New York state apple growers forecast “perfect storm” crop
Fishers, N.Y. – New York state apple growers are back, and they mean business – lots more business this year, that is, thanks to a bigger, better crop with more of the varieties consumers love.
That’s the trade report from a conference call of leading apple growers from across the state that was held July 25. The call was hosted by New York Apple Association (NYAA). Growers attributed news that this year’s crop would be 100 percent or more than their typical crop to near-perfect growing conditions, and recent new plantings now coming into production.
This year’s harvest is expected to begin on time and proceed on schedule, with the first shipments of apples arriving at market mid-August. Fruit size and sugars should be excellent as growers have enjoyed close to perfect growing conditions this year – strong bloom, good pollination and plenty of sunlight, heat and moisture. New York state apple shippers will have more supplies of popular varieties including HoneyCrisp, Gala, McIntosh and Empire because of new plantings over the past 5-6 years that are now figuratively – and literally – bearing fruit.
“We want retailers to know that we have more than rebounded from last year, thanks to much more benevolent weather and smart growers who’ve been planting more of what consumers want,” said NYAA President Jim Allen, who hosted the grower conference call. “Call your shippers today to start planning your New York state apple promotions.”
Allen noted that harvest bins, packing capacity and storage space are sufficient to allow an orderly progression to market.
NYAA’s grower leaders forecasted the 2013 New York apple crop will easily meet the state’s 5-year average production of 29 million bushels, and recent plantings now coming into production may push that to exceed 30 million bushels. This year’s good-news crop comes after early-season freezes last year decimated much of the state’s crop in the bud; the 2012 crop was estimated at 17.1 million bushels.
Growers are happy this year, and they are certain retailer and consumers will be too.
“Our retailers saw what was possible last year even with a small crop, prices were strong,” said Allen. “The New York apple industry can’t wait to see what we can do together with them this year.”
To build buyer demand for the 2013 crop, NYAA has been advertising all year long to retailers. Taglines have included “from blossom to awesome” and “live from New York!”.