(FISHERS, N.Y.) – Apple harvest is now officially underway across the state of New York, from the lower Hudson Valley to the upper Champlain Valley – and growers are harvesting a vintage crop, New York Apple Association (NYAA) reports.
The state’s nearly 700 apple growers are now expected to pick about 32 million bushels by the time harvest concludes in November, a modern record. New York’s average production is 29.5 million bushels.
Excellent weather conditions – beginning during this year’s bloom and growing season, and continuing into harvest so far – mean that this year’s fruit will be large and juicy, with high natural sugars. Meanwhile, recent new plantings mean that consumers will find more of the New York state apple varieties that they love.
“Good news, New York state apple fans: This year’s apple harvest is on time, and is now in full swing across New York state,” said NYAA President Jim Allen. “Our consumers who have been waiting for us to get back into the market after last year’s short crop will have lots to celebrate this fall.”
Harvest of New York’s top variety McIntosh is now underway in the Eastern part of the state and will soon be harvesting statewide, Allen reported. Harvest of all other varieties, including consumer favorites including Zestar, Gala and HoneyCrisp, is underway across the state.
Farm markets across the state are now stocked with new-crop fruit and fresh apple cider, and retail stores are stocking their shelves. Pick-your-own orchards are also open statewide, offering wholesome, healthy family fun. To find a farm market or pick-your-own orchard, and to access NYAA’s apple recipe library, visit www.nyapplecountry.com.
“We didn’t just recover from last year, we’ve roared back and more,” said Allen. Devastated by frosts that killed much of last year’s fruit in the bud, the state’s 2012 crop was 17.1 million bushels per U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NYAA’s consulting dietitian also celebrated arrival of the new crop as the state’s schoolchildren head back to class.
“Apples are the perfect addition to every school lunch,” said Linda Quinn, MS, RD. “Their natural sweetness comes packaged with a big serving of fiber so that fuel is released to the body more slowly, giving your child healthy energy while leaving her feeling fuller for longer.”
To promote this year’s crop, NYAA has enlisted New York native and international soccer star Abby Wambach. In July, Wambach assumed the title of women’s world record holder for career goals scored. Television and radio commercials featuring Abby are airing now; she will also be featured in in-store signage starting later this fall.
“We want to score the soccer mom vote,” said NYAA’s Allen.
NYAA is also airing television ads that follow a New York state apple from blossom this spring to its recent harvest. View the Wambach and “Blossom to Awesome” videos on NYAA’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/newyorkapples1.
“Apple a Day” Sweepstakes kicks off
Want to win a New York state apple a day for a year? Enter NYAA’s harvest sweepstakes by visiting www.nyapplecountry.com. One lucky winner will receive a $500 gift card, the equivalent needed to buy one apple a day for 365 days.
About New York Apple Association, Inc.
A nonprofit agricultural trade association based in Fishers, N.Y., NYAA represents the state’s commercial apple growers. The grower-funded association supports profitable growing and marketing of New York apples through increasing demand for apples and apple products, representing the industry at state and federal levels, and serving as the primary information source on New York apple-related matters. For more information, visit www.nyapplecountry.com.
Source: New York Apple Association, Inc.