By the end of April last year, New York’s apple crop had been devastated by frosts following an early spring that reduced the fall harvest to about half its usual size. But the industry didn’t take that blow to heart, instead seizing opportunity and laying groundwork to come back stronger this year.
- More trees: Growers have planted thousands of new trees across the state, which will increase the state’s harvest in years ahead. The state now has 25% more trees than just a few years ago.
- More varieties: Growers are planting old favorites as well as new varieties. New flavors to watch for include Zestar!
- More packing capacity: By modernizing apple-packing equipment and enlarging packing and storage facilities, the state is ensuring it will have the capacity to handle those future crops.
“Most important for New York apple lovers in our state, we can better deliver on our commitment to get our apples out fresher and faster than anywhere else,” said New York Apple Association, Inc., (NYAA) President Jim Allen.
Allen also noted that this year’s weather is following more typical patterns, unlike last year’s very early spring. The southern Hudson Valley is expected to be in full bloom by May Day, and mid-Hudson Valley will be on or before Mother’s Day (May 12); upstate growing areas will soon follow. Lake Ontario and points north should start bloom around May 15.
“So far this season is textbook perfect,” said Allen.
NYAA is already laying the groundwork for selling this year’s crop, advertising in publications read by retailers and meeting with them to ensure they are saving shelf space for this fall’s New York state apples and apple products.
“We know our short crop last year left everyone with a taste for more. We’ll be back soon,” said Allen.