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Canada: Valley apple growers scramble to beat expected high winds
Eisses has 48 hectares of orchards planted beneath the North Mountain, about 15 kilometres north of Kentville, making him one of the largest growers in the Annapolis Valley. By Monday morning, he had about 20 per cent of his late variety crop left to harvest, mostly Northern Spy, Ida Reds and Golden Delicious varieties. “We’re about 80 per cent done,” said Eisses, who is president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, which represents commercial growers in the province. “We still have crop to be harvested. And we aren’t the only ones.” Apples knocked to the ground are bruised, impacting quality. “The only thing we can do is pick as fast as we can,” he added.
Growers have had a good year, with the crop is on par with other harvests, or approximately two million bushels. The industry is worth $20 million annually to farmers and approximately $100 million to the Nova Scotia economy. David Cudmore, chief executive officer of Scotian Gold, a farmer-owned co-operative that packs about 50 per cent of the apple crop in the province, said the crop is especially vulnerable this time of year. Most of the co-op growers have about 10 per cent of their crop left to pick. “They’re ready to come off. There’s a huge amount of weight on the trees and it won’t take a lot of wind to knock them off.” Scotian Gold, in Coldbrook, is the largest apple packing and storage facility in Eastern Canada, with fruit from 55 farms.
There is nothing growers can do except keep picking before the storm arrives. “Everybody is out in full force. And whatever happens after that, we’ll have to accept,” said Cudmore. Dela Erith, executive-director of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, said farmers “have been picking like crazy all weekend, but most of them are just about done.” “If the wind comes up significantly it could take off what’s left on the trees. ... It depends on where it hits. Maybe most of the storm will bypass us altogether.” But the biggest fear right now is that farmers could lose whatever portion of the crop is still left on the trees this late in the season. Erith said the apple quality is good this year, and markets and prices are expected to be strong, with the loss of much of the apple crop in Ontario and Quebec this growing season. Apple buyers from those areas have been visiting growers in the Valley in search of product. “We’re in pretty good shape,” Greenwich apple grower Peter Elderkin said. “I think a lot of the growers are just about finished picking.” But he added that some good weather would be welcome this week to finish work in the orchards.
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Other news in this sector:
- 2022-12-06 "If we get this situation again in another year, many growers will stop planting raspberries for the fall"
- 2022-12-06 Import cherry arrivals expected later this month
- 2022-12-06 "The weather has gotten warmer, which has put us on track to supply some great fruit for the summer season"
- 2022-12-06 Slow start to Australian cherry season, good volumes to come
- 2022-12-06 Peruvian blueberry exports to the United States increased by 30% in 2022
- 2022-12-06 The area devoted to raspberries in Huelva decreased by 7.5%
- 2022-12-06 Fyllo and Orchardly work together to help apple producers
- 2022-12-06 November exports of Moldovan apples are the lowest in five years
- 2022-12-06 Uzbekistan exported a record volume of table grapes in 2022
- 2022-12-06 “Far fewer grapes from Brazil, Peru mean good European market prices"
- 2022-12-06 "Supplying a market ‘hungry’ for cherries while finding new markets is a challenge"
- 2022-12-06 The blueberry industry prepares to meet at the International Blueberries 2023 Seminars
- 2022-12-06 Hi-tech New Zealand strawberries on the horizon
- 2022-12-06 UK: Conference pears and tomatoes see wholesale price increase this week
- 2022-12-05 Peru exports fruit worth $5.3 million to Saudi Arabia
- 2022-12-05 Will the Haskap berry be a buzzword in 2023?
- 2022-12-05 The Marimbella strawberry has seen an exponential growth after 2020
- 2022-12-05 This Dutch company has exclusive sales rights for Lola apples
- 2022-12-05 Now new imported soft fruit packaging line
- 2022-12-05 Seminar of the PDO Peaches and Apricots of France: “We will have to adapt to the distributors’ demands”