Predicted peak 2007 apple harvest dates

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Apple maturity for 2007 is expected to be a week to 12 days ahead of normal for most of the state, which experienced an early end of winter. As a result, bud growth developed across the state with an early bloom in all areas. This year however, the south part of the state was damaged by a severe freeze in early April. Bloom was extended and fruits did not set well on older wood. Many areas have an apple crop born of one year old wood, which bloom later than our recorded bloom dates. Predicted dates in the southern part of the state are less accurate than most years for this reason. There was an extended bloom which contributes to a less accurate prediction. Also, there is quite a variation in crop load. Trees with light crop loads will mature earlier than these predicted dates. Heavy cropped trees will mature after these predicted dates.

The early bloom and weather following bloom, give us predicted harvest dates (Table 1) as much as 14 days ahead of normal. These predicted harvest dates are for the center or peak harvest of these varieties for CA storage. This year the 2007 predicted harvest dates are compared to the rough normal harvest dates and last year’s predicted harvest dates. This year the state will harvest apples roughly five to seven days ahead of last year (Table 2).


Hot temperatures during July and August will hasten the maturity of some varieties. 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 cold temperatures occur at near harvest time.


The normal harvest dates for other varieties are listed in Table 3 for the Grand Rapids area. This year’s 2007 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.

Table 1. 2007 predicted peak harvest dates

Full bloom date

Predicted harvest date

Station

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

Observer

SWMREC

4-30

5-2

5-2

8-27

9-15

9-21

Shane

Deerfield

5-5

5-6

5-8

9-1

9-15

9-22

Tritten

Flint

5-5

5-5

5-7

9-3

9-12

9-19

Tritten

Peach Ridge

5-5

5-7

5-8

9-1

9-19

9-26

Schwallier

Ludington

5-9

5-11

5-10

9-14

9-21

9-27

Danilovich

NWMHRS

5-11

5-11

5-11

9-9

9-18

9-24

Rothwell

 

Table 2. 2007 predicted peak harvest dates compared to normal and last year

Days ahead of normal

Days ahead of last year

Station

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

SWMREC

13

6

7

8

5

8

Deerfield

7

6

8

0

5

5

Flint

7

13

13

0

11

10

Peach Ridge

11

9

10

4

4

4

Ludington

2

12

15

1

11

13

NWMHRS

11

9

9

1

14

14

 

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

Variety

Normal date

2007 predicted date

Paulared

8-24

8-14

Gingergold

8-26

8-14

Gala

9-10

8-28

McIntosh

9-15

9-1

Honeycrisp

9-18

9-4

Empire

9-22

9-8

Jonathan

9-28

9-19

Jonagold

9-28

9-19

Golden Delicious

10-2

9-21

Red Delicious

10-5

9-26

Idared

10-10

10-2

Rome

10-15

10-7

Fuji

10-25

10-18

Braeburn

10-25

10-18

Goldrush

11-1

10-22

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