West central Michigan apple maturity report – Sept. 5, 2018

Updates on maturity status for commercial varieties in west central Michigan.

General harvest comments

Harvest of early varieties including Ginger Gold and Paulared is largely concluded in the area. SweeTango harvest is in full swing. Growers are starting to eye Gala in the hopes of getting started as soon as possible—there are a few blocks in the area that can be spot-picked as the week goes on, but full orchard pick of Gala is probably about a week off in the region. McIntosh is actually running behind Gala this year in most locations, and needs at least another week. A hot year is known to push Gala ahead of McIntosh, and it appears that we are in that situation this year. Honeycrisp needs at least another 10-14 days.

The weather has continued to be extremely wet. Most of our weather stations have picked up over 6 inches of rain in the last 10 days, and some spots have had significantly more than that. Take the brief respite from rain as an opportunity to get a cover out for sooty blotch and flyspeck. I already see a little bit of this creeping in to high value acreage of Honeycrisp, Gala, etc.

History tells us that this kind of rain in late August and early September means terrible problems with this disease complex if it is not treated properly. If you have not checked the Michigan State University Enviroweather sooty blotch and flyspeck model to help with management decisions, now would be an excellent time to do so. Don’t let this disease complex mess up a whole season of hard work.

The positive side to all of the rain is that a lot of very small looking processing acreage looks noticeably better even since last week. McIntosh in particular has looked tiny all season long at a lot of spots, but is looking much nicer with all of this rain. The amount of rain that we have had does bring up some concerns with watercore, as well as bitter pit and cracking in susceptible varieties. I did not see any major issues with any of the samples that I pulled this week, but we will have to continue to monitor that situation in the upcoming days.

Individual variety results

The scales used to rate these different metrics on these charts are as follows:

  • Background color: scale 1-4; 1 is fully yellow and 4 is fully green.
  • Russet: scale 1-4; 1 is no russet and 4 is severe russet.
  • Pressure: always listed in pounds per square inch, and two pressure scores are recorded for each apple tested.
  • Watercore: scale 1-4; 1 is no watercore and 4 is severe watercore.
  • Bleeding: scale 0-4; 0 is no bleeding of red color into flesh and 4 is severe bleeding of red color in to flesh.
  • Red: listed as a percentage of the whole fruit with red color.

McIntosh was sampled for the third time this week. Starch index values are moving along compared to last week, but this variety is still a way off from the target starch index of 5 for controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. This variety is actually running behind Gala in terms of maturity in many locations, which is known to happen in a hot year. Size has improved somewhat in the past week with all the rain.

Regional summary data for McIntosh, west central MI 2018

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch index (range)

Brix % (range)

Aug. 20

19.5 (18-24)

2.33 (1-3)

11.1 (9-13)

Aug. 27

16.2 (14-19)

2.45 (1-4)

11.2 (10-14)

Sept. 3

15.15 (13-18)

3.56 (3-6)

11.59 (10-13)

 

McIntosh, Hart area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

35

4

1

14

17

12.1

1

0

3

2

25

4

1

13

14.4

11.8

1

0

4

3

20

4

1

13

15.8

11.7

1

0

4

4

15

4

2

20

15.2

13

1

0

3

5

30

4

1

14.8

16

13.2

1

0

4

6

20

4

1

14

16.2

11.5

1

0

4

7

45

4

1

18.1

14.4

13.3

1

0

3

8

15

4

1

15.8

13.2

13.9

1

0

4

9

10

4

1

15.3

14

12.6

1

0

3

10

15

4

2

16

14.8

11

1

0

4

Ave.

23

4

1.2

15.4

15.1

12.41

1

0

3.6

 

McIntosh, Clay-Banks area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

30

4

2

13.2

14

11.4

1

0

4

2

25

4

1

14.2

15.5

11

1

0

3

3

15

4

1

14

13.4

11.4

1

0

3

4

30

4

1

13.2

14.6

11.9

1

0

3

5

20

4

2

13.4

14.2

10.7

1

0

3

6

35

4

1

18

19.8

11.5

1

0

5

7

35

4

2

16.7

16.1

11.6

1

0

3

8

5

4

1

15.2

17.8

11.4

1

0

3

9

30

4

2

14.8

14

10.9

1

0

3

10

25

4

1

13.2

13.8

11.4

1

0

3

Ave.

25

4

1.4

14.59

15.32

11.32

1

0

3.3

 

McIntosh, Ludington area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

85

4

2

16

17

12

1

0

3

2

90

4

1

14.8

15.2

11.1

1

0

3

3

95

4

1

13.8

15

15

1

0

4

4

70

4

1

15.8

14

13.2

1

0

3

5

85

4

2

13.4

17

11.7

1

0

3

6

85

4

1

15.2

14.2

11.4

1

0

3

7

75

4

2

15

15

10.5

1

0

3

8

75

4

1

14.8

15.5

11.7

1

0

3

9

55

4

1

14

15

11.6

1

0

3

10

65

4

1

16.8

16.1

10.9

1

0

4

Ave.

78

4

1.3

14.96

15.4

11.91

1

0

3.2

 

McIntosh, New Era area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

20

4

1

20.1

19.2

9.8

1

0

2

2

15

4

2

13.8

14.2

10.3

1

0

4

3

20

4

2

14.6

13

11.1

1

0

4

4

15

4

1

13

16.2

10.2

1

0

4

5

20

4

2

15.1

16.4

10.5

1

0

4

6

35

4

1

13.8

14.3

11.3

1

0

6

7

20

4

2

16

17.1

10.8

1

0

4

8

15

4

2

12.9

13

10.7

1

0

4

9

20

4

2

14

16.1

11.2

1

0

4

10

25

4

1

16.6

15.3

11.3

1

0

6

Ave.

20.5

4

1.6

14.99

15.48

10.72

1

0

4.2

Gala maturity is extremely variable across the area right now. Some orchards are at or past the suggested starch index value of 3 for CA storage, but most are still a bit off that mark. As a result, there are a few orchards that are ready for spot picking and others that need at least another week. Look at the data by area listed below the regional summary.

Regional summary data for Gala, west central MI 2018

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch index (range)

Brix % (range)

Aug. 20

25.5 (22-29)

1.05 (1-2)

10.75 (9-12)

Aug. 27

23 (19-30)

1.7 (1-4)

11.6 (10-13)

Sept. 3

21.31 (18-27)

2.03 (1-5)

12.54 (10.5-14.5)

 

Pacific Gala, Benona area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

70

2

2

25.2

20.9

13.2

1

0

1

2

55

2

2

20.2

23.8

11.4

1

0

1

3

45

3

1

20.4

20.2

11.4

1

0

1

4

35

3

2

24.2

24.3

13.4

1

0

1

5

40

2

2

23

22.2

12.2

1

0

1

6

45

2

2

25.8

24.7

11.9

1

0

1

7

80

3

1

22.5

22

12.5

1

0

1

8

85

2

1

23

21.7

11.8

1

0

1

9

30

2

1

20.8

20.5

11.4

1

0

1

10

85

1

1

21.2

21.8

11.6

1

0

1

Ave.

57

2.2

1.5

22.63

22.21

12.08

1

0

1

 

Buckeye Gala, Hart area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

70

2

2

22.9

24.2

13.5

1

0

1

2

65

2

1

22.2

23

12.4

1

0

1

3

45

2

2

20.4

24.3

12.3

1

0

2

4

80

2

3

22

23.1

11.7

1

0

1

5

85

1

2

21.2

20.8

12.3

1

0

2

6

70

1

2

20.8

24.2

11.5

1

0

1

7

75

1

2

21.8

23.3

12.9

1

0

2

8

60

1

2

22.4

23.1

13.3

1

0

2

9

45

2

1

22

21.9

12.5

1

0

2

10

90

1

2

23.2

23.9

13.4

1

0

2

Ave.

68.5

1.5

1.9

21.89

23.18

12.58

1

0

1.6

 

Pacific Gala, Hart area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

20

2

3

19.4

19.2

13.1

1

0

2

2

80

1

2

19.2

19.8

12.3

1

0

2

3

75

2

2

18.4

18.8

12.3

1

0

2

4

70

1

4

18.8

20.9

12.2

1

0

2

5

50

1

2

20.3

20

11.7

1

0

2

6

45

2

3

20.6

23.5

12.5

1

0

2

7

40

2

2

23.4

22

13.2

1

0

2

8

85

1

2

20.8

21.7

12.7

1

0

2

9

40

1

2

20.2

19.2

12.7

1

0

3

10

75

1

2

22.8

20.2

13.4

1

0

3

Ave.

58

1.4

2.4

20.39

20.53

12.61

1

0

2.2

 

Brookfield Gala, Mears area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

80

2

1

21

23.2

13.8

1

0

2

2

85

1

3

22.8

23.2

13.5

1

0

2

3

75

1

1

21.6

18.3

15.8

1

0

4

4

75

2

2

21

21.8

14.7

1

0

4

5

85

1

2

23.8

20.8

13.5

1

0

2

6

90

1

3

21.8

22.2

16

1

0

4

7

85

1

2

22.4

23

14.8

1

0

2

8

75

1

1

21.4

23.9

14

1

0

2

9

80

1

3

18.3

17.3

16

1

0

4

10

75

1

2

25.6

26.1

14.8

1

0

2

Ave.

80.5

1.2

2

21.97

21.98

14.69

1

0

2.8

 

Un-named strain, Ludington area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

45

2

2

20.8

19

11.8

1

0

2

2

40

2

2

19.4

22.7

11.4

1

0

1

3

75

2

2

22.4

23

11.9

1

0

1

4

45

2

1

25.3

22

11.7

1

0

1

5

40

1

1

19.1

18.7

11.5

1

0

2

6

75

2

1

22

26.1

11.6

1

0

1

7

75

2

1

25.1

22.5

11.8

1

0

1

8

30

2

2

25.9

28.1

11.2

1

0

1

9

85

1

2

22.4

24.8

10.9

1

0

1

10

75

1

1

20.4

20.2

12.6

1

0

2

Ave.

58.5

1.7

1.5

22.28

22.71

11.64

1

0

1.3

 

Twin Bee strain, Ludington area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

70

1

2

22.1

18.1

11.6

1

0

1

2

35

2

1

17.8

19

10.8

1

0

1

3

40

2

2

20.2

20

10.9

1

0

1

4

35

1

2

21.8

22.8

11

1

0

1

5

20

1

1

19

16.4

11.6

1

0

2

6

35

2

1

18.7

26.5

11.7

1

0

1

7

40

1

2

21

20.8

11.3

1

0

1

8

60

2

3

18.4

20.1

10.9

1

0

1

9

70

1

2

18.7

22.2

10.1

1

0

1

10

75

2

2

19.2

22.3

10.2

1

0

1

Ave.

48

1.5

1.8

19.69

20.82

11.01

1

0

1.1

 

Pacific Gala, Elbridge area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

65

2

1

19.5

17.4

14.3

1

0

4

2

70

2

2

20.9

20

13.7

1

0

4

3

85

2

2

19.5

19.2

12.4

1

0

3

4

90

2

1

21.6

18.4

12.8

1

0

3

5

85

2

1

17.2

20.6

12.1

1

0

4

6

75

2

2

22

23.6

13.6

1

0

5

7

70

2

1

18.8

19.9

13.1

1

0

5

8

65

1

2

17.1

19.4

12.9

1

0

4

9

80

1

2

20.2

20

14.4

1

0

4

10

90

2

1

20.2

20.5

13.3

1

0

4

Ave.

77.5

1.8

1.5

19.7

19.9

13.26

1

0

4

 

Pacific Gala, Weare Township area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

75

1

2

19.9

19.2

12.3

1

0

2

2

65

3

1

18.9

20.1

11.2

1

0

2

3

75

2

2

22.1

18.9

12.3

1

0

2

4

85

2

2

21.8

23

12.4

1

0

2

5

7

2

1

18.8

19.2

12.2

1

0

3

6

65

2

3

26

22.6

12.5

1

0

1

7

70

2

1

19.2

21

11.7

1

0

2

8

90

2

1

21

19.9

12.7

1

0

2

9

85

2

2

18

20.6

12.5

1

0

3

10

90

2

2

20.8

18.1

14.4

1

0

4

Ave.

70.7

2

1.7

20.65

20.26

12.42

1

0

2.3

Early Fuji was sampled for the third time this week. It has improved in size somewhat between last week and this week, but is still pretty small and poorly colored. The variety is quickly approaching the starch index value of 3 that is suggested for CA storage. Harvest of this variety is likely seven to 10 days off.

Regional summary data for Early Fuji, west central MI 2018

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch index (range)

Brix % (range)

Aug. 20

20.5 (19-23)

1.35 (1-2)

10.75 (9-11.5)

Aug. 27

18 (16-23)

1.85 (1-4)

11.45 (9.5-12)

Sept. 3

17.1 (15-21)

2.3 (2-4)

10.91 (9-12)

 

Early Fuji, Ludington area (site 1 of 2)

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

35

4

1

21

18.1

11.8

1

0

2

2

25

4

1

18.3

15.9

12.3

1

0

3

3

30

4

1

17.2

17.3

11.7

1

0

2

4

20

4

1

16.1

16.2

11.6

1

0

2

5

15

4

3

19.9

21.1

11.7

1

0

2

6

20

4

1

16

17.3

11.9

1

0

2

7

45

4

1

18.4

16.6

12.1

1

0

2

8

20

4

1

16.1

15

11.4

1

0

2

9

25

4

1

16.2

15.8

11.6

1

0

2

10

35

4

1

15.2

15

11.8

1

0

3

Ave.

27

4

1.2

17.44

16.83

11.79

1

0

2.2

 

Early Fuji, Ludington area (site 2 of 2)

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

35

4

1

14.8

15.2

10.1

1

0

2

2

25

4

1

19.8

17.4

10.4

1

0

2

3

25

4

1

15.1

14

10.8

1

0

4

4

30

4

1

16.6

20.8

9.7

1

0

2

5

35

4

1

17.1

19.6

9.9

1

0

2

6

30

4

1

18.9

17

10.7

1

0

2

7

45

4

1

18.3

19.2

10.2

1

0

2

8

40

4

1

15.8

14.2

10.1

1

0

3

9

25

4

1

14

15

9.1

1

0

3

10

45

4

1

17.3

21

9.3

1

0

2

Ave.

33.5

4

1

16.77

17.34

10.03

1

0

2.4

Honeycrisp was sampled for the second time this week. This variety’s test results were very inconsistent in the area, but the variety is typically still well off from the target starch index of 3.5. Most sites are another 10-14 days off from harvest. However, there are some spots that are further along and can be spot picked sooner than that.

Regional summary data for Honeycrisp, west central MI 2018

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch index (range)

Brix % (range)

Aug. 27

16.8 (15-21)

1.3 (1-3)

11.4 (10-12.5)

Sept. 3

16.13 (15-19)

2.07 (1-6)

11.84 (10-13)

 

Honeycrisp, Elbridge area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

20

4

2

16.3

16.3

10.9

1

0

2

2

70

2

3

14.4

16.3

12.1

1

0

6

3

75

2

3

17.9

16.7

11.4

1

0

5

4

65

3

1

15.4

17.8

11.5

1

0

6

5

70

2

3

17.6

19.9

11.4

1

0

4

6

75

2

3

19.4

18.4

10.9

1

0

3

7

80

2

2

16.3

16

10.9

1

0

5

8

85

1

2

18.6

18.8

11.1

1

0

3

9

85

2

2

17.3

20.2

12.9

1

0

4

10

45

3

2

15.6

16

11.8

1

0

2

Ave.

67

2.3

2.3

16.88

17.64

11.49

1

0

4

 

Honeycrisp, Weare Township area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

15

4

1

13

13.5

10.9

1

0

2

2

20

3

2

13.5

13.7

12.6

1

0

5

3

35

4

2

13.2

15

11.9

1

0

3

4

20

4

2

14.8

14

12.8

1

0

2

5

30

4

2

14.8

13.5

12.9

1

0

3

6

20

3

2

14.7

14

11.4

1

0

2

7

15

4

2

15.2

13.6

12.1

1

0

1

8

20

4

2

15

14.2

11.6

1

0

2

9

15

4

2

14

14.9

10.7

1

0

2

10

20

4

2

14

14.9

11.7

1

0

2

Ave.

21

3.8

1.9

14.22

14.13

11.86

1

0

2.4

 

Honeycrisp, Ludington area (site 1 of 2)

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

35

4

2

15

17

12.1

1

0

1

2

40

4

2

14.4

16.7

11.2

1

0

1

3

25

4

2

14.2

14.1

10.3

1

0

1

4

30

4

2

14.8

16.5

11

1

0

1

5

35

4

2

14

18.1

12.1

1

0

2

6

40

4

1

14.9

14.1

12.1

1

0

1

7

20

4

2

12.2

12.9

10.6

1

0

1

8

15

4

1

17.3

15.5

10.9

1

0

2

9

20

4

2

17

14.8

10.9

1

0

1

10

15

4

2

14.3

15.3

11.1

1

0

1

Ave.

27.5

4

1.8

14.81

15.5

11.23

1

0

1.2

 

Honeycrisp, Hart area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

70

4

3

14.2

17

11.2

1

0

3

2

20

4

3

17.9

17.4

11.6

1

0

1

3

45

4

3

16.8

16.8

11.7

1

0

3

4

70

4

2

16.3

18.8

12.3

1

0

3

5

55

4

3

15

13.2

13.1

1

0

4

6

10

4

3

18.2

18.8

12.4

1

0

1

7

25

4

3

18.1

16.8

11.7

1

0

1

8

35

4

3

17.2

15

11.6

1

0

4

9

20

4

2

16

15.8

11.6

1

0

2

10

65

3

3

18

16.4

11.3

1

0

2

Ave.

41.5

3.9

2.8

16.77

16.6

11.85

1

0

2.4

 

Honeycrisp, Clay Banks area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

15

4

3

19.8

16.1

12.3

1

0

2

2

30

4

2

16.8

15.2

11.5

1

0

1

3

25

4

2

16.8

15.8

11.9

1

0

1

4

30

4

2

15.8

16.2

11.9

1

0

1

5

20

4

1

15.9

14.3

11

1

0

1

6

30

3

2

16.6

15.3

11.5

1

0

1

7

25

4

2

17.8

17

11.6

1

0

1

8

20

4

3

15.1

15.2

11.5

1

0

1

9

20

4

2

14.4

15

11.3

1

0

1

10

30

3

3

15.1

18.5

12.1

1

0

1

Ave.

24.5

3.8

2.2

16.41

15.86

11.66

1

0

1.1

 

Honeycrisp, Mears area

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

25

4

1

17

18.2

12.5

1

0

2

2

20

4

2

15.5

15

12.2

1

0

2

3

35

4

2

14

16.8

12.5

1

0

3

4

25

4

2

16.2

15.5

13.6

1

0

2

5

15

4

2

16

15.4

12.1

1

0

2

6

25

4

2

19

19.9

12.3

1

0

2

7

20

4

2

15.4

18.8

12.1

1

0

1

8

35

4

1

16.8

19

13.7

1

0

2

9

20

4

2

17.1

16.4

12.6

1

0

1

10

15

4

2

15.2

18

11.9

1

0

1

Ave.

23.5

4

1.8

16.22

17.3

12.55

1

0

1.8

 

Honeycrisp, Ludington area (site 2 of 2)

Fruit No.

Red (%)

Background color

Russet

Pressure 1

Pressure 2

Brix (%)

Watercore

Bleeding

Starch index

1

25

4

3

15.1

15.5

12.3

1

0

2

2

20

4

3

17

20

12.3

1

0

1

3

35

4

2

18.5

18.3

12.4

1

0

1

4

15

4

2

16

14.2

11.3

1

0

2

5

25

4

2

16

17.2

11.2

1

0

1

6

30

4

2

17

20.2

11.5

1

0

1

7

45

4

3

18.6

15

12.4

1

0

2

8

30

4

2

17.5

14.2

13.7

1

0

2

9

35

3

3

16.8

19

13.3

1

0

3

10

15

4

1

15.5

15.6

11.7

1

0

1

Ave.

27.5

3.9

2.3

16.8

16.92

12.21

1

0

1.6

Jonathan was sampled for the first time this week, and is still at least another week out from reaching the recommended CA storage starch index value of 3.5. This variety is on the small side at most locations, but the recent rains should help with this in the coming days.

Regional summary data for Jonathan, west central MI 2018

Sample date

Firmness lbs. (range)

Starch index (range)

Brix % (range)

Sept. 3

19.5 (18-23)

2.3 (2-3)

11.5 (10-13)

I have included the table for optimal firmness and starch index for the major commercial varieties in our area in the table below. It’s always a good idea to take some time to refresh on your targets each season based on intended duration of CA storage for the variety in question.

Optimal fruit firmness and starch index for various lengths of CA storage.

 

Variety

Firmness (pounds)

 Starch Index

Short CA

Medium 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

Fuji

16

17

18

3

7

Rome

15

16

18

3

5.5

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


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