Southwest Michigan apple maturity report – Oct. 17, 2018

Harvest of Fuji, Rome and Braeburn is the focus in southwest Michigan.

October 17, 2018 - Author:

Kumeu Crimson Braeburn
Kumeu Crimson Braeburn is one of the last apple varieties of the season. Photo by Bill Shane, MSU Extension.

General apple harvest comments

This is the last apple maturity report for southwest Michigan for the 2018 season. Red Delicious are nearly all harvested in central southwest Michigan. A few Golden Delicious blocks are finishing up.

Brown marmorated stink bug activity has declined over the past week with the return of cool weather. Damage to apple fruit late in the season may be overlooked, but show up later in storage. Scout for insect damage, especially on orchard borders. Stink bug damage could still continue on sunny, still days.

Apple maturity in southwest Michigan for apples harvested Oct. 8

Variety

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Fuji

16.9 (15.5-18.7)

5.3 (4.6-6.0)

14.3

Rome

21.6 (20.8-22.4)

4.5 (4.2-5.4)

11.2

Braeburn

19.9 (18.1-21.6)

4.4 (3.4-5.6)

11.9

Evercrisp

21.1 (20.9-21.2)

4.2 (3.2-5.0)

16.9

Individual variety results

Fuji were tested for the fourth week. Starch conversion is averaging 5.3, slightly higher than last week, with 3.0 given as the minimum for mature for this variety. Fruit firmness averaged 16.9 pounds this week, with the general guideline of a minimum of 17 pounds for best midterm controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. Background coloration is improving and internal maturity is relatively advanced and appears to be ahead of the predicted peak harvest date of Oct. 22 for central Berrien County. Brix for this week is 14.3 percent.

Fuji maturity sampling for the harvest season

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Sept. 24

19.5 (17.5-20.4)

3.4 (2.8-3.8)

12.0

Oct. 1

19.0 (17.1-20.3)

3.6 (3.4-4.0)

12.5

Oct. 8

18.4 (17.4-20.3)

5.1 (4.2-7.0)

13.5

Oct. 15

16.9 (15.5-18.7)

5.3 (4.6-6.0)

14.3

Rome was tested for the third week this season. Starch conversion is averaging 4.5 this week, with 3.0 as the minimum for mature for this variety. Brix for this week is 11.2. Fruit firmness averaged 21.6, similar to last week, with the general guideline of a minimum of 18 pounds for best long-term CA storage. Background coloration is still relatively green. The predicted peak harvest date is Oct. 8 for central Berrien County, which seemed to be on target.

Rome maturity sampling for the harvest season

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Oct. 1

23.7 (22.9-24.4)

3.0 (2.8-3.2)

10.7

Oct. 8

21.8 (21.4-22.3)

3.2 (3.0-3.6)

10.9

Oct. 15

21.6 (20.8-22.4)

4.5 (4.2-5.4)

11.2

Braeburn were tested for the third week. Starch conversion is averaging 4.4 compared to 3.8 for last week, with 3.0 as the recommended minimum value to be considered mature for this variety. Brix for this week is 11.9, same as last week. Fruit firmness averaged 19.9 pounds, with the general guideline of a minimum of 18 pounds for best long-term CA storage. Background coloration is still relatively green, with a predicted peak harvest date of Oct. 22 for central Berrien County. Internal maturity has been reached, but continued high fruit firmness will allow harvest to be delayed waiting for higher sugar content.

Braeburn maturity sampling for the harvest season

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Oct. 1

22.1 (20.2-23.5)

2.7 (1.0-4.2)

11.0

Oct. 8

21.5 (20.0-23.0)

3.8 (2.8-4.6)

11.0

Oct. 15

19.9 (18.1-21.6)

4.4 (3.4-5.6)

11.9

Evercrisp (MAIA1) were tested for the second week. Starch conversion is averaging 4.1 this week, about the same as last week, with 3.0 as the minimum for mature for this variety. Brix for this week is 16.9. Fruit firmness averaged 21.1 pounds compared to 23.4 pounds last week, with the general guideline of a minimum of 18 pounds for best long-term CA storage. A few apples are showing water core.

Evercrisp appears to be midway in vigor between Fuji and Honeycrisp, its two parents. It is a tip bearing tree that is a consistent cropper. Like Fuji, the fruit quality and red skin are greatly improved by proper thinning. On sandy sites, low vigor rootstock like Bud 9 may cause Evercrisp trees to runt out.

Evercrisp maturity sampling for the harvest season

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch (range)

Brix %

Oct. 8

23.4 (23.1-23.7)

4.1 (3.0-5.0)

15.8

Oct. 15

21.1 (20.9-21.2)

4.2 (3.2-5.0)

16.9

 

Normal and predicted 2018 peak harvest dates for apple varieties in southwest Michigan based on weather data at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, Benton Harbor, MI.

Variety

Normal date

2018 Predicted peak harvest date

Paula Red

Aug. 22

 Aug. 20

Zestar

Aug. 22

 Aug. 20

Gingergold

Aug. 20

 Aug 18

McIntosh

Sept. 10

 Sept 8

Gala

Sept. 8

 Sept 6.

Early Fuji

Sept. 3

 Sept. 1

Honeycrisp

Sept. 13

 Sept. 13

Empire

Sept. 19

 Sept. 23

Jonathan

Sept. 22

 Sept. 24

Jonagold

Sept. 22

 Sept. 24

Golden Delicious

Sept. 25

 Sept. 27

Red Delicious

Sept. 28

 Oct. 1

Ida Red

Oct. 5

 Oct. 8

Rome

Oct. 5

 Oct. 8

Fuji

Oct. 20

 Oct. 22

Braeburn

Oct. 20

 Oct. 22

Goldrush

Oct. 26

 Oct. 28

 

Suggested firmness and starch index levels for long-term and shorter-term controlled atmosphere (CA) storage by variety.

Variety

Firmness (pounds)*

Starch Index*

Short CA

Mid-CA

Long CA

Mature

Over mature

McIntosh

14

15

16

5

7

Gala

16

17

18

3

6

Honeycrisp

15

16

17

3.5

7

Empire

14

15

16

3.5

6

Early Fuji

16

17

18

3

7

Jonagold

15

16

17

3.5

5.5

Jonathan

14

15

16

3.5

5.5

Golden Delicious

15

16

17

3

6.5

Red Delicious

16

17

18

2.5

6

Idared

14

15

16

3.5

6

Crispin / Mutsu

16

17

18

3

6

Fuji

16

17

18

3

7

Evercrisp

16

17

18

3

7

Rome

15

16

18

3

5.5

Braeburn

16

17

18

3

7

*Firmness is measured with a mechanical 11-millimeter wide probe inserted into the pared flesh of a fruit to a distance of 8 millimeters. Starch index is measured on equatorial cross section of an apple stained with iodine solution and rated using the Cornell University starch-iodine index chart for apples on a 1-8 scale (Predicting Harvest Date Window for Apples by Blanpied and Silsbey, Cornell Extension Bulletin 221.)

Looking for more? View Michigan State University Extension’s Apple Maturity page for regional reports throughout the state and additional resources.

Tags: apple harvest 2018, apple maturity reports, msu extension, southwest apple maturity report


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