Hello all,

You might recall the discussion about widespread frost/cold damage to
Washington State tree fruits this past April?  I commented that it would
take some time to evaluate and make some crop predictions based on fact.
That necessary time has passed, and I feel honor-bound to report the
preliminary outlook.

Apples:  We were set up for a very large crop, 120 million packed 20 Kg
boxes forecasted, 85 million of which would be cultivars other than Red
Delicious.  Now it looks as if we will fall into the normal crop range.
The king blossom was killed by frost in a modest percentage of the
acreage, but the secondary flowers took over, and we had to chemically
thin almost everywhere to reduce the fruit load.  Hand thinning is
currently under way, utilizing the crews waiting for the delayed cherry
harvest.  Quality looks great to date, no frost marking or russet
evident.   

Pears:  The winter pear crop looked great after bloom, but cool weather
during the pollination period has led to a larger than usual "June drop"
(in May) and lower production forecast.  Still, it is forecast that we
will have production within normal variation.  

Cherries:  This crop was the most effected.  Frost and poor pollination
hit many orchards hard.  We have been rapidly expanding acreage over the
past decade or more, and planting very productive cultivars, so the
potential for production increases is strong, and increasing production
potential is expected for years to come.  We expected the largest crop
ever this year, and that is certainly not going to occur.  Production is
expected to be reduced 40-50%, with the losses not evenly distributed
across the diverse production areas.  Many orchards will not be
harvested, others have normal crops.  Some orchards have reduced crops
that may be harvested, but the pickers will demand higher than the usual
pay rates to do so, as they don't like to move ladders every few
minutes.  If we have a 50% crop, it will equal the production of 2004 or
exceed any season before that.  So, we still can sell a lot of cherries,
but will not meet the pre-season forecasts.      

Timothy J. Smith
WSU Extension, 
Chelan, Douglas & Okanogan Counties 
-----Original Message-----
From: apple-crop@virtualorchard.net
[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Larry Lutz
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 7:46 AM
To: Apple-Crop
Subject: Apple-Crop: Hail in the Great Lakes area


Greetings,

Just saw a report on hail in the Great Lakes Area. Could any of our
friends update us as to how bad it was ? 

Hopefully the orchards were spared....

Regards,

Larry Lutz
Nova Scotia



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Apple-Crop is not moderated. Therefore, the statements do not represent
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