The starting signal for the apple harvest has been given: From the Alte Land to Lake Constance, local producers are now again picking crisp, fresh apples. 86% of consumers are apple buyers and apples therefore remain the undisputed No. 1 in fruit rankings in this country. Each private German household bought 17.5 kilos of the delicious pome fruit on average last year. That makes around 117 apples per household or around 58 apples per person.
Apple lovers are spoilt for choice: because the trade offers an average assortment of about 15 different apple varieties. The top spot in the ranking of the most popular apples has been occupied for years by the aromatic and juicy Elstar.
The 10 best-selling apples of 2019*:
- Elstar (17.0 % - 2018: 16.9 %)
- Braeburn (12.5 % - 2018: 12.5 %)
- Jonagold/jonagored (12.0 % - 2018: 8.6 %)
- Gala (8.3 % - 2018:11.8 %)
- Pink Lady/Cripps Pink (6.9 % - 2018:8.9 %)
- Golden delicious (2.3 % - 2018: 3.6 %)
- Kanzi (2.1 % - 2018: 1.7 %)
- Cox Orange/Holstein Cox (1.6 % - 2018: 1.9 %)
- Pinova (1.4 % - 2018: 1.3 %)
- Cameo, Rubens, Honeycrunch (0.5 % - 2018: 0.5 %)
Lake Constance region: Good prospects for SweeTango
Dr. Inga Mohr of Obst vom Bodensee reports from the very south: "The harvest of early apple varieties is already in full swing at Lake Constance. For example, the new premium variety SweeTango will be available in stores throughout Germany from week 35. In terms of the harvest volume, we are assuming a normal year here with around 250,000 tons of apples. That is, by the way, about the equivalent weight of 50,000 elephants."
And Katja Röser, cultivation consultant of Marktgemeinschaft Bodenseeobst adds: "This year, there are even more challenges at the start of the season. To protect our harvest helpers during the apple and pear harvest, we are picking our crunchy fresh fruit this year in a highly concentrated manner and at a respectful distance from each other. This way, we will be able to master the Lake Constance pome fruit harvest well."
Baden-Württemberg: Great coloration and sufficient quantities
Jürgen Nüssle, Managing Director of Württembergische Obstgenossenschaft Raiffeisen, also looks forward to a great pome fruit season: "This year, we expect very good quality with a beautiful coloration. All varieties are available in sufficient quantities."
Lower Saxony: Spring frosts overcome without damage
There is also good news from the north. Jens Anderson of Elbe-Obst is particularly pleased: "In the Alte Land we benefited from frost protection irrigation during the flowering period and were able to survive the unusually high number of frosty nights largely unscathed. The availability of water from the Elbe makes it possible to provide air-conditioning irrigation in the current heatwave. At 295,000 tons, the level of the previous year's harvest is expected to be reached again. This gives us good starting conditions for the new season."
Rhineland: Sunburn endangers the harvest
"With regard to the expected volumes and quality of the apple harvest, the weather was again the decisive factor this year. While some of our farms in the west had good growing conditions and the best conditions to get great-tasting fruit, in other areas there was some significant frost damage due to cold nights in late April, early May. In addition to this, heat waves such as those we have experienced in recent weeks increase the risk of sunburn even for apples," says Johannes von Eerde, Managing Director of Landgard West Obst & Gemüse LLC, describing the current state of the apple season.