Jul 21, 2015
Predicted 2015 apple harvest dates

The predicted harvest dates are now available at all locations on theMichigan State University Enviro-weather website. 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 central Michigan, 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, 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 crop load. Some blocks were over-thinned. The state’s crop load is approximately normal. Blocks with light crop loads will mature three or four days sooner than the predicted harvest dates. Heavy crop loads will mature seven days later than the predicted dates.

Phil Schwallier, and Amy Irish-Brown, Michigan State University Extension

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