Skagit Horticulture’s new tissue culture lab in Mabton, WA, is now in large-scale production of select agricultural plant starts. According to General Manager Jerrin Victor, the company’s new lab (which was featured in the December 2017 issue of Greenhouse Grower) is now able to produce virus-free stock on a commercial scale, allowing for extremely quick turnaround to meet demands of hops growers, vineyard operators, and orchardists.
“We have been working to refine the media and methodology for a new state-of-the-art process that greatly increases production levels of virus-free stock,” Victor says. “These new methods allow large-scale production of plants in significantly less time than traditional propagation, giving us the ability to quickly react to changes in the agriculture industry.”
Skagit Horticulture has cataloged a large selection of virus-free public varieties of hops, in addition to producing private selections, as part of its agricultural sales division. Other items in production include apple rootstock, blueberries, blackberries, cherry rootstock, and wine grapes. The lab will also produce a variety of perennials and ornamental grasses.
To supplement the tissue culture lab, a new clean-stock greenhouse will become operational this October.
“Our nursery is ideally located in the heart of the Yakima Valley, close to many of the largest producers of apples, hops, grapes, and small fruit in our state,” says Debbie Thorne, Skagit Horticulture’s Head of Agricultural Sales. “Now, when consumer preferences change, or a breeder wishes to introduce a new variety, we can help the industry by providing clean, virus-free plants in a short time frame,” Thorne says.