Harvesting apples before the fear of frost with the PLBARB1 cultivar

With temperatures expected to drop up to 12 degrees below freezing next week within parts of Washington State, growers are scrambling to pick the last of the state’s apple crop.  While there are still some Fuji’s and Granny’s on the tree, the majority of product remaining are Cripps Pink and/or sport mutations of the Cripps Pink cultivar. 

Proprietary Variety Management Vice-Presidents Ryan Brandt and Kevin Brandt meet with PLBARB1 cultivar owner  Dennis Barnsby in the Brandt’s Fruit Trees test block on September 30.

Most of these selections qualify and are if properly licensed, sold under the Pink Lady® brand to which a healthy return to growers has been consistent for a number of years.  This therefore makes the gamble of freezing temperatures an attractive venture, but it can prove nerve racking on certain years.

Many growers have therefore opted to spread their risk by investing in a new Cripps Pink sport that helps spread the risk by harvesting up to three – four weeks earlier than the other strains. This selection, known as PLBARB1 (Barnsby) cultivar was discovered in Australia by Dennis Barnsby and brought to the U.S. by Teak Enterprises and Proprietary Variety Management. The selection delivers all of the qualities of the original Cripps Pink in terms of flavor and color profile, but gives the grower an added value of harvesting before the fear of frost.  With this, the variety has been granted the rights to be sold under the Pink Lady® brand name and therefore fills a product void that can prove to be quite lucrative.

Dennis Barnsby and Co-Owner of Teak Enterprises, Geoff Godley pose with PLBARB1 cultivar fruit at the office of Proprietary Variety Management.  

A recent visit to Washington State by variety owner Dennis Barnsby as well as Teak’s managing director Geoff Godley proved to be an exciting adventure for the former Australian nurseryman. “I have seen the pinnacle of orcharding for my selection” stated Barnsby.

With the Barnsby cultivar’s early harvest timing, Pink Lady® brand products are now able to be grown in parts of the country that were previously too limited in growing days to grow such an apple.  “Reaching the growing areas of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York have expanded the brands outreach and given the growers of those areas another choice in the ever-expanding branded apple category” states Lynnell Brandt, President of Proprietary Variety Management.  “We are excited to have this selection within our variety offerings and think that it’s an excellent addition to the Pink Lady® brand”.

For more information: 
Kevin Brandt
PVM and Brandt’s Fruit Trees
Tel: +1 509-248-4315

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