Predicted 2013 apple harvest dates

The roller coaster-like spring weather still results in 2013 apple harvest dates near normal averages.

The 2013 season began with a roller coaster of weather across Michigan. A late-starting winter and extended cool period delayed spring and was then followed by alternate periods of warm and cold weather that surged tree development forward and backward. Some areas experienced a severe frost. This unusual spring was also characterized by considerable, seemingly unending, record precipitation in some state locations. At times, apple tree development was two to three weeks behind normal, but in the end most of the state bloomed near normal to slightly behind normal dates. Southwest and southeast Michigan bloomed two to three days behind normal and the rest of the state bloomed near normal to slightly late. In some parts of the state, the severe frost killed some primary bloom (bloom on 2-year-old wood and older), but the later primary and secondary bloom (bloom on 1-year old-wood) was not hurt and a heavy fruit set resulted.

Last year’s early bloom (about 30 days early) resulted in record early predicted harvest, about 20 to 30 days ahead of normal. The 2013 predicted harvest dates (Table 1) are between one to seven days behind normal depending on the area. These predicted harvest dates are for the center or peak harvest of these varieties for CA storage. Gala is notorious for ripening early when late summer temperatures are above normal. Other varieties are less prone to hot temperatures, advancing fall maturity. Still, other varieties ripen when triggered by cold temperatures occurring near harvest time. Michigan State University Extension advises growers to keep in mind that heavy crops will mature a few days later than average fruit set.

Table 1. 2013 predicted peak harvest dates.

Full bloom date

Predicted harvest date

Enviro-weather station

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

Observer

SWMREC

9-May

13-May

14-May

11-Sep

27-Sep

3-Oct

Shane

Deerfield

8-May

9-May

10-May

9-Sep

26-Sep

4-Oct

Tritten

Romeo

15-May

16-May

16-May

15-Sep

2-Oct

8-Oct

Tritten

Peach Ridge

15-May

16-May

17-May

15-Sep

29-Sep

5-Oct

Schwallier

Hart

19-May

20-May

20-May

20-Sep

5-Oct

11-Oct

Schwallier

NWMHRS

21-May

21-May

22-May

23-Sep

8-Oct

16-Oct

Rothwell


Table 2. 2013 predicted peak harvest dates compared to normal and last year.

Days compared to normal (- = before, + = after)

Days compared to last year (- = before, + = after)

Enviro-weather station

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

SWMREC

+4

6

+5

+34

+29

+28

Deerfield

+1

+5

+2

+27

+16

+16

Romeo

+2

+7

+5

+25

+17

+17

Peach Ridge

+1

+3

+1

+27

+18

+16

Ludington

+2

+2

-3

+28

+16

+17

NWMHRS

+1

+2

-1

+25

+20

+19

The normal harvest dates for other varieties are listed in Table 3 for the Grand Rapids, Mich., area. This year’s 2013 predicted dates and adjusted predicted dates are a rough estimate based on the McIntosh, Jonathan and Red Delicious predicted dates. Other areas of the state should adjust non-predicted varieties based on their own history. Use 30 days before 2013 predicted harvest dates to time applications of ReTain for stop drop management.

Table 3. Normal peak harvest dates for varieties for the Grand Rapids, Mich., area

Variety

Normal date

2013 predicted date

Paulared

8/24

8/24

Gingergold

8/26

8/26

Gala

9/10

9/10

McIntosh

9/14

9/15

Honeycrisp

9/18

9/18

Empire

9/22

9/22

Jonathan

9/26

9/29

Jonagold

9/28

9/28

Golden Delicious

10/2

10/2

Red Delicious

10/4

10/5

Idared

10/10

10/10

Rome

10/15

10/15

Fuji

10/25

10/25

Braeburn

10/25

10/25

Goldrush

11/1

11/1

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