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Canada: Ontario apple crop returns to normal

Photo credit: Ontario Apple Growers

After last year's disappointing apple season in Ontario, growers in the Canadian province are reporting volumes of fruit more in line with normal production.

“We don't have the numbers in yet, but it looks like this year's crop might be a little bigger than 2011's crop,” said Brian Gilroy, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. “So we've returned to the average, if not a little above average.” He estimated an average crop to be about nine million bushels, and it's likely this year's crop will top that mark. Though production throughout the region will be up, there were some growers who faced problems this year.

“There were late frosts in southwest Ontario, so some people lost their second crop in a row,” said Gilroy. “Hail throughout the province was a little above average, but it was severe in a number of places, so some of the crop that was affected by that was diverted to processing.” Maturity of fruit took place quickly, so some fruit wasn't suitable for storage, but Gilroy noted that the fruit that made it to the fresh market and apples that made it to storage were of good quality.

Photo credit: Ontario Apple Growers

“We had ample rain, so sizes, generally, were larger than normal,” said Gilroy. “Every time we did an apple test they'd squirt because they were so juicy, so quality has been good.” With more production this year, prices have come down from last season, and despite competition from Washington, which also had good volumes of fruit this year, Gilroy said growers have, in general, had a good year.

“We remain optimistic consumers will continue to ask for Ontario apples,” said Gilroy. “We're also optimistic that increased prices at retail level will trickle down to growers.”

For more information:
Brian Gilroy
Ontario Apple Growers
+1 905 688 5915

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