Private eye for peach pie

Jul 21, 2010

The Fresno Bee profiled a local business over the weekend that pursues confidential research projects to help clients - such as fruit breeders, growers and sellers - identify fruit varieties that look great, taste delicious, grow easily and store well.

Fruit Dynamics monitors 10 stone-fruit breeding programs, evaluating 400 to 600 unreleased cultivars each year for the fresh and processing fruit markets.

Tree fruit growers are looking to the company to boost their industry, in which profits have dipped due to high production and competition from a greater diversity of fruit choices, such as relatively new California blueberries.

Fruit Dynamics owner Eric Gaarde has been collecting fruit variety characteristics since the 1990s, the article said.

"Their database is, without a doubt, the most unique fruit database in the world," UC Cooperative Extension tree fruit farm advisor Kevin Day told reporter Joan Obra.

"What they've done across geographic breeding lines is absolutely unparalleled," Day was quoted in the story. "It's staggering, the data they have."

Day offers information on tree fruit fresh-shipping, production practices, fruit growth and development, pruning and training systems on the Tulare County UC Cooperative Extension website.

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By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist