Waves of excitement are rippling through the principle apple growing areas of Northern Europe after testing of the variety PLBARB1, commonly known as Barnsby, produced positive and promising results during the 2018 harvest, according to the company responsible for the apple. Evaluation blocks in Belgium, U.K. and Germany yielded exciting results, they said. Due to their shortened growing season, orchardists in countries in Northern Europe traditionally have been unable to sustain the late-harvesting Cripps Pink cultivars. The Barnsby could be a great solution for these areas because it has a harvest window three to four weeks sooner than other Cripps selections. The test plantings all reported similar results including dark-pink color, excellent flavor, attractive and consistent apples.
The testing and evaluation project in Northern Europe is ongoing to ascertain the total growing area suitable to mature this new variety.
On 15 September 2018, a ruling was announced that the Barnsby cultivar was recognized with Plant Breeders rights in Europe, paving the way for commercial cultivation in the coming years. This important milestone adds to the anticipation in the apple growing community, because it will allow them to create a local source for this type of apple in their own markets.
In the US, very large commercial orchards are now being planted and grown in Washington State, Michigan and New York. Plantings are also in line for British Columbia and Ontario in Canada. In the United States and Mexico, the Barnsby cultivar is marketed under the Pink Lady® trademark.