter injury and fire blight.

E. Garcia has done winter hardiness testing on four cultivars.  C. Hampson has done controlled freeze tests that will be repeated and done on old wood to compare to one year wood, but this won’t be finished for another year.

Rootstock paper:

Mark data is to be taken out of the main papers for a separate comparison with M9..

D. Greene would  like to see the majority of writing done before April, a rough draft by Feb. 15 and the final draft by April 1, so that they can be sent to D. Ferree for publication in the APS Journal in June. R. Crassweller will send out a copy of  the draft as email for people to proofread.

1999 Planting – D. Greene

Hort subcommittee

B. Belding reorganized the establishment protocol from horticulture protocol and updated the cultivar list to reflect name changes on the website.  A spreadsheet was posted in August on the website.  It has the data template showing what data is to be collected.  Tree height and spread are to be measured only once, in year 6.

There was a discussion about how to collect bloom data.  Should we continue to count clusters or go to a rating system?  Some sites did not count bloom, but rated it instead due to time constraints.  D. Greene commented that it would be good to know if a variety will have alternate bloom since this is a detriment.  B. Belding will post a bloom protocol for the 99 planting by June.  The protocol will be for each site to use the rating scale to estimate bloom.  Counting the number of clusters is optional.  Date of bloom is when 90% of the spur clusters are open.

G. Greene asked about the possibility of having a protocol for each year of the study?

The question of how to handle fruit of differing maturity was asked.  According to the protocol, fruit should be harvested at a starch index of 4-6, but 3.5 to 6.5 is ok for this year’s data. 

B. Belding was concerned that just submitting optimum harvest date may mess up our analysis of fruit quality, so a motion was passed to submit both the actual and optimum harvest date in two separate columns.  This will be set up in the template on the fruit quality data sheet.

P. Hirst asked if we should measure burr knots every year. A motion was passed to measure burr knots in the last year of the study.  Burr knots should be measured on the scion trunk from the graft union upward.

C. Hampson brought up the problem of a mix-up with Silken.  K. Yoder has a Silken tree with red apples that ripen in October.  Silken ripens with McIntosh and is yellow.  Silken is numbered 8S-0433.  C. Hampson will contact the different sites to find out whose was mixed up.

Cultivar name changes:  These have been posted on the website.

Pest Management Subcommittee

P. Hirst said he does not know who is on this committee.  K. Yoder is still collecting disease data this year on his planting. K. Yoder is doing on the 99 planting what was done on the 95 planting, as far as disease rating. 

Economic Subcommittee–B. Lord

D. Greene said someone should contact Bill Lord and find out the status on this.  D. Greene said B. Lord needs to be on the email list.  B. Lord should get feedback from us after this meeting, explaining what we expect from him.  G. Green said we need to give him something before we expect something.  P. Hirst said we need to know what data to collect and if we had a protocol, who would collect this data?  Our third objective is to compare costs and profitability of cultivars. R. Crassweller said he ran his fruit across the grader to get a breakdown for economic analysis.

Fruit Quality Subcommittee–S. Miller

The fruit quality template for required data was displayed on a screen and a discussion followed. 

D. Greene requested that fruit firmness measurements be added to the required list.  P. Hirst asked if there were any objections to making firmness required.  G. Greene asked for a vote on adding firmness to the required fruit quality measurements.  The majority voted in favor of making firmness a required measurement.   

D. Greene requested that fruit color should be added to the required list of measurements.

P. Hirst asked for vote, 9 were in favor, 2 against.  The question was asked on how to handle orange apples.  D. Greene said to consider it as a red cheek. 

Break at 10:50 to visit Sun-Maid Raisin and for lunch.

Reconvened at 1:45 pm.

The discussion on fruit quality continued.

G. Greene state that it was too cumbersome to measure 10 individual fruit and would rather measure the average of 10.  He requested that data from individual fruit measurements be made optional.  C. Hampson mentioned that many people will not do it due to lack of resources.  It is better to get more people to do means than to have 2 people doing it on an individual fruit basis. 

P. Hirst asked for a vote to report the average per tree for fruit quality measurements, majority voted in favor.  It was agreed to weigh all 10 fruit, look at all 10 to assess red color % and record one number.  G. Greene suggested that there should be an option to do sensory evaluation on a per tree basis since it is difficult to taste 50 apples of each variety.

E. Garcia mentioned that there was a problem starching apples that do not have the classic pattern.  Fuji has a diffuse pattern, so she has recorded it as missing data.  T. Lindstrom mentioned he had better luck when he left his apples for a half an hour before reading them and this helped with reading fruit that don’t starch easily. 


P. Hirst said hopefully everyone at each site is photographing fruit and sending to each site.

Data Management – R Mcnew

Ron was not in attendance.

Publishing – Crasweller

R. Crassweller brought up the problem that nobody looked at data as a full set of all the sites until now.  He suggested that whoever is doing the 99 planting should look at data before it is time to publish.  He has spent 6 months doing 95 data.  Each planting should have someone looking at data on an annual basis to check for mistakes, checking for such things as dead trees coming back to life.  R. McNew  should not have to check for valid data before he gets it.  P. Hirst suggested it be a rotating job.  D. Greene said he will check all 99 data of fruit quality and tree data.

Future plantings

C. Hampson brought to our attention a problem with the US patent office and variety trials.  In the past, the office has not considered scientific information in denying patents, but is now denying plant patents for cultivars with prior information published about them, including information on websites.  B. Barritt suggested that a letter be sent from us as a group.  G. Greene made a motion for the chair of the NE-183 to write a letter to Ann Venemen and to the chair of patent office, as well as  copies to appropriate people, describing our displeasure with current changes in the plant patent law.  W. Cowgill seconded.  All were in favor.  P. Hirst will draft a letter and send to members for proofing.  And then he send it off.  R. Crassweller requested that we all get a copy of the letter, so that we have template to send to local politicians.

There was a discussion on whether or not to continue testing named varieties or unnamed selections.  P. Hirst suggested putting together a list of potential varieties in the meantime until we can find out more about the new interpretation of the plant patent law.  Members were asked if they had any potentials:

C. Embree has 4

B. Barritt won’t have anything for seven years

W. Cowgill has a few

C. Hampson has 2 or 3

P. Hirst (for Purdue) has a few.

The subcommittee, formed last year to put together a list of selections or cultivars, could form a list of potentials and when they would be available for planting.  B. Barritt, C. Hampson and S. brown are the subcommittee.  This list could be posted on  the website, please by Feb 15.  And indicate on the list whether or not they are worth testing so we know if something we were interested in is really a dog.  No data was set to put in a new trial, but the earliest would be 2004 since they would have to be budded in 2002 to be planted in 2004 and because of the time it takes to get things through quarantine.

Break at 3:52 pm.

Reconvene at 4:12


The website was displayed on a screen to show us what was there.  Required elements are objectives, justification and history of the project, and the annual report and meeting minutes.  Project members/cooperators page lists the leaders and contact info.  Other members are in password protected site.   Member database (members only) is where you can update member address and contact info.  If any one needs to be added to the email list, you must request J. Clements or W. Cowgill to add them.

If state reports are put in the wrong place, W. Cowgill or J. Clements must fix this.  If a file is uploaded that has the same name as what is on the site, it will overwrite.  Other folders can be added as needed, such subgroups as flowering or nutrition. 

W. Cowgill is looking for content.  If there is a site related to this project or publications for this project, please inform W. Cowgill or J. Clements so that they can be listed on the website.

G. Greene wants a date and location included with each photo, since these can have a big effect on appearance.

The server keeps a log of how many hits of each page occurred, number of times the site was accessed and number by each country. Peter requested that this information be included in the annual report.  G. Greene asked about putting a report on website use in the rewrite.  Clements and Cowgill said it could be done.

The subject of funding for the website was brought up by W. Cowgill.  Last year each institution was invoiced $100.  23 were invoiced, 14 paid.  D. Miller sent the residuals of last year’s meetings – $300.  P. Hirst asked how much funds were necessary and what was needed for this year.  W. Cowgill said cost is primarily the time it takes to maintain the site and pay for servers and domain charges.  $4000 was generated from last year and all was spent.  R. Crassweller wants a budget and an itemized list of how much the website costs and what every thing is spent on.  He needs to know if he pays too much or too little.  T. Roper made a conditional motion to continue the website funding at the  same rate as last year contingent on a budget financial report.  R. Crassweller seconded.  All voted in favor (20 people).

Project rewrite:

D. Greene does not want to be chair of the rewrite.  He acknowledged the help of those on the committee before.  Last year’s minutes indicated there are three years till the Sept 2004 rewrite.  Discussion on this will occur next year.

Future meetings: 

2002 Wisconsin

2003 Nova Scotia

2004  North Carolina / South Carolina.

Mike Parker will host NE183 in North Carolina.  P. Hirst suggested that we make a list of potential sites for the 2005 meetings to bring up at the NC 140 meeting.  Indiana, New York, Washington, New Jersey were suggested.

Nomination and Election of the secretary for 2002:

B. Belding was nominated and elected with no objections.

Meeting adjourned at 5:01 pm.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2001

Meeting began at 8:50 am.

P. Hirst reviewed the agenda and asked for general conclusions about 95 varieties. 

Round table discussion of varieties

Each state and province gave an overall impression and potential of the varieties and selections in the 95 planting.  Each variety was voted on by the one member from each site in attendance.  A variety was voted for if it was thought there was potential for commercial production.

Member votes of which varieties are suitable for commercial production.  Only those sites with members in attendance voted.


State or Province





































































Fuji BC2









Gala Supreme




























Golden Supreme














































































Cooperator Reports

Hard copies of cooperator reports were provided to all in attendance and most reports have been posted on the website. 

Unless specified, the following reports are concerning the 99 planting.

British Columia: The 99 planting harvest sequence did not match the sequence provided by D. Greene.  The 95 planting may be pulled out after this year.  There was a change in hardiness level with year.  Fuji, Yataka,and Honeycrisp were most hardy.                                    

Nova Scotia:  P. Hirst’s precocity classification matches his results with a few exceptions.  Site interaction for precocity with Runkel and Zestar.

Ontario:  He said it was a challenge to maintain the plots. Grower interest in new varieties is low. He will take out the 95 planting to focus on the 99 planting.  Honeycrisp did better this year than last.

Maine:  We have the 95 planting and continue to collect yield and fruit quality.  Some of the varieties are being evaluated for storability.  There was a long period of very dry weather in summer, but fruit size was not adversely affected.  

Massachusetts:  The 99 planting is just starting to produce.  There was a variation in bloom load between the different varieties.  He will wait till next year to make more comments.  In the disease planting, there were 2 scab and 1 summer disease evaluations with results posted on web.  NJ99 and Zestar were very susceptible to scab.  NJ99 was popular with the students in a taste test. 

Pennsylvania:  The horticulture data from the 99 planting is from 2000.  Entomology data is from 2001.  Yield was collected on the 95 planting.  He will not do it next year.  Pinova, Zestar and Pink Lady are precocious.  Ambrosia did very well in taste tests.

Indiana:  In August, a hail storm destroyed the crop.  Trees were rated trees for crop load and precocity. 

Utah:  The summer was hot.  Fuji had poor color and flavor.  NY757 had large size and split open during pressure tests.  Coop 29 had short stems and stem end russet.  Pink Lady is still on the tree.

Vermont:  This state had a drought.  Very hot weather occurred in August.  Water was rationed.  The trees are in sandy soil.  Trees were water-stressed.  Fruit was very sweet.  Yield may not be useful because of small fruit size.  Hampshire is precocious.

Virginia:  For the 95 planting, he has data from the past 3 years on summer disease susceptibility.  The effect of wetting hours on development of summer diseases was explained with varieties that escaped these diseases listed.  2000 was wet and none escaped sooty blotch and fly speck.  2001 was intermediate and a few varieties escaped.  All trees have survived.  In the 99 planting, four trees have died.  Mildew tends to be cumulative, low in young trees and building with age.  2001 was a heavy mildew year.  Jubilee and Zestar have little mildew.  A little rust occurred on COOP 29.  Zestar had little scab and rust.  The trees have filled their space.

Washington:  It is too early to judge the 99 planting.

Wisconsin:  All trees are alive.  There has not been a test winter for the 95 planting.  He is keeping the 95 for a test winter.  In the 99 planting, Hampshire, Chinook and Silken were precocious. Pink Lady is a big tree.

New Jersey:  There were fruit on most varieties.  Zestar is first to ripen and high in eating quality.  Ambrosia and Delblush had good eating quality, too.  Runkel has no special taste.  Is Runkel a bad apple?  It looks good and is big.

New York:  The 95 planting had great bloom conditions and bad thinning, so there were a lot of small fruit.  The 99 planting had a second harvest.  Silken is the only one with high yield both years.  Ambrosia and Delblush both had good flavor.  They are taking sensory data on them.  They are finding a variation between the different regions within NY.

The business meeting adjourned at 11:35 am.

Renae E. Moran

NE-183 Secretary 2000