We harvested apples on September 10 for this week’s harvest maturity. Due to our annual Field Day and running samples for a pre-harvest drop trial, we only ran Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and two strains of Fuji. From these data and my observations from around Frederick County, it appears that sugar content (soluble solids) are starting to come up in Golden Delicious, while starch degradation is still optimal for long term storage. Red Delicious are starting to ripen, and some early coloring strains are already being picked. I expect Red Delicious harvest to be in full swing by early next week. Early strains of Fuji are ready for harvest, but later strains still have several weeks before they will be ready for harvest. On Thursday, we’ll be harvesting Daybreak Fuji from a tall spindle planting and Rising Sun Fuji from a rootstock trial.
I expect the heat over these past couple-few days will advance apple ripening faster than what we have seen up until this time, so keep checking blocks that are near to your ideal harvest maturity. The heat is forecasted to break on Friday after which we’ll return to more moderate temperatures for at least seven days.
Click the link to the right for this week’s harvest maturity evaluation data.