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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford News 1938

Medford-related news items from 1938. Also see descriptions of Medford and Jackson County for this year.
Pear Market Slow.
    Medford, Ore., Jan. 7.--A slowly moving market for southern Oregon pears was indicated in this week's report from the Rogue River Traffic Association. Total number of boxes sold to date was reported at 426,368 while unsold boxes totaled 570,625. Total sales by varieties follow: Bosc 34,394 boxes, Comice 45,577, Anjous 206,144, Nelis 21,917 and Newtown apples 118,336. The total unsold, by varieties: Bosc 114,426 boxes, Comice 8,625, Anjous 286,174, Nelis 105,079 and Newtowns 57,321.
The Chicago Packer, January 8, 1938, page 5


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Raymond Reter, southern Oregon manager for the Pinnacle Packing Company, left here this week for an extensive business tour which will take him to New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He plans to return in a few weeks.
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    F. Kramer Deuel, secretary of the Rogue River Traffic Association, went to Portland this week on business.
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    Martin Luther, local orchardist, is expected to return to Medford shortly, following several weeks spent transacting business in other Pacific coast localities.
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    Jack Spaulding, affiliated with the Southern Oregon Sales, Inc., returned here last week following several days in Portland and Seattle on business.
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    Maury Spatz, manager of the Crystal Springs Packing Company here, was a business caller in Klamath Falls recently.
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    Mr. and Mrs. Robert Norris were expected to return to Medford this week following a Christmas cruise through the Panama Canal. They were accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. C. G. Smith and Dr. and Mrs. Edward Durno, all of Medford. Mr. Norris is affiliated with the Pinnacle Packing Company here.
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    Word received here recently revealed that Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rosenberg of Medford sailed for Honolulu last week on their honeymoon. Mr. Rosenberg was married during the Christmas holidays in Chicago. He is co-owner of the Bear Creek Orchards Company in Medford.
The Chicago Packer, January 15, 1938, page 9


    Golden Limited Brand, Ser. No. 399,313. Published January 11, 1938. Myron Root & Co., Inc., Medford, Ore. For fresh pears. Claims use since September 1, 1937.
"Trade-Mark Department," The Chicago Packer, January 15, 1938, page 9


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    The southern Oregon fruit market is still suffering from the effects of the current business recession, according to growers and shippers here. Local Boscs and Anjous are being taken rather slowly, while in some cases small deficits have been shown. Local shippers, however, have hopes that conditions will be on the up trend within a few weeks.
----
    Advance figures covering the recent gift box Christmas campaign have revealed a total in 1937 sales over statistics of the previous year, it has been reported. The American Fruit Growers Inc. reported yesterday that their 1937 sales reached above the 3,000 mark, while figures covering 1936 showed approximately 1,800 boxes sold. The Southern Oregon Sales reported sales of 950 boxes this season. However, this was their first venture into [this] phase.
----
    Weather conditions of the last few weeks have seriously hindered orchard work throughout the entire valley. One of the longest-lying fogs ever recorded lifted last week, after having enveloped this section for more than 17 days. In several sections, orchardists have already placed their smudge pots, preparing for the frost season.
The Chicago Packer, January 22, 1938, page 13


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Blight cutting in several valley orchards is under way at the present time, along with general cleanup work. Following sessions conducted through the county agent's office covering proper and improved methods of pruning, a number of growers are complying with the instructions and are maintaining close inspections of their trees.
----
    Approximately 130 cars of pears have been dispatched from southern Oregon since January 1, according to word from the Southern Pacific Company here recently. Four carloads of apples have been shipped.
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    Current fruit market conditions are still at a low ebb, according to F. Kramer Deuel, secretary of the Rogue River Traffic Association. Bosc prices have raised somewhat, but are still far below normal.
The Chicago Packer, February 5, 1938, page 15


Southern Oregon Clearing Blight-Infested Orchards.
    Medford, Ore., Feb. 11.--Removal of approximately 1,000 acres of former rich-bearing fruit trees throughout southern Oregon by the middle of March has been predicted by County Agent Robert G. Fowler here this week.
    In a move to curb disastrous blight ravages which raised havoc throughout valley orchards during the past three years--and especially during the past season--Mr. Fowler stated that in some sections small tracts are being entirely removed and other orchards are being weeded while pruning and grafting programs are in full swing.
    Loss of this fruit acreage is a considerable blow to the valley, he added.
    "While the losses individually will not be enough to warrant anxiety, the combined total will somewhat reduce the productiveness. Also, if blight is to gain as strong a foothold in the future, as it did during the past few months, it may reduce the once-rich orchards to a mass of jumbled skeletons. While the acreage is, of course, good for general farming, it will mean the end of southern Oregon's greatest industry.
    "We do not intend to see this. For that reason, we are requesting and ordering blight-infected sections to be completely eradicated. In some instances we are meeting with opposition--which is no more than natural--but if it comes to an issue, we can demand that the trees be removed."
    Approximately one-tenth of the total acreage removed is expected to be accomplished under country jurisdiction. By March 15, the program should be in its final stages.
    One orchardist residing in the Griffin Creek section west of Medford has already removed 26 acres of various varieties. This is the largest known single loss, although removal of tracts comprising 15 to 20 acres will not be uncommon.
The Chicago Packer, February 12, 1938, page 6


Medford Growers Show Interest in New Spray.
    Medford, Ore., Feb. 11.--Indications that independent apple growers of this valley may pioneer a new method in spraying have been expressed in southern Oregon fruit circles following reports from apple sections of Washington that growers there have been using a mixture of nicotine and oil and have been obtaining good results.
    Intent upon securing additional information, local growers have been informed that this spray mixture is a virtual sure-fire remedy against codling moths. It was stressed, however, that proper applications and mixtures must be applied, along with a double calyx spray of arsenate of lead.
    As some Washington growers pack their apples in their own sheds, application of this spray mixture eliminates the use of expensive washing machines, and it has been reported the money saved in packing alone more than compensates a grower [for] the entire spraying program.
The Chicago Packer, February 12, 1938, page 17


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Unsettled weather conditions prevailing throughout the Rogue River Valley during the last several days have seriously hampered orchard operations. Pruning and cleaning of one large orchard in the Central Point district has been indefinitely halted. Growers are preparing for a late spring, and many have ordered smudge pots placed in readiness for the frost season.
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    Scott Hamilton, co-owner of a Central Point orchard, was a Medford business caller recently, reporting that he is anticipating a good crop this year. His orchard is a newer venture and is producing fair yields.
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    Friends of J. Court Hall, prominent orchardist, who has been ill for the past few weeks, will be pleased to learn that he is able to be up and around. Mr. Hall recently announced intention of going into the real estate business between fruit seasons.
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    Arthur Geary of Portland, prominent attorney, who has been engaged in handling several Interstate Commerce Commission actions, was a Medford business caller last week, conferring with fruit association officials.
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    W. J. Warner, Jackson County blight inspector and an official of the Fruit Growers League, was in Salem recently attending sessions of the Associated Farmers.
The Chicago Packer, February 26, 1938, page 5


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    A total of 322,326 boxes of southern Oregon fruit still remains on the market, according to latest figures. Bartletts, Howells and Seckels have been sold out. Anjous and Winter Nelis are more plentiful. The market was reported picking up a trifle last week, although the influx of South American pears has not aided domestic sales.
The Chicago Packer, March 5, 1938, page 16


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Removal of more than seven and one-half acres of trees from the McDonald orchard in the Griffin Creek district is being conducted by George Fisk, caretaker. Mr. McDonald's property covers approximately 40 acres, of which the majority is in fruit. The cleared tract will be reverted to general farming, it was said.
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    Valley fruit men will have the benefit of daily frost reports again this year, following the announcement that Roy J. Rogers, affiliated with the United States Weather Bureau, will arrive here March 15 to conduct frost report activities. Mr. Rogers comes here from Pomona, Calif., and will be here until the first of June. Reports are expected to be given nightly over the local radio station, KMED, as has been the past program.
The Chicago Packer, March 12, 1938, page 5


Medford Interests Want Higher Tariff Duty
on Pears from Argentina.

    Medford, Ore., March 11.--Members of the Rogue River Traffic Association along with prominent fruit growers of this section have been viewing with interest a few samples of Argentine pears which were received by the Myron Root Packing Company, and which, during the past two years, have offered considerable competition to domestic winter pears.
    With the exception of a few contour changes, the Argentine pears might pass for local Bartletts. They are slightly smaller and have a trifle more color than do the domestic pears, also there is a similarity in taste.
    The Traffic Association advocated a policy raising the duty on foreign fruit to cope with the tariff now placed on American fruit entering Argentina. F. K. Deuel, secretary, speaking of the matter, said: "There should be a duty of at least 75¢ per box on the Argentine fruit entering this country. Current tariff is around 25¢ per box, which, combined with the low rate charged for shipping, makes it extremely difficult for domestic growers to compete.
    "Also, the cheap labor available in the South American countries is a strong point in their favor, while here orchard and packing house employees must receive a decent wage, for the American standard of living is so much higher."
The Chicago Packer, March 12, 1938, page 5



Total Pack-out of Southern Oregon Fruit.
    Medford, Ore., March 18.--A slowly diminishing market, spasmodically unstable, is shown in the figures released recently on winter fruit from southern Oregon orchards. Total pack-out for the 1937 season has now been corrected to a total of 1,709,320 boxes and includes 4,924 boxes of cannery Bartletts; packed Bartletts, 364,200; Howells, 20,374; Bosc, 457,520; Comice, 58,411; Anjous, 492,318; Winter Nelis, 125,996; Newtown Apples, 175,637 and Seckels, 9,940.
    Total unsold amounts to 269,310 boxes and represents: Bosc, 254 boxes; Anjous, 117,138; Winter Nelis, 103,651 and Newtowns, 48,267.
The Chicago Packer, March 19, 1939, page 13



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Reginald H. Parsons, prominent Medford and Seattle civic leader and orchardist, narrowly escaped death early this week when his roadster was flung over a high grade on the Siskiyou Highway while he was en route home. Mr. Parsons, who suffered only minor scratches and bruises, stated that one of the wheel brakes suddenly grabbed, causing the car to swerve off the road and plunge over a 40-foot embankment, landing bottom side up. He was resting comfortably at his home on the Hillcrest Road late this week and planned to return to Seattle in the near future. His son, Reg. Parsons, Jr., flew here from the Washington city and will return with him.
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    Word was given out recently that the $4,000 damage action filed by Charles Isaacs, local orchardist, against the Rogue River Valley Irrigation District had been settled out of court just prior to its slated hearing. Mr. Isaacs, who claimed that seepage water from the District's canal had ruined a large portion of his orchard, indicated that the District had agreed to install drainage tile.
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    Two prominent valley orchardists and fruitmen have announced their intentions of entering local and state politics this year, one running for the state representatives' seat, the other for sheriff. Earl T. Newbry declared this week that he would be a candidate for the Republican nomination for state representative while A. E. Brockway revealed intentions to seek the Republican nomination for county sheriff. Mr. Brockway served as a public official once previously, having been appointed to the state Legislature in 1933 to fill the unexpired term of County Judge Earl B. Day.
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    Declarations that now is the time to conduct spring spraying measures were given valley orchardists by C. B. Cordy, assistant county agent, this week. Dormant spray is being applied to trees in the valley. The frost season officially starts March 16, and Mr. Cordy warned growers to make certain that their thermometers had been tested. As in the past, daily frost reports will be given over the local radio station by Roy J. Rogers, United States Weather Bureau representative.
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    W. E. "Shorty" Morris, Table Rock farmer and orchardist, is back home after spending several months in Ashland, where he was recovering his health.
The Chicago Packer, March 19, 1938, page 13


Medford District Growers Face Higher Shipping Costs.
    Medford, Ore., March 18.--Valley growers are now faced with the possibility of new expenses which may bring aggregate increases in annual shipping costs over the $100,000 mark per year, it was revealed following the decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission to grant railroads a 5 percent increase on freight rates.
    In addition, the Transcontinental Freight Bureau is attempting to boost the published weight on local boxes from 50 to 53 pounds, and if this is carried out, growers will be paying an additional estimated increase of 5 or 6 percent, which would bring the total increase around 11 percent.
    During the past few years, the established box weight has been 50 pounds, and shippers have been packing from three to four pounds overweight to present a more competitive box. Abuse of the 50-pound limit is reportedly the motive for the requested weight increase.
The Chicago Packer, March 19, 1938, page 22



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    The pear blocks on the Geary orchard in the Griffin Creek district have been cleaned of blight recently and are expected to be favorably productive. This orchard was allowed to run down to some extent, but new plans will put it back in the productive class again.
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    Walter Leverette, proprietor and manager of the Orchard Park enterprises in southern Oregon, is back from Seattle, where he spent several days on business.
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    Mrs. Mabel C. Mack, until recently affiliated with the county agent's office, left for Corvallis and the Oregon state college, where she will enter studies necessary for procuring her master's degree.
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    Fruit men of southern Oregon have been viewing and discussing with interest a story which recently appeared from Portland [which] related incidents on the first fruit produced in Oregon. According to the story which was given by historians the first apple trees were planted in the Rogue River district in 1884. Crop failures and excess production were known then, with apples at one time selling for as high as $1 each. [The article is transcribed here.]
The Chicago Packer, March 26, 1938, page 12



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Installation of smudge pots in virtually all the orchards of the Rogue River Valley is now complete, with growers getting ready for the smudge season. Roy J. Rogers, frost observer, was transferred here recently from southern California. Floyd Young, chief frost observer for the Pacific coast states, was here recently, inspecting this district.
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    Ample water for irrigation through the summer months is assured valley growers. Storage dams and lakes in the higher regions are now full to capacity allowance, according to water masters. Snow registers 80 inches at Fish Lake, one of the main storage reservoirs, and 72 inches at Hyatt Prairie Dam, another main reservoir. Emigrant Dam is full and is being allowed drainage. Irrigation ditch companies are repairing and cleaning ditches, with new pipes being installed in many places.
The Chicago Packer, April 2, 1938, page 12



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Members of the Rogue River Valley Traffic Association were recipients of a new type of ice cream at their last meeting, according to the report of Secretary F. K. Deuel. Hy Frager, local chef, presented the assembly with samples of the new "pear blossom" ice cream, which will be featured in local restaurants and will also be supplied to surrounding eating and fountain establishments.
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    A special train of 20 cars, carrying Winter Nelis and d'Anjou pears, was shipped out last week for Portland and eastern foreign markets, according to Southern Pacific destination figures. Winter varieties of valley pears are now moving to eastern domestic markets at the rate of approximately ten cars per day, with prices being up over those of a month ago. At the present time there is an estimated number of boxes still in local storage totaling 60,000 Anjous, 85,000 Winter Nelis and 40,000 boxes of apples.
The Chicago Packer, April 9, 1938, page 13



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Removal of approximately 800 acres of orchard within the Rogue River Valley during the past six months has been virtually completed, according to the county agent's office. Of this amount, around 200 acres were taken out by the county. Removal of trees has had two purposes, eradication of blight and use of ground for general farming purposes.
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    Road signs marking "Pear Blossom Way" are to be placed along the roads leading through the heart of the valley's orchard sections under the sponsorship of the Crater Club. The Club, which inaugurated "Pear Blossom Week" last year, will follow the same road route as was specified previously, and motorists who undertake the drive will be led through the choice sections of pear groves.
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    Ray Barker, manager of a local store, has announced purchase of the Wilson property in the Table Rock district. He expects to take possession within a month. This tract comprises 60 acres of bottom soil and is considered one of the most productive places in the valley.
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    The tree band project which has been conducted by the county agent's office in Jim Love's orchard near Central Point is regarded as successful to a considerable extent, it was reported this week. C. B. Cordy, assistant county agent, who has been working on the project, indicated that the bands have been placed around the trees in an effort to eliminate much of the codling moth pestilence. Whether or not the bands will be of any decided advantage remains to be seen.
The Chicago Packer, April 30, 1938, page 13



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Application of calyx spray on valley Bartletts, Comice and Boscs is urged by Assistant County Agent C. B. Cordy immediately following the fall of blossoms and petals. The weather has been ideal for pear progress, and the orchards have been in full bloom for the past week. There has been no smudging to date, although growers have had their smudge pots in readiness. With nightly frost reports being given over the local radio station, a close tab is kept on current conditions.
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    The last of the 1937 pear crop now being held in cold storage plants here is expected to be sold out around the middle of the month, according to information from Traffic Association officials this week. Winter Nelis pears and Newtown apples are reasonably sold out while the Anjou pears are virtually gone. It was estimated that around eight cars per day are being shipped.
The Chicago Packer, May 7, 1938, page 12



MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Light smudging was conducted by some of the orchards in the Table Rock district recently, the second time this season that the pots have been lighted. No damage was reported. While nightly frost reports are being given, the growers so far have been experiencing an exceptionally light frost season.
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    Announcement of the names of persons who will serve on the agricultural committee of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce was made by President Eugene Thorndike last week. Committee members now are: Maury Spatz, A. P. Butler, Otto Bohnert, E. A. Faber, H. L. Brown, W. J. Warner, Lewis Clark, Robert G. Fowler, W. A. Gates, Ray Miksche, A. Woodrich, Charles A. Wing and W. A. Holdaway.
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    With cars moving at the approximate rate of eight per day, shipments of the 1937 fruit crop will be finished up in the near future, according to F. Kramer Deuel, traffic secretary. Consignments are going to both foreign and domestic markets.
The Chicago Packer, May 21, 1938, page 17


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Planting of tomatoes and onions in the valley is now under way and is progressing rapidly, according to word from the county agent's office. It was expected that approximately 100 acres would be placed in onions this year, although a detailed check-up which will be made soon will give definite information. R. G. Fowler said that his office would contact onion growers and would determine production maximums within two weeks.
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    Members of the Associated Farmers of Jackson County were addressed by Holmes Bishop, state president of a similar organization in California, in a special meeting recently. Mr. Bishop lauded the program being undertaken by the Oregon Associated Farmers in seeking to revise the statutes covering labor difficulties and predicted the move would have substantial support.
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    Maury Spatz, co-operator and owner of the Crystal Springs Packing Company here, has returned from Portland where he spent a short time in business. Mr. Spatz owns and pilots a small fast ship and does considerable flying.
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    With the exception of approximately 30,000 boxes, the 1937 pear and apple crop is now sold out, according to latest figures from the Rogue River Traffic Association. At the present time, there are 9,319 boxes of Newtown apples and 21,465 boxes of Winter Nelis pears remaining on the market. These, however, are looked to being sold this week, and the local cold storage plants will be empty. In the Newtowns there are 750 boxes sold for export, which will be shipped soon. Eastern storage plants are now completely sold out.
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    Belief that the current frost season is now over was expressed by County Agent R. G. Fowler this week. The official season, however, does not end until June 1, and frost reports will be given out nightly until that time.
The Chicago Packer, May 28, 1938, page 10



Truck Crop Growing Is on Increase Near Medford.
    Medford, Ore., June 3.--Between 700 and 800 acres of the valley floor are being placed into truck garden produce, to be marketed both locally and out of state, according to a statement from the county agent's office this week, which has been compiling figures on this subject. First appearance of local strawberries was noted early this week, grown by Bob Fields of Central Point.
    Assistant County Agent C. B. Cordy said that tomatoes would comprise the largest single type of produce grown. Approximately 350 acres in the Fern Valley and Talent districts will be in tomatoes. The Bagley Canning Company of Ashland, largest tomato canning concern in southern Oregon and northern California, will take the No. 1s while the Rogue River Catsup Company of Medford will take the number twos. Growers are offered a bonus this year if they can produce more than ten tons of tomatoes per acre.
    Southern Oregon melons will not be available until the latter part of July or the first of August, it was stated. California watermelons have been received for consumption here. A few car lots of cantaloupes, water and muskmelons will be exported during the peak of the season, mostly to northern California markets.
    Onions, rapidly becoming a popular commercial product, will be spread over tracts totaling around 135 acres this year, mostly in the Central Point district. This product is being given increasing attention, as there is a growing commercial demand for good keepers.
    A new experiment with cucumbers is being undertaken by a Portland concern, that of planting around 20 acres and then pickling the crop for use as a byproduct. If the work proves successful, the outfit will establish a branch office here and will produce cucumbers on an extensive scale.
    "There is no reason why truck gardening should not be put on a profitable basis in southern Oregon," County Agent R. G. Fowler said recently. "There is sufficient soil, suitable for a large number of crops, and with proper climatic conditions large sections of the valley could be made to produce an abundance of various kinds of produce."
    Chamber of Commerce officials have been eying the truck gardening situation with interest with hopes of instigating a development program.
The Chicago Packer, June 4, 1938, page 13


MEDFORD, ORE. NEWS NOTES
    Ample water for irrigation will be available through the hottest months of summer, due to the excess amount of rain and snow which fell last winter. Hyatt reservoir, which feeds irrigation ditches at the south end of the county, and Fish Lake, another main storage reservoir, are full to capacity and snow is still recorded at the latter place. Ditch companies have been cleaning and repairing their channels and will be in a position to fill irrigation needs within the next week or ten days.
----
    Second spray for codling moths is being applied by local orchardists at the present time and should be completed by the end of this week, according to C. B. Cordy, assistant county agent. In orchards where worms have not been a paramount issue he urged that growers use three pounds arsenate of lead plus one-third to one-fourth pound spreader to every 100 gallons.
----
    Seely Hall, general manager of the United Air Lines and son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Court Hall of Medford, was visiting here this week. The elder Mr. Hall has been engaged in the fruit brokerage business here for the past decade.
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    The $6,000 suit filed against Jackson County and the county agent's office as the result of alleged illegal removal of six acres of pear trees belonging to Thomas Taylor is still pending and awaiting Circuit Court docketing, the clerk of the court reported this week. Action on the suit is expected during the new current term of court, as the case will be one that strongly tests the validity of the statute under which the fruit inspector was operating at the time the trees were pulled. Mr. Taylor is asking damages in the amount of $1,000 per acre.
----
    Latest figures released by the Rogue River Traffic Association revealed a total of 15,409 boxes of pears and apples still unsold. The lot consists of 8,703 boxes of Winter Nelis and 6,706 Newtown apples. These are expected to be sold out within the next two weeks, thus clearing local storage houses and enabling them to prepare for the coming season.
The Chicago Packer, June 4, 1938, page 13


More Optimism Among Medford Apple Operators
On this Year's Prospects.
    Medford, Ore., Aug. 5.--The current southern Oregon apple situation will be on a higher par than that of last year--considering the entire deal as a whole--according to reports compiled from shippers, growers, members of the county agent's office and others interested in apples here.
    While the total pack-out is expected to be about 50,000 boxes short of the 1937 mark, the price is expected to be higher and even up for the pack-out shortage. Last year the total pack-out was around 175,000; this year it is expected to reach only around 125,000 boxes.
    While there is of course no indication as to what price will be derived, growers were pointing to several optimistic factors. There is a smaller and lighter crop in the East, and export markets are more open to apple shipments, they state. Moreover, the smaller local crop will tend to raise prices, rather than lower them.
    Apple production here has been on a downhill grade during the last 15 to 20 years, according to figures from the county agent's office and other official sources. In 1920 there was a total of around 5,000 acres in production. At the present time there are less than 600. Poor marketing conditions, unsteady prices, blight ravages and adverse local conditions have been generally given as the reason for the reduction in acreage.
    Members of the county agent's office stated that a large amount of apple acreage has been pulled out within the last year, due to non-production and blight. Last year witnessed a heavier degree of blight than had been experienced for some time. This year, however, blight has been exceedingly light.
    Newtowns and Delicious are the two varieties of apples packed in the valley. The apple orchards are scattered over a 25-mile area, sandwiched in between the pear groves. Thornton Wiley of Ashland has a large producing orchard of apples, mostly of the Delicious type; the Rogue River Company, Bear Creek Orchards, Southern Oregon Sales and other concerns have and pack apples.
    Apples are developing faster than usual, due to the period of extremely warm weather recently experienced. Irrigation is necessary for proper production, it was stressed, but this fact has not been given paramount importance as most of the orchards are under irrigation ditch products.
    "We have no definite information as to price as yet," one grower stated, "but we expect a better market for the apples than last year. Growing conditions have been good in the valley, with the result that we should fare much better than in recent seasons."
The Chicago Packer, August 6, 1938, page 45


SOUTHERN OREGON FRUIT HARVEST GETS UNDER WAY.
First Bartlett Pears Moving--Peak of Season Will Be Reached in September--
Higher Freight Rates This Year--Better Outlook.

    Medford, Ore., Aug. 19.--Southern Oregon's annual fruit harvest started Monday, with all major packing concerns operating and concentrating on Bartletts for the first ten days or two weeks. Picking crews started in most of the orchards late last week, although some growers reported that picking within the orchards in the north section of the valley had been under way earlier.
    This year's crop is expected to parallel the 1937 harvest. Total pack-out for the nine varieties of pears and apples last year was 1,257,360 boxes. This season's total is expected to equal that figure. A few of the packing plants in Medford worked skeleton crews last week. The main influx of Bartletts was not expected until early this week however.
    The Bartlett cannery situation was still pending early this week, although some tonnage had been contracted. The Starr Canning Company of Portland took around 250 tons at $15 per ton for two and three-eighths inches and over fruit. Last year cannery Bartletts totaled 4,924 tons. Some growers, however, have indicated that unless they can secure a better price than was offered last season, they will not pick their crops.
    As far as packing is concerned, the peak of the season will not be attained until September when the Boscs, d'Anjous and Comice are picked. Last year the Bosc pack-out totaled 457,520 boxes, d'Anjous 492,418 and Comice 58,411. All three varieties will stay around their respective totals for this season, the Bosc and d'Anjous perhaps jumping a trifle.
    Newtown apples topped 175,637 boxes last year, picking following the last of the d'Anjous and Boscs. That total may be somewhat smaller this year, as a considerable amount of apple acreage was removed and the land reverted to general farming.
    Export markets are regarded as being more favorable this year, due to somewhat discouraging conditions in other fruit sections.
    Growers and shippers this year will be forced to pay more for transportation to eastern and southern markets, following the approval of a rate increase in rail rates. The increase is 10 percent over last year's rates. Growers, however, are generally optimistic over this year's fruit prospects. They expect better prices and an up-trend in eastern and export purchasing.
The Chicago Packer, August 20, 1938, page 7


Plan Marketing Agreements for Coming Pear Season.
    Medford, Ore., Sept. 2.--At a meeting of the Oregon-Washington-California Pear Bureau held in Portland on August 13, an application was made to the Secretary of Agriculture for hearings on a proposed marketing agreement for the coming season covering fall and winter pears grown in the states of Oregon, Washington and California. Representatives from all the fall and winter pear districts were present at the meeting.
    The proposed marketing agreement is intended to eliminate the lower grades and undesirable sizes of fall and winter pears which flooded the eastern markets and caused a demoralized marketing condition this past season. All growers and shippers will be invited to attend these hearings and will be fully advised later as to the dates on which hearings will be held in the following districts: San Jose and Placerville, Calif., Medford and Hood River, Ore., and Yakima and Wenatchee, Wash.
The Chicago Packer, September 3, 1938, page 8



Forty-Eight Pears Bring $1.77 Each, Delivered.
    Medford, Ore., Dec. 30.--What is believed to be a world's record price for pears was established last week when the Bear Creek Orchards filled an order for two Christmas gift packages, containing 24 Royal Riviera Comice pears each, for dispatch to Manila by Clipper plane. The Clipper transportation charges including the two boxes cost the purchaser $85, thus the 48 peaches delivered figured $1.77 each.
The Chicago Packer, December 31, 1938, page 15




Last revised April 27, 2011