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2023 Predicted Apple Harvest Dates – West Central Michigan Region

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August 9, 2023 - Author: <shane@msu.edu> and <lavelyem@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 appear to be several days ahead of normal harvest dates. 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 up to a week 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 predicted harvest dates for 2023 for other varieties for the west central region, centered on Hart in Oceana County. This year's predicted dates for other non-modeled varieties are a rough 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

*

Romeo*

11-May

12-May

13-May

11-Sep

2-Oct

10-Oct

*

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

*

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

-8

1

0

-5

0

0

Hart*

-3

4

2

0

8

7

NWMHRS

-8

-2

-8

-3

1

0

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

Table 3. 2023 Predicted harvest date for West central region, based on Enviroweather weather data

Variety

Predicted

Paulared

23-Aug

Zestar

23-Aug

Gingergold

25-Aug

Gala

8-Sep

McIntosh

13-Sep

Honeycrisp

16-Sep

Empire

22-Sep

Jonathan

7-Oct

Jonagold

7-Oct

Fuji

11-Oct

Golden Delicious

11-Oct

Red Delicious

12-Oct

Idared

17-Oct

Rome

22-Oct

Braeburn

2-Nov

Goldrush

8-Nov

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

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