Southeast Michigan apple maturity report – October 21, 2015

Apple harvest has wrapped up at a few farms, with most growers being close to the end. Growers are finishing up Ida Red and waiting for Braeburn, Cameo and Winesap to mature.

General apple harvest comments

This is the final apple maturity report for east Michigan for the 2015 growing season.

Apple harvest has moved quickly over the last week, with growers finishing up Red Delicious, Northern Spy, Fuji, Crispen and Law Rome. Ida Red is being harvested at this time. Braeburn, Cameo and Winesap are not ripe yet, but will most likely mature in this order.

A few growers have wrapped up harvest this week; these are mostly growers not growing the later maturing apple varieties. Most growers said that if the weather remains good, they will finish harvest early to mid-next week. While the harvest dates for most varieties has been running a few days ahead of the predicted harvest dates this season, this does not seem to be the case for our latest maturing varieties.

This week, only four apple varieties were sampled and tested for maturity in east Michigan, including Ida Red, Cameo, Winesap and Braeburn. Internal ethylene levels are typical (usually fairly high) for this time of season and fruit color has continued to improve. Fruit firmness or pressure has remained firm in the past week, with the possible exception of Ida Red. The brix or sugar levels have risen sharply for some varieties in the last week. Fruit size remains good this season, but the bins don’t seem to be filling as much as most growers anticipated.

The revised normal and 2015 peak harvest dates for apple varieties in east Michigan table continues to be included at the end of this report.

Apple maturity in east Michigan for apples harvested Oct. 19

Variety

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm (range)

Color % (range)

Firmness Lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Ida Red

100 (100-100)

86 (75-92)

16.4 (14.7-17.8)

3.7 (2.7-5.1)

13.2

Cameo

60 (60-60)

61 (30-90)

19.4 (17.0-22.0)

2.5 (2.0-3.0)

14.5

Winesap

100 (100-100)

93 (90-95)

21.4 (19.0-24.5)

1.1 (1.0-2.0)

15.2

Braeburn

60 (20-100)

40 (31-48)

21.1 (21.0-21.2)

3.0 (2.9-3.0)

11.6

Individual variety results

Ida Red was sampled for the fifth time of the season and based on this week’s data, they are ready to harvest with a few blocks being over-mature. Most farms are harvesting Ida Red at this time. Ida Red was very slow to mature this season. The percentage of fruit with internal ethylene levels greater than 0.2 parts per million (ppm) has moved from 93 percent last week to 100 percent this week and the pressure has dropped almost a pound this week to an average of 16.4 pounds. The predicted harvest date for Ida Red was Oct. 8 for east Michigan, so it matured much later than the predicted harvest date this season. Most other varieties were mature a few days ahead of their predicted harvest dates.

Ida Red 2015 maturity sampling for the harvest season

Date of sample

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm (range)

Color % (range)

Firmness Lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Sept. 21

35 (0-70)

59 (53-64)

18.1 (16.2-19.9)

1.2 (1.2-1.2)

12.6

Sept. 28

33 (10-70)

66 (55-76)

18.1 (13.8-24.0)

3.0 (2.0-4.0)

12.8

Oct. 5

65 (30-100)

66 (53-72)

17.3 (14.9-20.0)

2.5 (1.7-4.0)

12.2

Oct. 12

93 (80-100)

80 (70-92)

17.5 (15.2-19.1)

3.6 (2.1-5.8)

13.1

Oct. 19

100 (100-100)

86 (75-92)

16.4 (14.7-17.8)

3.7 (2.7-5.1)

13.2

Cameo was sampled for the fourth week of the season and while it is finally moving toward maturity, it is not ready to harvest yet. We don’t have as much experience with this newer variety to get a good read on its maturity patterns. The predicted harvest date for Cameo for east Michigan was Oct. 14. I expect late next week it will be ready to harvest.

Cameo 2015 maturity sampling for the harvest season

Date of sample

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm (range)

Color % (range)

Firmness Lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Sept. 28

0 (0-0)

56 (40-70)

19.9 (16.0-24.8)

2.2 (1.0-3.0)

13.9

Oct. 5

10 (10-10)

42 (25-55)

19.9 (16.8-22.5)

2.0 (1.0-3.0)

13.3

Oct. 12

40 (40-40)

84 (70-90)

20.6 (18.0-23.5)

2.0 (2.0-2.0)

13.7

Oct. 19

60 (60-60)

61 (30-90)

19.4 (17.0-22.0)

2.5 (2.0-3.0)

14.5

Winesap was sampled for the third week of the season and based on this week’s data is still immature. The predicted harvest date for Winesap was Oct. 19 for east Michigan. This will almost be the last variety to mature this year. I think they need another 10 days or so to mature.

Winesap 2015 maturity sampling for the harvest season

Date of sample

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm (range)

Color % (range)

Firmness Lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Oct. 5

0 (0-0)

94 (93-95)

21.3 (20.3-22.2)

1.0 (1.0-1.0)

12.2

Oct. 12

70 (60-80)

92 (88-95)

21.0 (18.9-23.1)

1.3 (1.0-1.5)

12.7

Oct. 19

100 (100-100)

93 (90-95)

21.4 (19.0-24.5)

1.1 (1.0-2.0)

15.2

Braeburn was sampled for the second week of the season and based on this week’s data, they are still immature. They are moving nicely toward maturity, with the starch index moving from 2.0 last week to 3.0 this week. I feel they will be ready to harvest late this weekend or early next week. The predicted harvest date for Braeburn is Oct. 24 for east Michigan.

Braeburn 2015 maturity sampling for the harvest season

Date of sample

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm (range)

Color % (range)

Firmness Lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Oct. 12

55 (20-90)

34 (20-48)

22.6 (22.5-22.6)

2.0 (1.4-3.0)

10.4

Oct. 19

60 (20-100)

40 (31-48)

21.1 (21.0-21.2)

3.0 (2.9-3.0)

11.6

Predicted apple harvest dates

Each year we publish predicted harvest dates for three varieties for many locations across the state. This year’s dates were published July 15 on the Michigan State University Extension website, “Predicted 2015 apple harvest dates.” The table below has been expanded to include more apple varieties and it lists only one date for the entire region, which is hard to do. The information in the “Predicted 2015 apple harvest dates” article lists the bloom and harvest dates for Deerfield and Romeo, Michigan. You can adjust your predicted harvest dates based on your bloom dates or make adjustments to this expanded list based on the typical harvest dates at your farm. These predicted harvest dates are based on a long established formula using the bloom date and temperatures for 30 days post-bloom. These dates are an estimate.

Normal and 2015 peak harvest dates for apple varieties in east Michigan

Variety

Normal date

2015 predicted date

Paula Red

8/22/15

8/18/15

Gingergold

8/21/15

8/20/15

Gala

9/8/15

9/5/15

McIntosh

9/13/15

9/10/15

Early Fuji

9/14/15

9/10/15

Honeycrisp

9/16/15

9/12/15

Empire

9/20/15

9/16/15

Jonathan

9/23/15

9/25/15

Jonagold

9/23/15

9/25/15

Cortland

9/25/15

9/23/15

Golden Delicious

9/29/15

10/2/15

Red Delicious

10/1/15

10/3/15

Idared

10/6/15

10/8/15

Rome

10/11/15

10/13/15

Fuji

10/22/15

10/23/15

Braeburn

10/23/15

10/24/15

Goldrush

10/31/15

10/30/15

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

The East Michigan Apple Harvest Report is produced by Bob Tritten, district fruit educator, Flint, MI, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), office phone 810-244-8555, cell 810-516-3800 and fax 810-341-1729. Special thanks to four orchards that allow me to harvest fruit for analysis from their farm every Monday during the apple harvest season, these farms include: Spicer Orchards in Hartland, Erwin Orchards in South Lyon, Westview Orchards in Romeo and Hy’s Cider Mill in Romeo. Thanks to so many other orchardists that I collect fruit samples from their farms to include their varieties on more of a random basis. Lastly, thanks to the Post-Harvest Lab in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University that provides the quick and very accurate analysis of so many apple samples in the fall. Dr. Randy Beaudry and his students do a fantastic job and are a valuable part of our Apple Maturity Team.

Related Events

Related Articles

Related Resources