NY Apple Bumper Crop Expected

By Genevieve Belmaker, Epoch Times
September 25, 2013 5:07 pm Last Updated: September 25, 2013 5:10 pm

NEW YORK—Though this year’s apple harvest has just begun, it’s already being hailed as exceptional by farmers and industry experts.

The New York Apple Association (NYAA) said that perfect growing conditions have made for high-quality apples of an ideal size and color. But the real boost came from the miserable results of 2012.

A hard spring frost in 2012 had a devastating impact on apple blossoms that were already partially opened. The frost killed so many buds, in fact, that NYAA spokeswoman Julia Stewart called it “a travesty.”

The frost single-handedly wiped out 54 percent of the 2012 crop, leaving a mere 17.1 million bushels for the market. The state’s typical average annual harvest is 29.5 million bushels.

This year is a different story. Stewart said that because many trees didn’t go through the hard work of producing a crop, they went into the 2012 to 2013 season well rested. The stored up energy and nutrients of the trees, coupled with picture perfect growing conditions, produced the opposite results from the previous year.

“The trees rewarded us with a bumper crop,” said Stewart cheerfully. That translates to 32 million bushels of apples of all varieties that will find their way to the market.

New York state ranks second in national apple production, behind the state of Washington. It has three main apple production areas, which include an area near the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the Hudson Valley, and upper Lake Champlain Valley.

The NYAA also noted that another benefit of this year’s crop will be the upcoming cider season. Cider is expected to be outstanding because of extra sweet apples.

The New York Farm Bureau is also optimistic, saying that there is an abundant amount of the crop, and the rest of the season looks promising.

Both the NYAA and the Farm Bureau are encouraging tourists and residents to visit one of the state’s dozens of self-harvest apple picking orchards.

Locations of orchards and their websites can be found at www.taste.ny.gov or by calling (585) 924-2171.