Apple harvest with historically late end

Apple farmer Rolf Schuback is still a bit out of breath. The harvest of 2015 has demanded a lot from the growers in the Alte Land. "We have just finished. The fruit has ripened later because of the cold spring, and that's why we could not begin with the harvest any sooner", Schuback explains. Furthermore, he admits that he underestimated the yield: "We harvested about ten percent more than expected. That is of course gratifying, but everything also took longer because of it", he tells the Landvolk press service. The rainfall during the harvest has caused additional delay and difficulty for the work. "Over the past two weeks, the harvesters faced great difficulty on the soaked soil, which is why we are all glad that it's all over now", says the grower. Normally, the apple farmers end the harvest in mid-October.

Schuback is surprisingly satisfied with his trees' yields this year. Even if the harvest turns out smaller than in record year 2014, the apple farmers by the Lower Elbe will still have an average to good harvest, contrary to the pessimistic expectations. Growers and marketers eagerly await the exact numbers. Schuback explains that the pessimistic preliminary harvest estimate has had a positive effect on the prices: "The price is good considering the quantity, especially compared to last year. Back then we sold our products for less than the production costs." From this point of view, also take note of the reports of drastic price increases. Schuback clarifies: "However, the apple prices are not above average this year, they were simply unusually bad last year due to the record harvest. Now they have normalized again."

The region by the Lower Elbe, the Alte Land, as well as the less known Kehdinger Land, are the nation's harvest basket. A third of German apples is grown here. To this end, a special infrastructure with marketing and consulting has been developed. The fruit growing region in the districts of Stade, Harburg and Cuxhaven encompasses over 8,000 hectares. Another 500 hectares of fruit growing area are divided across all of Lower Saxony. Crucial to this region's success is its constant further development. The agriculturalists invest in new species, new trees, marketing and tourism to make their apple farms competitive. Schuback has chosen the species Elstar, Gala, Rubens, Kanzi, Red Prince, Roter Boskop and Braeburn. "Elstar is very popular on the German market, Red Prince and Braeburn go more into export, Braeburn especially to England", he says.


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