On Tuesday (October 8), we sampled York, Cripps Pink (Pink Lady), Winesap, Granny Smith, Stayman, Fuji (BC2), and Suncrisp (which had ReTain and NAA applications) apples from trees on or near the AREC for this week’s maturity report. Despite the summer-like weather late last week and over the weekend, apples are continuing to ripen slowly. Fuji, Suncrisp, and Granny Smith are all showing starch degradation, (though ethylene levels remain low) and should be picked soon. We starting picking our Fuji (BC2) trees today.
York harvest started for some growers last week, and I suspect many growers in the Northern Shenandoah Valley are focusing their attention to this variety right now. The Yorks that we tested (Ramey’s and Imperial) were very firm (19.9 lbs), have excellent color (84% blush), a fair amount of sugar (12.1 Brix), and only showed a minimal amount of starch degradation (~1.3).
Pink Lady apples are already showing high sugar levels (13.1 Brix), but they are still quite starchy and varietal flavor hasn’t started to develop. I’d say they are still a couple-few weeks away from harvest.
The remnants of hurricane/tropical storm Karen is predicted to hit the region tonight, and for the first time this harvest season we are forecasted to have a prolonged stretch of rainy weather. Although the rains might slow down harvest activities, it will help to size up the later cultivars.
Click the on the link at the end of this sentence to download a copy of the 2013 Oct 8 Maturity Report.