Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

September 27, 2012

Variety ensures apple availability

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The 2012 New York State apple crop is coming in like many other fruit crops have this year, but with most farms growing a great variety of apples there are bright spots in what has been a difficult growing season.

According to Molly Golden of the New York Apple Association, apples, like many other locally grown fruit, are bearing a reduced crop at about ten days ahead of schedule. How good the crop is depended largely on location and luck when it came to the weather.

”There was no rhyme or reason this year,” Golden said. “The unseasonably warm temperatures in March woke the apples ‘wake up’ about six weeks too early and when the the weather pattern went back to normal the blossoms and buds froze.”

Golden said that Niagara and Orleans counties fared better than the areas east of Rochester, but across the board similar varieties are doing the best. Gala has been “the shining star of the year,” with cortland and honeycrisp apples also more abundant than popular varieties like red delicious and empire apples.

“This is the year to try new varieties,” Golden said. “If you like a certain kind you need to get them while you can.”

At Hurd Orchards in Holley, more than 50 varieties of heirloom, experimental and mainline apples are growing this year. It’s been a “golden” year for some apples and one to forget for others.

“Our jonagolds, golden delicious and gold rush are all doing well,” said Hurd Orchards’ Sue Machamer. “But others didn’t flourish so well.”

Machamer picked a few New York 1 and New York 2 varieties this week to see how the new varieties, which were introduced in 2010 by Cornell University apple breeder Susan Brown, are stacking up.

“They’re big, beautiful apples,” Machamer said. “New York 1 (an offspring of honeycrisp) was delicious, but New York 2 (a cross between braeburn and autumn crisp) wasn’t ripe yet.”

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