Article by: Hari Yellina
The approaching apple season in Ontario appears to be an excellent year for Honeycrisp apples. According to apple grower Cathy McKay, chair of the Ontario Apple Growers, “they were trying to have the fruit thinned early and a lot of them have been hand thinning the Honeycrisp so that it will have a big yield again next year.” However, despite the fact that it is still early, an average yield is expected overall. There was strong pollination because there were minimal reports of frost and a large bloom, according to McKay. But this summer has also been interesting. Although there haven’t been any heat waves, there have been some brief hot spells.
In general, Ontario starts harvesting later types of apples in late August and continues until early November. However, if the crop is small, growers may finish by the end of October. All of this comes after a successful season for Ontario apples. There was no leftover crop this marketing season, according to McKay. As part of the marketing strategy for this year, the Newcastle region in Ontario will once again host a professional orchard tour on August 4. Pricing is now difficult to predict because demand is not entirely recognised. Fruit, notably apples, has been mentioned as a product whose price has increased significantly. Consumer spending on apples may decline.
In addition, production expenses have increased dramatically across the board, including those for fuel, pesticides, and fertiliser. Many of our inputs are more expensive than if we purchased them domestically, according to McKay. The benefit for growers in Ontario is that there is a sizable market nearby. As a result, we aren’t travelling from Washington to make those lengthy deliveries, which is another important consideration. We anticipate recovering some of our increased costs through the market. McKay also mentions that larger farmers in Ontario continue to sow trees, especially plants for new and club kinds, in the future. “It’s likely that the total number of apple growers is stable or slightly declining.”