2023 Predicted Apple Harvest Dates – Northwest Michigan Region

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August 9, 2023 - Author: <rothwel3@msu.edu>, <lauwerse@msu.edu> and <shane@msu.edu>,

The information below includes predicted dates for peak harvest. Actual harvest dates may begin before and extend after these dates, and it is likely to vary based on specific location and conditions. This information is intended to be used by commercial growers to start planning harvest management. Interpretation is necessary for marketing purposes and fruit may be available in retail locations at different times.

The predicted harvest dates for all Michigan State University Enviroweather Stations are now available online and can be determined using the Apple Maturity Model on the Enviroweather Website. These models for McIntosh, Jonathan, and Red Delicious calculate predict harvest dates based on full bloom date and the temperatures in the 30 days after bloom.

Most varieties are predicted to harvest one to several days earlier than normal. Harvest dates may need to be adjusted as we get closer to harvest.

Crop load is very good in most locations. In general, return bloom was good in most varieties and most locations. Gala crop load is moderate to heavy across the region. Honeycrisp crop load is somewhat variable across the state.  Blocks with light croploads will mature 3 or 4 days sooner than the predicted harvest dates while heavy crop loads will mature 7 days later than the predicted dates.

Conditions during August and September will also affect harvest dates. If hot stressful weather occurs in August or September, apple maturity will be advanced, especially in early to mid-ripening cultivars.

Stop-drop materials. ReTain application should be applied 30 DBH (days before harvest). Harvista can be applied 3 to 7 DBH. Use Table 3, 2023 Predicted Harvest Dates for Other Varieties, to time ReTain applications and adjust for varieties and locations.

The tables below list the normal and predicted harvest dates for varieties across the state. Table 1 lists the predicted harvest dates for locations across the state of Michigan for 2023. Table 2 lists this year’s predictions compared to normal and last year. Table 3 lists the normal harvest dates for other varieties for the Northwest Michigan area based on weather data from the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center in Leeland County. This year's predicted dates for other non-modeled varieties are an estimate based on the McIntosh, Jonathan, and Red Delicious predicted dates and historical experience in the area.

Table 1. 2023 Full bloom dates and predicted peak harvest dates

 Station

Full bloom date 2023

Predicted harvest date 2023

Observer

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

SWMREC

4-May

5-May

7-May

4-Sep

18-Sep

27-Sep

Shane

Deerfield*

5-May

7-May

5-May

6-Sep

26-Sep

2-Oct

N/A*

Romeo*

11-May

12-May

13-May

11-Sep

2-Oct

10-Oct

N/A*

Sparta

7-May

8-May

8-May

7-Sep

27-Sep

3-Oct

Brown

Hart

13-May

15-May

16-May

13-Sep

7-Oct

12-Oct

Lavely

NWMHRS

14-May

18-May

20-May

14-Sep

4-Oct

9-Oct

Rothwell

*Dates indicated by model, not by actual observation.

Table 2. 2023 predicted peak harvest dates compared to normal and last year.

Station

Days –/+ normal*

Days -/+ last year*

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

McIntosh

Jons

Reds

SWMREC

-6

-4

-1

-4

-3

-2

Deerfield*

-4

5

-6

-1

3

3

Romeo*

-2

7

7

-2

5

6

Sparta

-9

1

-4

-5

-2

0

Hart*

-3

4

2

0

8

7

NWMHRS

-8

-2

-8

-3

1

0

*Dates indicated by model, not by actual observation
* - is earlier, + is later than normal

Table 3. 2023 Predicted harvest date for northwest Michigan region, based on Enviroweather data.

Variety

Predicted

Paulared

26-Aug

Zestar

26-Aug

Gingergold

28-Aug

Gala

12-Sep

McIntosh

14-Sep

Honeycrisp

23-Sep

Empire

1-Oct

Jonathan

4-Oct

Jonagold

5-Oct

Fuji

9-Oct

Golden Delicious

10-Oct

Red Delicious

9-Oct

Idared

16-Oct

Rome

16-Oct

Braeburn

1-Nov

Goldrush

8-Nov

*Dates in this table were determined from average observations by industry members in the region.

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