Annual End-of-August Maturity Testing

This it the 28th year that researchers at the Alson H. Smith, Jr. AREC have recorded Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apple maturity data from orchards based in and around Winchester. Including 2013, data for Empire has been taken for twelve years and Gala for six years. In recent years, we have also added other commercially important cultivars to the analyses in order to generate long term averages. These data provide an interesting insight into the current season’s harvest, and can help growers make decisions on when to pick different blocks.

As discussed in a previous post, bloom date was about three weeks later than in 2012 and fairly close to the long-term averages. This should mean that harvest dates will be relatively “normal” or at least more similar to harvest dates in the late 1990’s through early 2000’s than they have been in the last several years.

As of this week, most growers in the Northern Shenandoah region are finishing up picking Ginger Golds, and have started picking Gala and Honeycrisp. Some growers in Central Virginia are finishing Gala and starting with Golden Delicious.

Many of the Golden Delicious blocks that we tested this week had very nice fruit finish, with minimal russet. Golden Delicious maturity was quite variable in the blocks that we tested, and it appears that some blocks will be ready to harvest within the next week, while others are probably 7-10 days away from being ready to harvest. The use of ReTain by some growers may explain some of this variability.

With the cool nights that we have experienced in August, red skinned cultivars have developed better than average color. However, be sure to check the starch and sugar levels before picking to be sure that the apples are mature enough to pick. Many Red Delicious apples that we tested this week had great color but very little starch degradation and soluble solids were only at 9-10 Brix.

Below are the data from this year’s end-of-August apple maturity sampling. In each year, the samples were taken around August 25 (August 26 this year) and consist of apples from the AREC and a few local growers. Thanks to Dave Carbaugh and Abby Kowalski for collecting and testing the fruit. Please refer to my post from last year if you need help interpreting the different maturity indices. You can also download a pdf of the 2013 Annual August Maturity Report.

Golden Delicious Maturity Report 1986-2013

 

 
Year

Background Color (1-4)*

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)**

Ethylene (ppm)

Bloom Date

1986

2.2

19.5

12.7

1987

20.0

12.2

1988

18.6

11.0

1.5

1989

17.7

10.3

2.0

1990

18.0

10.5

1.6

1991

1.8

19.7

12.0

2.1

1992

1.8

20.1

12.0

1.6

1993

1.9

19.8

11.6

1.5

1994

2.3

19.8

12.0

1.7

1995

0.9

18.8

10.9

2.1

1996

2.9

19.6

11.2

2.9

1997

2.0

21.8

11.7

2.0

1998

2.5

19.2

12.2

2.1

1999

1.9

20.3

11.7

1.4

2000

1.8

17.5

11.9

2.5

2001

1.9

20.1

11.0

1.4

2002

2.2

21.2

11.4

2.1

2003

2.6

20.3

11.1

1.2

2004

2.3

18.2

12.3

2.0

2005

1.8

20.1

11.4

1.7

2006

1.9

18.5

12.4

1.8

2007

1.6

18.0

12.3

1.6

2008

2.1

18.3

12.9

1.6

22-23 Apr

2009

1.8

17.2

12.4

1.7

22-Apr

2010

1.6

18.6

12.9

1.4

13-Apr

2011

2.1

20.1

12.9

1.2

20-Apr

2012

2.5

18.5

13.0

1.3

0.00

2-Apr

2013

2.2

18.3

11.9

2.2

0.17

25-Apr

Mean

2.0

19.2

11.9

1.8

17-Apr

Max

2.9

21.8

13.0

2.9

25-Apr

Min

0.9

17.2

10.3

1.2

2-Apr

* 1 = green, 2 = light green, 3 = yellowish green, 4 = yellow.
** 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.

Red Delicious Maturity Report 1986-2013

Year

Red Color (%)

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)*

Ethylene (ppm)

Bloom Date

1986

72.0

18.8

11.2

1987

68.0

19.8

10.8

1988

54.0

18.4

10.0

1.6

1989

69.0

18.6

8.7

1.6

1990

73.0

18.1

8.9

1.5

1991

69.0

18.8

10.4

1.6

1992

76.0

20.8

10.2

1.3

1993

68.0

21.7

9.5

1.7

1994

68.0

19.7

9.5

1.9

1995

68.0

19.2

9.1

1.6

1996

62.5

19.3

8.9

2.0

25-Apr

1997

66.7

22.4

9.4

1.2

25-Apr

1998

81.9

19.3

9.9

2.5

15-Apr

1999

65.5

19.8

10.5

1.9

28-Apr

2000

87.4

16.2

9.6

2.3

11-Apr

2001

61.0

20.5

8.3

1.8

28-Apr

2002

60.2

21.4

9.4

2.1

22-Apr

2003

58.4

20.4

8.5

1.9

22-Apr

2004

88.2

16.7

10.0

2.3

20-Apr

2005

73.7

18.7

9.2

2.0

24-Apr

2006

63.8

18.7

10.7

2.0

16-Apr

2007

81.1

18.1

11.0

1.7

22-Apr

2008

86.6

18.1

9.4

2.0

22-Apr

2009

79.2

17.5

10.2

1.9

24-Apr

2010

65.9

18.2

11.5

1.7

8-Apr

2011

67.5

19.8

11.5

2.1

21-Apr

2012

92.1

18.2

11.9

1.8

0.03

29-30-Mar

2013

91.3

18.4

9.8

2.0

0.25

23-Apr

Mean

72.1

19.1

9.9

1.8

0.1

20-Apr

Max

92.1

22.4

11.9

2.5

0.3

28-Apr

Min

54.0

16.2

8.3

1.2

0.0

29-30-Mar

* 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.

 

Gala Maturity Report 2008-2013

 

 
Year

Red Color (%)

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)*

Ethylene (ppm)

Bloom Date

2008

93.5

18.3

13.6

5.6

21-Apr

2009

86.8

17.5

13.4

4.5

22-Apr

2010

78.0

16.3

14.9

6.4

9-Apr

2011

77.5

19.4

13.7

4.9

19-Apr

2012

91.1

18.0

13.2

4.1

7.13

29-30-Mar

2013

91.1

18.0

12.4

5.4

1.71

23-Apr

Mean

86.3

17.9

13.5

5.2

4.4

15-Apr

Max

93.5

19.4

14.9

6.4

7.1

23-Apr

Min

77.5

16.3

12.4

4.1

1.7

29-30-Mar

* 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.

 

Empire Maturity Report 2002-2013

 

 
Year

Red Color (%)

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)*

Ethylene (ppm)

Bloom Date

2002

42.0

25.3

10.4

2.1

2003

60.4

21.9

9.6

1.7

2004

78.1

17.2

10.9

2.2

2005

55.3

20.3

10.1

1.9

2006

46.0

19.7

10.7

2.1

2007

64.0

17.9

10.6

2.1

2008

66.3

18.2

11.0

2.1

21-Apr

2009

52.4

16.6

10.9

1.1

20-Apr

2010

44.3

18.1

10.7

1.8

2011

49.8

19.7

11.2

2.0

2012

85.9

19.2

12.5

1.7

0.01

29-Mar

2013

63.0

18.6

10.6

1.5

0.04

21-Apr

Mean

59.0

19.4

10.8

1.9

0.0

15-Apr

Max

85.9

25.3

12.5

2.2

0.0

21-Apr

Min

42.0

16.6

9.6

1.1

0.0

29-Mar

* 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.

 

Maturity Report – Other Varieties 2011

Cultivar

Red Color (%)

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)*

HoneyCrisp

66.2

15.8

13.0

5.1

Idared

17.0

19.9

11.1

1.2

* 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.

Maturity Report – Other Varieties 2012

 

 

Cultivar

Red Color (%)

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)*

Ethylene (ppm)

Bloom Date

Fuji Early Strain

65.5

16.7

14.7

4.1

0.03

5-Apr

Fuji Late Strain

26.0

20.9

12.1

2.1

0.03

5-Apr

Idared

36.7

17.0

12.3

1.3

0.00

2-Apr

Rome

39.8

22.5

12.3

1.5

.

12-Apr

York

41.8

22.4

10.7

1.0

0.00

3-Apr

* 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.

Maturity Report – Other Varieties 2013

 

 

Cultivar (number of orchards tested)

Red Color (%)

Firmness (lbs)

Soluble Solids (ºBrix)

Starch-iodine Index (1-8)*

Ethylene (ppm)

Bloom Date

Cameo (1)

33.5

18.1

10.2

1.7

0.53

N/A

Fuji Early Strain (2)

80.3

16.3

13.6

4.3

1.51

25-Apr

Ginger Gold (2)

3.9**

16.0

12.8

3.5

0.00

24-Apr

Idared (6)

41.1

17.5

10.1

1.2

0.12

23-Apr

Jonagold (1)

35.5

18.7

11.8

2.8

0.00

23-Apr

Rome (1)

21.2

24.6

9.2

2

0.00

1-May

York (1)

53.5

24.4

9.4

1

1.20

25-Apr

* 1 = 100% starch, 5 = 60% starch, 8 = 0% starch.
** 1 = green, 2 = light green, 3 = yellowish green, 4 = yellow.

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