Pick ’em soon

Angelica Haggert
By Angelica Haggert September 29, 2017 11:28

Pick ’em soon

The apple crops at Wagner’s Orchards in Windsor might yield less apples this year, but the apples are definitely larger. Photo by Angelica Haggert.

The apple crops at Wagner’s Orchards in Windsor might yield less apples this year, but the apples are definitely larger. (Photo by Angelica Haggert)

Ontario apple growers are expecting a smaller crop with larger apples this year.

The inconsistent weather – from drought conditions to downpour rain to hail – has caused problems with tree growth and the way the fruit was pollinated.

Because of these factors, close to 200 commercial apple orchards in Ontario may find their season ends earlier this year.

Local grower Wagner’s Apple Orchards in Maidstone has found the total number of apples is down.

“We had poor pollination because of the cold rainy weather in early May,” said Wagner’s. “Then it got dry so that was a problem for anyone without irrigation.”

Pollination problems have been on the rise since 2006, according to Pollination Canada.

Pollinators include bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths and birds, although bees provide 70 per cent of pollination in Canada. When it is rainy or cold, bees do not leave the hives, resulting in less fruit being pollinated.

Ontario Apple Growers’ chair, Charles Stevens, said although the crops may be slightly smaller, the fruit will be better.

“All the rain we’ve had this year will mean larger, juicier apples with great colour because cool weather creates colour,” said Stevens in a release.

Thiessen Apple Orchards in Leamington posted a notice to their Facebook page, encouraging people to come out and pick their own early on.

Mother Nature has given us a light crop this year in some areas,” the notice said. “Along with the warm weather for September, we had to begin to pick some varieties so they wouldn’t fall on the ground and be wasted.”

Almost 15 different kinds of apples are grown at the many different orchards throughout Windsor-Essex.

Angelica Haggert
By Angelica Haggert September 29, 2017 11:28

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