West central Michigan apple maturity report – October 7, 2015

Growers are past the peak of harvest with good results for consumers.

General comments

Recent cooler temperatures have helped color up apples nicely. The weather has been great for color and sugar development. A day or two of light rain slowed harvest only a little.

This has been a big week for Golden Delicious harvest. We did not have samples as our sampling block was harvested. Goldens need to be harvested quickly to be in that long-term CA window as they will likely move quickly out of condition this season.

Comments heard in the last week from growers and industry representatives include:

  • Some reports from growers with lesser acreages of labor shortages. Large acreage growers report adequate labor supply.
  • More reports from more growers that they could be finishing up by Oct. 15 for the majority of their harvest.
  • Bitter pit is an issue for blocks with light croploads.

There is quite a bit of variability from site to site this season – more so than usual. Growers should be doing in-field maturity testing earlier and more often this season so as not to miss something. If you need guidance on how to do in-field maturity testing, please don’t hesitate to ask.

For the Hart/Shelby, Michigan, area, growers can expect harvest dates for that area to be behind the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area using this guide: along the lakeshore approximately six days behind Grand Rapids; areas inland about four days behind.

Normal and 2015 peak harvest dates for varieties for the Grand Rapids area

Variety

Normal date

2015 predicted date

Jonathan

9/28/15

9/29/15

Jonagold

9/28/15

9/29/15

Golden Delicious

10/2/15

10/3/15

Red Delicious

10/5/15

10/5/15

Idared

10/10/15

10/10/15

Rome

10/15/15

10/15/15

Fuji

10/25/15

10/25/15

Braeburn

10/25/15

10/25/15

Goldrush

11/1/15

11/1/15

Individual variety results

Gala harvest is complete for the general Grand Rapids area for any blocks other than those for fresh sales. We did have samples this week and all are out of condition for any type of storage at this time. Keep in mind these samples are untreated with any harvest management materials.

Gala 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of Sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Aug. 24

0.0694

5

80 (50-95)

2.25 (1-5)

22.4 (18.9-26.4)

2.75 (1-7)

10.3 (9-11)

Aug. 31

0.26

30

91 (70-100)

1 (1-2)

16.7 (12.5-18.5)

2 (1-4)

10 (9-11)

Sept. 8

1.364

87

69 (40-85)

3.7 (1-7)

18.9 (10.8-24.3)

3.7 (1-7)

11.8 (10.2-14.5)

Sept. 15

1.737

95

89 (75-95)

1.5 (1-3)

18.7 (14-23.3)

5.5 (1-8)

12.5 (11.5-14)

Sept. 22

2.170

100

90 (80-98)

1

18.8 (14-21.6)

5.8 (2-8)

12.1 (11-13.5)

Sept. 29

1.908

100

90 (75-98)

1

16.3 (13-18.5)

7.6 (6-8)

13.1 (12-15)

Oct. 6

3.344

100

83 (55-100)

1

15 (11-19)

7.2 (5-8)

13 (11-16)

McIntosh harvest is nearly complete, with only fresh market sale fruit left hanging. There was quite a bit of drop from the winds late last week. Fruits that remain are suitable for fresh sales or short-term CA storage unless treated with harvest management materials.

McIntosh 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Aug. 24

0

0

78 (60-95)

2.9 (1-5)

18.5 (15.8-24.2)

2.4 (1-4)

11.5 (10-13)

Aug. 31

0.0084

0

90 (70-98)

1.5 (1-3)

13.7 (11.5-15.5)

3.4 (3-4)

10.9 (10.5-11)

Sept. 8

0.0064

0

84 (70-100)

3.4 (3-4)

17.5 (14-25.3)

4.4 (4-6)

12.2 (12-13)

Sept.15

0.0294

0

90 (70-100)

4

15.2 (13.5-18)

6

12.4 (12-13)

Sept. 22

28.149

60

92 (85-98)

1.2 (1-2)

18.2 (15-21)

6.2 (6-7)

12.4 (11.5-14.2)

Sept. 29

59.232

100

96 (90-98)

1

13.8 (12-16)

7

13.3 (12.5-14)

Oct. 6

73.517

100

97 (95-100)

1.3 (1-4)

13.2 (10-16)

6.5 (6-8)

12.3 (11.5-13)

Honeycrisp harvest is just about complete for all Honeycrisp on the Ridge.

Honeycrisp 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Aug. 24

0.0472

0

30 (5-80)

4.4 (2-5)

21.3 (18-27.1)

1(1-1)

11.1 (10.2-12)

Aug. 31

0.1425

20

67 (40-80)

1.5 (1-3)

17.7 (15.5-22.5)

1(1-1)

11.7(11-12)

Sept. 8

0.2464

70

32 (10-45)

2.6 (2-3)

17.7 (14.3-22.1)

1.9(1-4)

11.4 (10.9-12)

Sept.15

3.0168

100

53.3 (20-90)

2.4 (1-4)

16.7 (13.5-19.8)

3.9(1-7)

12.3(11-13)

Sept. 22

13.198

100

74 (45-95)

1.6 (1-3)

17.9 (14-21)

6.8 (5-8)

12.6 (11.5-14.9)

Sept. 29

8.276

87

67 (30-90)

1.6 (1-3)

15.2 (13-18)

6.8 (5-8)

12.8 (10-14.5)

Oct. 6

12.8

100

74 (30-95)

1.6 (1-3)

14.4 (11.5-18)

6.9 (6-8)

12.3 (11-14)

The last week has seen a lot of Jonagold moved into bins. Our maturity indices from this week’s sampling indicates fruits are moving quickly out of condition for any type of long-term CA storage if not treated with harvest management materials. Untreated fruits will quickly move to a short-term CA storage window.

Jonagold 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Sept. 8

0.03

0

22 (5-45)

3.7 (3-4)

18.4 (14.8-21.2)

1.3 (1-2)

11.7 (11.1-12.4)

Sept.15

0.046

0

53 (30-80)

2.8 (2-3)

18.6 (15-21.6)

3.2 (1-7)

12.5 (11.5-14)

Sept. 22

0.2236

35

57 (30-75)

3.3 (2-4)

17.8 (15-21.5)

5 (2-7)

13 (12-14)

Sept. 29

0.4633

55

69 (45-95)

2.2 (1-3)

16.7 (14-21)

6.6 (4-8)

13.2 (12.5-14)

Oct. 6

1.945

100

91 (85-95)

2.6 (1-3)

15.9 (14-18.5)

7

13.1 (12.5-14)

Red Delicious were sampled for a third week. All maturity tests indicate a very slow movement forward for Reds. They are just coming into the window for long-term CA storage. Color has greatly improved in Red Delicious in the last 10 days on the Ridge, even though our samples below indicate differently. Internal ethylene is still very low as is starch conversion. Brix could be a little better, but they will improve. Pressure is very good to excellent.

Red Delicious 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Sept. 22

0.368

20

68 (45-95)

2.8 (2-3)

18.4 (15-20.5)

1.5 (1-4)

10.3(10-11)

Sept. 29

4.291

45

91.9 (75-100)

1.6 (1-3)

18.1 (15.5-21.5)

2.9 (1-7)

11.2 (10-15)

Oct. 6

1.508

10

78 (50-100)

2 (1-4)

17.6 (14.8-20.5)

2.7 (2-4)

10.3 (10-11)

The predicted harvest date for Ida Red is Oct. 10. I we stated in last week’s report that this date might be a few days late to get started on Ida Red for long-term CA, and our sample this week are backing that up, so watch your blocks carefully. Ida Red is now in the long-term CA window on the Ridge and in Belding, Michigan. It might be a few days behind to the north and along the lakeshore.

Ida Red 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Sept. 22

0.432

80

75 (50-95)

3.2 (2-5)

20.9 (18-23.5)

1.8 (1-2)

10.9(10-12)

Sept. 29

0.7727

70

81 (65-90)

2.3 (2-3)

15.5 (14-20)

3.8 (3-4)

11.6 (11-12)

Oct. 6

1.337

100

89 (75-100)

1.7 (1-3)

15 (13-16.5)

2.6 (1-4)

11.2 (10-12.5)

Law Rome were tested for a second week. The predicted harvest date for long-term CA storage of Romes is Oct. 15 and they are definitely at least seven days away from any major harvest on the Ridge, but if you have time and pickers, you could get started in Romes for long-term CA storage as it fits in the schedule. No bleeding has been found so far in Romes.

Rome 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Sept. 29

0.0629

10

99.5 (95-100)

1

22.4 (19.2-26.5)

4

11.6 (10.8-12)

Oct. 6

0.2013

10

97 (95-100)

1

20.4 (17.5-23)

3.1 (2-7)

11.5 (11-12)

We have been sampling Fuji widely this season and all indices tell us that fruit are still immature, but changes are happening. The predicted harvest date for Fuji is Oct. 25, and this might prove to be a little late for the long-term CA storage of Fuji. Fruits continue showing higher ethylene levels than expected this early in maturity development. Starch levels seem to read a bit higher, but the starch iodine test is a bit tricky with Fuji as they just don’t stain well and this needs to be taken into account. The brix are very good, which is common for Fuji. Red color greatly improved in later-season Fuji in the last 10 days.

Fuji 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Sept. 29

0.444

90

52 (40-80)

2.2 (1-3)

19.6 (16.5-23)

4

13.2 (13 -14)

Oct. 6

0.269

30

82 (70-95)

1.8 (1-2)

19 (16-25)

2.2 (1-4)

12.8 (12.5-13)

Granny Smith were tested for the first week. The usual harvest date for Granny Smith in west Michigan is around Halloween.

Granny Smith 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Oct. 6

0.0299

0

19.5 (10-40)

5

21.2 (19-25.5)

3.3 (3-4)

11.6 (11-12)

Braeburn were tested for the first week. The predicted harvest date for long-term CA storage of Braeburn is Oct. 25 and this date seems accurate at this time.

Braeburn 2015 maturity sampling records

Date of sample

Avg. ethylene (ppm)

% Fruits with ethylene over 0.2 ppm

Red color % (range)

Background color (range)

1=yellow

5=green

Firmness lbs. pressure (range)

Starch (range)

Brix (range)

Oct. 6

0.0966

0

33 (20-55)

3.6 (3-4)

20.6 (18.5-22)

2 (1-3)

9.2 (9-9.5)

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

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