Lyndonville, NY . . . August 10, 2021 Apple orchards in the Northeast emerged from a long winter with no significant damage and a strong bloom, which has laid the foundation for an excellent crop across virtually all eastern varieties.
Brett Baker, Corporate Vice President and Co-Owner of United Apple Sales BB #:170382 and a third-generation apple grower in western New York, indicated that they are excited about a very strong crop after last year’s season that experienced some stress from drought.
“We had a good spring and solid summer with ample rain and consistent sunshine. The eastern region has not suffered from the extreme heat that has affected the upper Northwest. Trees have good foliage and are loaded with fruit. The cool nights in the Northeast are helping to develop high color fruit and great flavor, which are hallmarks of our regional program.
“Our mainline varietals such as Fuji, Gala, Ginger Golds, and Macs are showing a good balance between increased volume and larger fruit sizing,” commented Baker.
He indicated that the club variety orchards for EverCrisp, Ruby Frost and Snap Dragon are maturing and producing more fruit with the preferred sizing that retailers are seeking for trays ranging from 72 Ct to 88 Ct. This compliments the volume of smaller fruit used for bagging programs.
Picking for early varietals is on track with Paula Red and Ginger Golds starting in mid-August. Gala and McIntosh will start in early September, Honeycrisp will begin in mid-September, and Fuji will be starting picking in late September.
Baker indicated that during the height of the pandemic consumers were opting for bagged fruit due to concerns about handling of bulk fruit and food safety. “We will have a full manifest of sizes across our regional varieties to work with retail partners, and offer a complement of packs at a time of year when apples are celebrated,” noted Baker.
Washington Crop Challenges
Weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest have created unprecedented heat that has affected a cross section of fruit including cherries, apples and pears.
Josh Tunstall, United Apple’s Vice President of West Coast Operations, indicated it is too early to assess the conditions of the full crop.
“In my sixteen years in the produce business, my experience is that each year has its own characteristics and unique conditions, and 2021 will be no different. There will be some challenges but no real significant changes to the harvest schedule as early Gala started in late July, and Honeycrisp and other varieties will be ready in late August and early September,” said Tunstall.
The current projection is that the Washington volume will be greater in 2021 with 130 million cases vs. the 118 million cases in 2020.
“With our diverse grower base, we are confident that we will have the volume of both conventional and organic varieties to fully support our retail partners, with the quality of fruit that Washington is known for,” commented Tunstall.
Addition to Sales Team
United Apple has brought on a new sales associate to assist with business development and account management. Brandon Derrick has joined the corporate staff in the Lyndonville, NY headquarters. He has sales and strategic account management experience with a variety of fresh produce categories.
“We are excited to have Brandon join the United team. His experience with retail customers and export/import companies will be helpful as we expand our domestic programs and new initiatives with international clients and markets,” said Baker.
Derrick has a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University in Carson, California.
About United Apple Sales (www.unitedapplesales.com)
United Apples Sales is a leading northeast grower, packer, shipper, and marketer of domestic apples, pears and cherries. The company has deep roots in the agricultural market starting with its initial farm in 1905. Over the past 11 decades, it has evolved into an integrated produce company that also has import and export capabilities to offer full-year supply assurance and merchandising services to retail, wholesale and canning and juicing companies. United Apples is a member of a select group of orchardists growing new apple varieties: EverCrisp, RubyFrost and SnapDragon.
For additional information contact Brett Baker @ 585-765-2460.