Online Exclusive: A Sampling Of New Apple Varieties

Online Exclusive: A Sampling Of New Apple Varieties

Variety: SweeTango/Minneiska
Information provided by: Tim Byrne, Pepin Heights Orchard

Characteristics: SweeTango® brand apples are characterized visually by a rich deep red coloration over a yellow breaking background. Fruit grown in the Midwest and Eastern regions tend to have distinguishing prominent lenticels. Stem bowl tracery russet is also a characteristic often seen on the fruit. These attributes provide visual differentiation SweeTango® from other varieties on the retail shelf. The fruit tends to be large sized.

How Growers Get Involved: When forming the commercializing company, NBT Cooperative, we strove to provide geographic diversification to the grower base. Growers in Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York, as well as business partners in Nova Scotia and Quebec, were invited to explore the business plan and, if it fit their business plans, to invest in the Cooperative. Some of the invitees were Minnesota colleagues, some were business partners of long standing and others were enterprises which, over time, had proven to be world class growers and marketers. All were asked to buy into creating a national brand, with regional production and geographic marketing a cornerstone of the endeavor.

What You Need To Know:
– The variety has shown a strong tendency to self-thin down to king bloom. Be cautious when thinning.
– Grow the tree vertically ASAP. Minneiska has shown a tendency to become basally dominant if height is delayed by cropping.
Read More here and here:

Variety: NY1 and NY2

Characteristics: NY2 is a large, crisp, juicy, attractive apple with a nice balance of sugar and acid and excellent quality, storage, and shelflife. A U.S. Plant Patent application was filed on December 20, 2009. Selection 2 is a hybrid of Braeburn by Autumn Crisp (NY 674).

How Growers Get Involved: Any apple grower in New York can invest money to join NYAG, which will entitle them to a certain number of acres of the apples.

What You Need To Know:
– Trees are annual productive, are not prone to harvest drop, and are extremely grower friendly.
– Harvested mid to late October.
– Good sugar levels, moderate acid, and great firmness at harvest (16 to 21 pounds) and following regular or CA storage.
– Free from storage disorders, with the very rare occurrence of water core or slight senescent breakdown.
– Attractive fruit with 85-90% full red color.
– Great consumer reaction. Fruits are very crisp and juicy, appeal to those that like more of a sweet/acid balance. Fruits have consistent quality at harvest and following storage.
– Good dual use variety.
Read more here.

Variety: WA2, WA5
Information provided by: Tom Auvil, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission

Characteristics:
WA 2 traits:
– Is a bright Red-Pink color with distinct lenticels
– Picks in Red Delicious season
– Is a multi-pick variety
– Is slow to change maturity and has a long shelf life.
– Its best eating quality is three months after harvest
– Is a moderately productive tree with a compact growth habit.
– Fruit size is moderate, is able to grow 80′s to 100′s
– Fruit finish can show a bit of russet, but has yet to have packout impact.
– No problem to date, at phase 3 sites, with mildew, sunburn or bitter pit.

WA 2 challenges:
– Diligent harvest practices will maximize fruit value. Depending on the rate of maturity change, three to four picks may be needed.
– Wants to grow fruit on 1 year wood, which will be small, have stem bowel russett and can have 50% parrot beaked fruit.
– Compact growth habit may not fill canopy area as expected. Replant sites may benefit with tighter in-row tree spacing of 24 to 30 inches.

WA 5 traits:
– Obtains an attractive Red-Orange color
– Firm and juicy with medium sugar/moderate to high acid
– Tends to be tart
– Fruit size: no difficulty with obtaining 72 to 88 count
– Harvests right after Gala
– Is a multiple pick variety
– No problems with bitterpit nor sunburn
– Exceptional fruit finish
– Mildew suseptibiltiy similar or less than Gala
– Very Productive, compact tree growth
– Crop load needs careful monitoring, wants to over crop
– Color is an exceptional maturity indicator
– Fruit colors very well for second pick.

WA 5 challenges:
– It can have a high acid flavor profile
– Is a multiple pick variety, at least two, perhaps three picks.
– Requires attention at harvest. If allowed to hang for deep red color as compared to red-orange color, it can develop splits, and also come loose and drop off the tree. Good harvest practices will minimize both problems and maximize high packout color.

How Growers Get Involved: The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission is directing traffic, providing licensed growers a list of licensed propagators.

What You Need To Know: WA2 is a low ethylene apple, meaning it is slow to mature on the tree and changes maturity slowly in storage. Its color brightens considerably after two months of storage and attains best dessert quality after three months of storage. WA2 is likely to perform really well in unrefrigerated settings such as convenience stores or hotel counters.

Read more here and here.

Variety: Kiku
Information provided by: Tim Welsh, Columbia Fruit Packers

Characteristics: Kiku is a large, sweet apple which is marked by its coloratiod. It’s a fully striped variety.

How Growers Get Involved: Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc. is the license holder for Kiku. Kiku is controlled at the packing level up to and through the market. Growers who would like to grow Kiku have that opportunity as long as they have contacted a licensed packer and can grow quality fruit.

What You Need To Know: Kiku is an excellent tasting apple that gained repeat market demand. It also looks very nice and has excellent size. Those three ingredients plus consistent crispness will hopefully draw consumers to the apple category.

Read more here.

Variety: Pinata
Information provided by: Roger Pepperl, Stemilt Growers

Characteristics: Pinata is a cross between Golden Delicious and two heirloom varieties from Europe, Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Duchess of Oldenburg. This heritage gives the apple a unique flavor. It is crisp and juicy with both high acid and high sugar levels. Pinata has a subtle tropical essence to it as well as a hint of floral. It’s a beautiful bi-colored apple — stripy bright red over a yellow-orange background. It has a nice round shape and is medium to large in size. Pinata has the same thin skin as Golden Delicious, which makes it a great companion in any apple recipe.

How Growers Get Involved: The owners of Stemilt Growers are growing Pinata, as are select growers that are committed to the variety. Choosing growers with orchards with the right climate and soil is essential for growing Pinata. Trees are allotted to the growers who have commitment to this variety and also have site selection that fits the apple’s needs.

Two Things You Need To Know: Quality is foremost when it comes to growing a managed variety like Pinata. Consumers will come back for “new” apples as long as the flavor is there. And as long as consumers continue to come back for more, growers will find success. It’s going to keep getting better with time. Pinata has already had rave reviews from consumers and the apple is still considered young. We expect great things from this variety as the trees mature.

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