Ontario's upcoming apple season looks to be an on-year for Honeycrisp apples.
Cathy McKay says even though it's still early, the apple crop in Ontario is predicted to be average.
"People were trying to get the fruit thinned early, and a lot of them have been hand thinning the Honeycrisp so that it's going to have a good crop again next year," says apple grower Cathy McKay, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers.
Overall though, even though it's still early, the crop is predicted to be an average one. "We had a big bloom and very few reports of frost, so there was good pollination," says McKay. "But it's also been an interesting summer. There have not been heating waves, but there have been short hot periods. Around the province, things are getting quite dry now. We just haven't had the rainfall. And we've had cool nights, so it's hard to know where things are going."
Generally, Ontario begins picking apples in late August and is harvesting later varieties into early November. However, if the crop is not large, growers could wrap up at the end of October.
Generally, Ontario begins picking apples in late August and is harvesting later varieties into early November.
All of this follows a season of good movement for Ontario apples. "The marketing season was good--there's no holdover crop at all," says McKay. This year's marketing plans include returning a commercial orchard tour for those in the industry on August 4 in Newcastle in Ontario.
As for pricing, it's difficult to determine right now; given demand is partly unknown. "Fruit, including apples, has been named as an item that's gone up in price by a large percentage. Will consumers stop buying apples or reduce their purchases? We don't know," says McKay.