After learning more about the basics of Orchard and Fruit systems within the Pacific Northwest, you are now ready to conduct some outside research about a particular cropping system. For this assignment, I would like you to review the case study, diagnose the problem(s), and provide management recommendations for Chuck and Christine Browinski. All the information you will need to get started with this assessment is provided in the Assignment #5 – Instructions, Case Study, and Grading Rubric document (pdf version).
Be sure to review the grading rubric and fulfill all of the assignment requirements!
Additionally, please review your graded first case study (Assignment #2) as my comments and suggestions will be very helpful when working on this assignment.
CROP/HORT 300 – Assignment #5 Orchard System Case Study
45 Points Overview: Expanding upon your crop-related problem solving skills displayed during the first round of case studies for this course (Assignment #2), you will now review the following case study relating to an orchard production system in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Contrary to the previous case study assignment, everyone will be reviewing the orchard case study provided below for Chuck and Christine Browinski. Your goals are to identify the factors placing stress on their orchard system, develop a management strategy to solve the problem, and compose a formal letter conveying your analysis and recommendations. Please begin Assignment #5 by reviewing the case study posted below.
Case Study: In March 2017, Chuck and Christine were excited to purchase an older farm just west of
McMinnville, Oregon and begin the restoration process to create their dream small farm and U- Pick operation. At the time of purchase, their farm was in shambles with a deteriorating barn housing 6 dairy goats, a tool shed, and old orchard in the back—but on the positive side, the farmhouse was renovated three years earlier. Christine would love to expand the current 20- acre farm, but the first step is to rejuvenate the existing orchard. Supposedly (well, at least according to the last farm owner), the orchard was comprised of 5 acres of ‘Gravenstine’ apples, 3 acres of ‘Red Delicious’ apples, 2 acres of ‘Daviana’ hazelnuts, and 5 acres of ‘Rainier’ cherries. However, when Christine first examined the orchard, she noted that many of these trees were dead or very unhealthy. So, to get the restoration process started, Chuck rented a backhoe in October 2018 thru January of 2019 and removed the dead trees, some of the trees with sparse limbs, and the trees that were covered in a thick sap-like ooze. Better to get rid of the unhealthy material first!
The remaining trees appear to be generating a decent apple yield for 2019; but, the hazelnuts are not very productive. Christine is concerned about the cherries because they did not harvest any cherries in 2018 and it doesn’t look like they will harvest any this summer either. When Chuck pulled the trees out the previous winter, they were not sure which trees were which, so Christine mapped out the orchard during the 2019 growing season and determined that they had about 5 total acres of apples, about 1.5 acres of hazelnuts, and only 10 cherry trees scattered throughout the entire orchard. Christine and Chuck have asked their local horticultural extension agent to visit their orchard and identify why their cherry trees are not producing fruit in 2019. To prepare for the initial meeting and farm tour, which will be taking place on August 20, 2019, Christine emailed the extension agent some pictures she took of their cherry trees earlier in the 2019 growing season. (Continue to next page)
Assignment Instructions: Your task with this assignment is to assume the role of Christine and Chuck’s local extension agent. As an agent, you already have knowledge of orchard production systems in the area, but you still created a list of questions to ask during your initial meeting with Christine and Chuck. These questions are designed to help you ascertain some detailed background information on their operation. Then, after meeting with Christine and Chuck on August 20th and “touring” the orchard (please use the images Christine emailed), you returned to the office to conduct additional research. Upon identifying the issues present in this case study, you composed a formal letter to Christine and Chuck identifying the cause of their cherry problems, providing a list of references to support your diagnosis, as well as detailing your recommendations for action. Similar to the previous case study assignment, this assignment will also require you to conduct extensive research regarding orchard production. You will be working towards accomplishing the third measurable student learning outcome described in the course syllabus (“Describe the key information resources relating to crop production and to apply these resources to crop management decisions.”). Please utilize reputable resources (not Wikipedia) such as university publications, peer-reviewed journal articles, and government publications. If you have questions regarding the reputability of a resource, please send me an email. When citing sources both within the text and in a separate document, please utilize either MLA or ASA- CSSA-SSSA citation styles. To be successful with this assignment, I recommend the following task arrangement with your assignment submission:
• On the first page of your assignment (Section #1), please provide: 1) A list of at least 10 questions that you would ask (as an extension agent) Chuck
and Christine regarding their orchard during your initial visit. 2) A detailed overview of the case study, including all of the important case study
elements described as well as the limiting factors for their operation. 3) A description of your diagnosis of the case study problem(s) and a list of your
recommendations to combat the problem(s). 4) A list of at least 6 references (fully cited) that you utilized in identifying the cause
of their cherry problem(s) and in formulating management recommendations. • After the conclusion of your Section #1 for this assignment, please complete the
following (Section #2): 1) Compose a formal, one- to two-page letter to Chuck and Christine that includes a
summary of your analysis and diagnosis, your detailed orchard management recommendations, and explanation of why these recommendations are ideal. Remember, be professional in your letter composition.
2) Also, provide at least two references that you would encourage Chuck and Christine to utilize (both to verify your findings/recommendations but also as future orchard management references).
(See next page for grading rubric)
Grading Rubric: Grading Criteria
No Marks (0 pts.)
List of Questions
No attempt; Questions provided were not
Provided a list of 1 to 3 applicable questions for
Chuck and Christine
Provided a list of 4 to 9 applicable
Provided a list of at least 10 applicable
Case Study Summary
No summary of
the case study was provided
A summary was provided but did
not include all important case study elements
Provided a mediocre
description summarizing the
A thorough, detailed overview of the case study
Diagnosis No attempt
Attempted to provide a diagnosis of the problem(s)
and list of recommendations
Provided a fairly accurate diagnosis of the problem(s)
and list of recommendations
Provided accurate diagnosis of the problem(s) and
detailed, accurate recommendations
List of References Utilized
No sources 1-2 relevant sources 3-5 relevant
6 relevant references, all properly cited
Formal Letter No attempt
Letter provided, but was not formal nor of professional
Provided a professional letter but did not include one or more of the
Provided a professional 1-2
page letter meeting all of the
Spelling and Punctuation
Ten+ major mechanics
Five to nine major spelling or
One to Four major spelling or
No major spelling or punctuation
Case Study Recommen- dation(s)
Recommendations provided were not detailed, accurate,
or realistic. Explanation of
recommendations was not provided.
Recommendations provided were detailed and
realistic but not accurate and/or
feasible. Mediocre explanation was
Recommendations provided were
detailed, accurate, realistic, and
feasible for the operation. Detailed
explanation was provided.
References for Chuck and Christine
Provided (within the formal letter) one reference for
Chuck and Christine’s use
Provided (within the formal letter)
at least two references for
Chuck and Christine’s use
- Case Study:
- Assignment Instructions:
- Grading Rubric: