By DAN WHEAT
WENATCHEE, Wash. -- The managed system is better than the club system for apple growers because anyone can grow as many managed trees as they want and there's no upfront fees, says the owner of a major tree fruit nursery.
Growers don't want to pay acreage fees on speculation that a variety will make it, says Jack Snyder, president of C&O Nursery Inc. in Wenatchee.
"So we try to give them a break and say after the variety is a success you can charge a per box royalty. If it's not a success, there are no fees," he said.
But even so, the managed system may not become more popular than the club because everything is new, he said.
"This is the model we're working with at the moment. I think it's a good model, but it might change," he said.
Some mix of the club, managed and public systems might evolve, Snyder said. He noted the new WA 2 variety is more managed than public because there are costs and conditions on test samples.
Scott McDougall, co-owner and orchard manager of McDougall & Sons Inc., said it will cost more to join the WA 2 system later, if it's successful.
C&O, Van Well Nursery Inc. of East Wenatchee, Willow Drive Nursery of Ephrata and Pro Tree Nurseries of Brentwood, Calif., formed the North American International New Varieties Network. The network owns the rights for many managed varieties and develops relations with marketers, packers and growers.
The network has licensed Columbia Fruit Packers Inc., Wenatchee, and Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Chelan, and their respective marketing arms, to manage and market Rubens, a new variety from Italy, called Civni there. Snyder said the network will be involved in management decisions. He said the network is releasing several other new varieties.