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CA (BC): Apples face few weather challenges this year

A perfect combination of warm days, cool nights and little rain during harvest has resulted in a British Columbia apple crop that's of high quality and which has surpassed initial production estimates. With apple shortages in Eastern Canada, demand has also been high, and that's resulted in prices that are higher than in previous years.

“Our total volume will be, approximately, 3 million cartons,” said Chris Pollock, marketing manager for BC Tree Fruits in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. “While that figure is similar to last year's production, it's up from our initial estimate.” He cited favorable weather as the main reason for the unexpected increase in crop yield. Fruit has colored well with warm days and cool nights, and a streak of 45 days without rain helped growers harvest their apples with few impediments.

Fruit quality has also benefited from favorable weather, and while fruit sizes have been on par with normal years, varieties like the McIntosh have had very good color and sport attractive appearances due to the weather, noted Pollock.

Prices have been higher than normal this year, added Pollock, because demand has been strong. That consumer pull, in turn, is a result of normal demand from Western Canada plus extra demand from territories to the east which have experienced shortages this year.

“Demand has been high,” said Pollock. “Not only are we supporting our primary customers in Western Canada, the United States and other international markets, but we have seen additional demand in specific locations such as Eastern Canada due to crop failures in those markets.” So while they've had to stretch their supplies across a wider area, good prices and good supplies have made this a good year; and it's mostly due to good weather.

“Weather played a major factor in the quality and volume this year due to the favorable conditions our growers experienced during bloom and leading up to and through harvest,” said Pollock.

Current varieties available include Royal Gala, Ambrosia, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Spartan and Honeycrisp apples. The apple season is expected to last into July of next year.

For more information:
Chris Pollock
BC Tree Fruits
+1 250 470 4213

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