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Apple Association says 2013 will be record crop

Posted 12 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Apples await to be picked at an Orleans County orchard. After a disastrous 2012, New York fruit growers are poised for a record harvest this year.

Press release
NY Apple Association

The apple harvest is now officially underway across the state of New York, from the lower Hudson Valley to the upper Champlain Valley and throughout Orleans County – and growers are harvesting a record crop, the New York Apple Association reports.

The state’s nearly 700 apple growers are expected to pick about 32 million bushels by the time harvest concludes in November, a modern record.

Last year’s crop was decimated by late spring frosts that killed many tree buds. The 2012 crop was 17.1 million bushels. New York’s average production is 29.5 million bushels of apples.

Excellent weather conditions – beginning during this year’s bloom and growing season, and continuing into harvest so far – mean that this year’s fruit will be large and juicy, with high natural sugars. Meanwhile, recent new plantings mean that consumers will find more of the New York state apple varieties that they love.

“Good news, New York state apple fans: This year’s apple harvest is on time, and is now in full swing across New York state,” said NYAA President Jim Allen. “Our consumers who have been waiting for us to get back into the market after last year’s short crop will have lots to celebrate this fall.”

Harvest of New York’s top variety McIntosh is now underway in the eastern part of the state and will soon be harvesting statewide, Allen reported. Harvest of all other varieties, including consumer favorites including Zestar, Gala and HoneyCrisp, also has started across the state.

Farm markets across the state are now stocked with new-crop fruit and fresh apple cider, and retail stores are stocking their shelves. Pick-your-own orchards are also open statewide, offering wholesome, healthy family fun.

NYAA’s consulting dietitian also celebrated arrival of the new crop as the state’s schoolchildren head back to class.

“Apples are the perfect addition to every school lunch,” said Linda Quinn, MS, RD. “Their natural sweetness comes packaged with a big serving of fiber so that fuel is released to the body more slowly, giving your child healthy energy while leaving her feeling fuller for longer.”

To promote this year’s crop, NYAA has enlisted Rochester native and international soccer star Abby Wambach. In July, Wambach became the women’s world record holder for career goals scored. Television and radio commercials featuring Abby are airing now. She will also be featured in in-store signage starting later this fall.