Predicted 2014 apple harvest dates

The 2014 predicted apple harvest dates are roughly one week behind normal and last year. Bloom dates during spring were also behind normal.

Editor’s note: On Sept. 4, 2014, Table 3 of this article was expanded to give the harvest dates for both west central and southwest Michigan. Previous information was not changed or altered.

The predicted apple harvest dates are now available at all locations on the Michigan State University Enviro-weather website. In general, 2014 predicted harvest dates are roughly a week behind normal and a week behind last year. Bloom dates this spring were also behind normal across the state.

As always, the weather seems to be unusual each year and 2014 was no different. It began after an extremely long, cold winter with a late, cool spring that eventually became somewhat normal in May and June. Little to no frost events occurred. This unusual spring was also characterized by considerable and seemingly unending record precipitation in most state locations. Most apple growers were successful in thinning the crop with most growers under-thinning slightly. This moderate to heavy crop will mature close to the predicted dates. Blocks with light crop loads will mature three or four days sooner.

The normal harvest dates for other varieties are listed in Table 3 for the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. This year’s 2014 predicted dates and adjusted predicted dates are a rough estimate based on the McIntosh, Jonathan and Red Delicious predicted dates. Michigan State University Extension recommends other areas of the state adjust non-predicted varieties based on their own history. ReTain application should be applied 30 days before harvest (DBH). Use Table 3’s 2014 predicted harvest dates to time ReTain applications and adjust for varieties and locations.                               

Table 1. 2014 predicted peak harvest dates                                     

Full bloom date

Predicted harvest date

Observer

Station

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

SWMREC

May 12

May 13

May 13

Sept. 11

Oct. 1

Oct. 7

Bill Shane

Deerfield

May 12

May 14

May 16

Sept. 12

Sept. 30

Oct. 7

Bob Tritten

Romeo

May 15

May 17

May 17

Sept. 14

Oct. 1

Oct. 7

Bob Tritten

Peach Ridge

May 21

May 22

May 23

Sept. 19

Oct. 2

Oct. 10

Phil Schwallier

Hart

May 23

May 24

May 25

Sept. 23

Oct. 8

Oct. 14

Amy Irish-Brown

NWMHRS

May 27

May 31

May 31

Sept. 26

Oct. 13

Oct. 19

Nikki Rothwell

 Table 2. 2014 predicted peak harvest dates compared to normal and last year

Days ahead of normal

Days ahead of last year

Station

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

McIntosh

Jonathans

Reds

SWMREC

-8

-7

-7

-6

-8

-8

Deerfield

-7

-7

-8

-4

-9

-5

Flint

-6

-5

-4

-1

-6

-4

Peach Ridge

-9

-8

-9

-5

-5

-6

Hart

-7

-5

-6

-5

-5

-4

NWMHRS

-7

-10

-9

-4

-7

-6

Table 3. Normal and 2014 peak harvest dates for varieties for the west central (Grand Rapids) and southwest Michigan areas*

Variety

Normal date (west central)

2014 predicted date (west central)

Normal date (southwest*)

2014 predicted date (southwest*)

Paula Red

Aug. 24

Aug. 28

Aug. 22

Aug. 21

Gingergold

Aug. 26

Aug. 30

Aug. 24

Aug. 23

Gala

Sept. 10

Sept. 14

Sept. 8

Sept. 7

McIntosh

Sept. 15

Sept. 19

Sept. 10

Sept. 11

Honeycrisp

Sept. 18

Sept. 22

Sept. 13

Sept. 19

Empire

Sept. 22

Sept. 26

Sept. 22

Sept. 23

Jonathan

Sept. 28

2-Oct

Sept. 22

Oct. 1

Jonagold

Sept. 28

2-Oct

Sept. 22

Oct. 1

Golden Delicious

Oct. 2

Oct. 6

Sept. 25

Oct. 3

Red Delicious

Oct. 5

Oct. 10

Sept. 28

Oct. 7

Ida Red

Oct. 10

Oct. 14

Oct. 5

Oct. 11

Rome

Oct. 15

Oct. 18

Oct. 5

Oct. 15

Fuji

Oct. 25

Oct. 28

Oct. 20

Oct. 25

Braeburn

Oct. 25

Oct. 28

Oct. 20

Oct. 25

Goldrush

Nov. 1

Nov. 4

Oct. 26

Nov. 1

*Southwest prediction based on weather station data for the Southwest Michigan Research Center site in central Berrien County. Sites north of here, closer to Lake Michigan, and on heavier soils will generally harvest later.

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