Advice On Taming Honeycrisp’s Dark Side
Growers, marketers and researchers, offer advice to growers who have seen the dark side of Honeycrisp.
- Mark Boyer of Ridgetop Orchards, LLC, in Fishertown, PA: I wouldn’t even fool around with the regular strains of Honeycrisp, I’d wait to get the all-red Honeycrisp. The second thing is I would really pay attention to your tree spacing, and don’t rush to crop it, fill out your spacing that you intended, and do everything in your power to get bitter pit under control, and realize that it’s almost like cherries – it’s a heartbreak crop, you win some you lose some.
- Bruce Allen, President, Columbia Reach Pack: Be careful about planting more Honeycrisp. If you truly have a really good site, I wouldn’t hesitate to plant more. But it’s very site specific. Be very careful about the assumptions you make regarding what Honeycrisp are going to be sold for in the future. Be very careful about what you think you can do as a grower. Honeycrisp is going to challenge you.
- Jennifer DeEll, fresh market quality program leader of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: Don’t be greedy. Don’t skimp on labor. Don’t try to get a crop too early. Don’t try to save sprays. Be sure to know and understand optimum handling and storage regimes for Honeycrisp. Otherwise you get could get large losses fast.
- Bruce Turner, national marketing representative for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers: Grow it right, harvest it at the optimal time, and make sure every apple is an excellent eating experience.