Good Fruit Grower

July 1

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Eastern states lack fruit T Michigan will have only 10 percent of last year's apple volume. by Richard Lehnert ree fruit production in eastern states has been decimated this season by hard freezes in April following warmer-than-normal weather in March. Michigan expects to harvest just under 3 million bushels of apples this year, a tenth of last year's production. Michigan, the third-largest apple-producing state after Washington and New York, has been an erratic producer in recent years. Production was somewhat stable at 18 to 20 million bushels a year in 2005, 2006, and 2007, but then fell to 14 million in 2008, bounced up to 27.3 million in 2009, fell to 14 million again in 2010, recovered to 26 million last year—and this year fell off the chart. Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, presented the outlook for the national apple crop during Michigan's Fruit Crop Guesstimate held in early June. Washington is on track to produce its largest crop ever, California production will be 10 percent above average, at 7.8 million bushels. Production there had been falling, but new plantings are coming along. Virginia had one significant freeze, but will have a crop of 4.2 million bushels, down from an average 5.2 million. Weather issues have also damaged the North Carolina apple crop, but no estimate was given on production there. The total U.S. apple crop, while a record high in "For the first time in history, Utah will be the largest producer of tart about 145 million bushels. Unlike Michigan and other eastern producing states, it had no weather issues—and now turns to questions of how to harvest and store the large crop. Average production in Washington has been 128.5 million bushels over the last five years. New York, which had a 30-million-bushel crop last year, was guesstimated at 15.4 mil- cherries this year." —Phil Korson lion—but Smith said it's probably smaller than that—maybe 12 million bushels. New York industry leaders have been very quiet about crop size, she said. Smith said the 3 mil- lion estimate for Michigan apple production is probably too low, but there is much doubt about how many will be harvested. Apples are extremely sparse in eastern and south- western Michigan. Eastern Michigan has less than 10,000 bushels to serve its farm mar- ket industry, and southwest Michigan only 84,000 bushels—less than 3 percent of a normal crop. The west central part of the state, which includes the Fruit Ridge area and normally produces half the state's crop, has fewer than 2.5 million bushels, or less than a quarter of a crop. Northwest Michigan has a tenth of that, 250,000 bushels. Pennsylvania has a crop of 10.5 million bushels, Smith said. There was some isolated freeze damage, but the crop is just under average size of 11.2 million bushels. Washington, is still 13 million bushels below last year's production because of the freezes that struck Michigan and New York. Tart cherries The national tart cherry crop this year was estimated at 75 million pounds, down from 260 million last year. Most of it will come from the three western states of Utah, Washington, and Oregon. Utah will have an about-aver- age crop, 32 million pounds, and Washington a big crop, 25 million pounds, well above its average production. Oregon, at 2.5 million, is also above average. The crop in Michigan, which normally produces three-fourths of the national crop, is estimated at 12 million pounds. Michigan's production capacity is about 275 million pounds, Phil Korson, president of the Cherry Marketing Institute said, and the state's average production has been 186 million pounds a year over the last three years. "For the first time in history, Utah will be the largest producer of tart cherries this year," he added. New York, normally producing about 10 million pounds, comes in at 0.5 million. Pennsylvania, at 2 million, is about its usual average, and Wisconsin, normally about 10 million pounds, is, like New York, a bust at 0.5 million. There is some question about whether growers will get out their trunk shakers to gather what's out there, but processors are looking to buy all they can find—and one suggested the price could be a dollar a pound. • OxiDate® 2.0 eradicates Fire Blight on contact, providing an effective alternative to traditional treatment. EPA Registered No mutational resistance Spray through bloom period Exempt from pesticide tolerances - No MRLs Can be rotated with biological based bactericides/fungicides GOOD FRUIT GROWER JULY 2012 19 OxiDate 2.0 OxiDate 2.0 Fire Blight on Pome FruitsFire Blight on Pome Fruits Contr Controls

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