Northwest Michigan apple maturity report – October 2, 2013

Apple harvest is clipping along with the recent good weather, but rain is expected for many days across the northwest region.

Apple harvest continues to move along at a rapid pace in northwest Michigan. The weather conditions for picking fruit have been almost perfect and growers are trying to get apples off the trees prior to the rain predicted for the next few days. Color continues to improve in all varieties and brix levels are increasing and apples are eating well at this time. Many McIntosh blocks are wrapping up for the season and first or second picking of Honeycrisp is underway. Labor is on many growers’ minds as they see lots of fruit yet to come off the trees in the coming weeks.

Summary of northwest Michigan apple maturity samples taken Oct. 1, 2013

Variety

Color % (range)

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Gala

86 (75 - 100)

18.5 (16 – 21)

2.4 (1 - 5)

11.2 (10.2 – 12.6)

Empire

74 (50 - 95)

18.0 (15 – 20.5)

4.0 (3 - 5)

13.0 (11.2 – 15)

Honeycrisp

78 (50 - 100)

15.2 (13.5 - 17)

5.3 (2 - 6)

12.9 (10.4 – 14.2)

Jonagold

66 (20 – 95)

16.6 (14.5 – 20)

4.2 (2 – 8)

13.7 (12 – 15.5)

Golden Delicious

26 (10 – 40)

17.7 (15.5 – 21)

1.6 (1 – 3)

14.3 (14 – 15)

Ida Red

80 (50 – 95)

17.8 (15.5 – 20)

2.7 (2 – 3)

12.1 (11.6 – 12.6)

Gala. Mature (one sample). Firmness is at 18.5 pounds, down from 19.7 pounds. Starch index is at 2.4 and brix levels are up to 11.2. Color has improved to 86 percent. Galas with a light crop are maturing quicker and coming off faster than blocks with a heavy crop.

McIntosh. Mature (no samples tested).

Honeycrisp. Mature (two samples). Firmness is at 15.2 pounds, down from 16 pounds. Starch index is at 5.3, up from 4.2, and the brix level has increased to 12.9. Color has improved to over 75 percent. This variety needs multiple pickings over several weeks for premium quality fruit. Watch for the first two to three apples per tree to color for the first picking.

Jonagold. Mature (three samples). Firmness is at 16.6 pounds, down from 18.1 pounds. Starch index is at 4.2, up from 2.3. Brix level is 13.7 and color is 66 percent.

Golden Delicious. Approaching mature (one sample). Firmness is at 17.7 pounds, down from 18.9 pounds. Starch index is at 1.6, up from 1.4. Brix level is 14.3 and color (blush) is 25 percent. Maturity may vary among blocks as only one sample has been tested this week.

Empire. Mature (one sample). Firmness is at 18.0 pounds with the starch index at 4.0. Brix level is at 13.0 and color is at 74 percent.

Ida Red. Approaching mature (one sample). Firmness is at 17.8 pounds with the starch index at 2.7. Brix level is at 12.1 and color is at 80 percent.

Looking for more? View Michigan State University Extension’s Apple Maturity Program and Reports resource page for regional reports throughout the state and additional resources.

Dr. Rothwell’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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