Home / Crops / Every year's a good for apples, but some tougher than others

Every year's a good for apples, but some tougher than others

By Matt Reese

Anyone who grows anything outdoors was painfully familiar with the wet conditions this spring. The almost constant rain made it tough to get anything done outside. The same soggy conditions that made this spring miserable for humans made productivity even more challenging for the insect pollinators dodging drops while trying to perform their daily tasks. Soggy bees led to lackluster pollination season for Fred Finney’s apple crop on Moreland Fruit Farm in Wayne County. “It just kept raining and the bees weren’t out pollinating,” he said. To worsen the situation, there was a nasty outbreak of fire blight in the orchard. “We had a tremendous strike of fire blight. Moisture and cool weather favor it. Other places had it around Ohio, but it is not widespread,” Finney said. “There is a preventative spray for it, but I don’t know how well it works. The fruit near the fire blight is ruined. It affects the ends of the branches. It looks ugly and this winter we’ll prune it out and hope it doesn’t show back up again next year. Sometimes it comes back and sometimes you won’t see it again.” The midsummer heat also created challenges for the apple crop. “The heat in July really increased the incidence of mites and we had to treat for them,” Finney said. “When it is hot, they regenerate almost daily and if you don’t jump on it right away, they get out of control.” The result of the challenges this season is a crop from the 15 acres of apples that is only about 60% of normal for Moreland Fruit Farm. “The quality of our apples is OK, but our production is off,” Finney said. “I have been hearing around the state and around the community that apples just aren’t as plentiful this year as they have been in the past. Some varieties are doing really well and some are not so good. Fortunately, we have a lot of friends in this business so we can always get the apples we need when we have an off year. The public never recognizes if we have a short crop.”

Check Also

Yield check…

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist I think this is a year of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *