Aug 11, 2015
Michigan: Predicted 2015 apple harvest dates

The predicted harvest dates for every MAWN weather station is now available on Enviroweather web site at Michigan State University. In general, 2015 predicted harvest dates are roughly a few days behind normal and a few days ahead of last year. Bloom dates this spring were a few days late in the south, and fairly normal in the rest of the state. However, in the central part of the state, four days straight of very poor weather conditions occurred during full bloom. During this time no pollination occurred, thus the actual harvest dates may be later than the predicted dates.

As always, the weather seems to be unusual each year and 2015 was no different. It began after an extremely cold winter with a slightly late but mostly normal spring. A few frost events occurred in the south part of the state but did relatively minor damage. A few frost marks on fruit are evident. However, significant damaging frost occurred in the north with some orchards losing the crop to the frost. This year, the days between full bloom in the south and full bloom in the north were less than normal. This unusual spring was also characterized by considerable precipitation in some parts of the state. Most apple growers were successful in thinning the crop down to a nice cropload. Some blocks were over thinned. The state’s cropload is approximately normal. Blocks with light croploads will mature three or four days sooner then the predicted harvest dates. Heavy croploads will mature 7 days later than the predicted dates.

The normal harvest dates for other varieties are listed in Table 3 for the Grand Rapids area. This year’s 2015 predicted dates are a rough estimate based on the McIntosh, Jonathan and Red Delicious predicted dates. Other areas of the state should adjust non-predicted varieties based on their own history. ReTain application should be applied 30 DBH (days before harvest). Use Table 3, 2015 Predicted Harvest Dates for Other Varieties, to time ReTain applications and adjust for varieties and locations.

— Michigan State University

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