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Volume of New York apples up for the 2017-2018 seasonAs New York State hits peak harvest of apples right now, supplies look to be up throughout the region.
“Last year’s New York crop was really hurt by drought and small apples and this year, it’s just the opposite,” says Jim Allen of Glenmont, NY-based New York Apple Sales Inc. “There’s ample moisture and wonderful growing conditions so we have bigger apples and our supplies are up. I’d say we’re probably 20 per cent above last year.”
The state contains three apple growing regions—the Eastern area/Hudson Valley, which harvested first in early August. Following that, Western New York began and the last area to begin harvest is the northern part of the state near the Canadian border. “We’re pretty much harvesting on time this year,” says Allen.
New varieties coming
Like growers across the country, varieties of all sorts are growing in the region—from “Legacy” varieties such as McIntosh, Empire and Cortland to newer popular varieties such as Honeycrisp and Fuji. “They’re coming on like gangbusters with good supplies and are very popular in the marketplace,” says Allen. Add to that the boutique, managed varieties such as the RubyFrost, the Snapdragon and the Koru, a New Zealand apple. “The EverCrisp apples are new and exciting apples out of Ohio that our growers have planted a lot of and are new into the marketplace this year,” says Allen. “And then in the next couple of years there’s the Smitten Washington apple. We’re planting these and it’ll be a year or two before we have supplies of Smitten.”
However, organic apples are another story. “Organic apples don’t sit very well in the Northeast,” says Allen. “There have been some attempts but we’re just not set up weather-wise to really produce volumes of quality organic apples. Not yet anyways.”
Meanwhile while technology pushes with growers seem to be improving the processes—from planting systems in the orchards to grading the apples—what Allen sees is continuous improvements in the storage systems for the popular fruit. “One of the greatest gains in the industry is in the storage technology making it possible to store apples for lengthy periods of time without affecting the quality,” says Allen.
“Every year, they find better ways every year to storage—how to scrub the atmosphere of ethylene and more. They’re also fine tuning storage per variety which is very important. Decades ago we just put apples in big storage rooms. Now we’re very sophisticated with certain apples needing certain temperatures and certain degrees of oxygen.”
For more information:
New York Apple Sales Inc.
Tel: +1- 518-477-7200
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