Apple prices up this year

Due to a disastrous apple harvest in the East, B.C. growers will benefit from higher prices for their crop this year

The misfortunes of apple growers in Eastern Canada translate into good news for B.C. growers, with prices for this year’s apple crop already 10 to 20 per cent higher than last year.

A late spring frost decimated apple crops in Eastern Canada and the U.S., so local fruit is in heavy demand from buyers who normally would purchase it in the east.

Hank Markgraf, field services manager for the Okanagan Tree Fruit Co-operative, says this year’s harvest is only partway through, but overall fruit quality is good, including colour and firmness.

A cool spring here means fruit is slightly smaller, but the quantity of fruit is up from what was forecast, just under three million 20-pound cartons.

The crop in neighbouring Washington State is also up, at about 120 million cartons, but it’s hoped that U.S. sellers will sell into the Eastern U.S. rather than focussing on the B.C. markets this year, he commented.

Very hot weather this summer slowed ripening of the crop, because trees tend to shut down during hot weather, so apples are being picked a bit later than usual, Markgraf said.

MacIntosh apples have already been picked and growers are in the midst of harvesting Royal Galas. They’ll be followed by Ambrosias and Spartans.

This week’s colder nights have helped increase the colouring in them prior to picking, noted Markgraf, as did a couple of cooler nights in early September with the early varieties of apples.

Chris Pollock, marketing manager for B.C. Tree Fruits, the marketing arm for the OTFC, says sales teams are setting up sales programs for Eastern Canadian customers and exports to Southeast Asia.

“It’s an opportunity for us this year, but we’d like to create partnerships for the long term, not just a one-off,” he explained. As well, he said they must first ensure their loyal Western Canadian customers are looked after first.

He did speculate that this year’s crop could be sold earlier than in most years, although they need to be able to have fruit available to provide continued sales to customers through spring as well.

Prices are definitely better than they have been in recent years, he said, and that’s not expected to change.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

Just Posted

Late night confrontation between two men in Peachland

RCMP was called to the scene of a physcial encounter on Saturday evening where one man was injured

Kelowna hotel suffers water damage

Guests at the Royal Anne Hotel in Bernard were greeted by firefighters last night

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Hodge: You can’t make this stuff up

Kelowna columnist with a story that proves in life, it’s never too late

UPDATED: Man dies after struck by vehicle

A man died after being hit by a vehicle in West Kelowna

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

First-place Warriors edge Caps, visit ‘Backs today

West Kelowna scores twice in 25 seconds early in third to overtake Cowichan Valley in BCHL action

Grab a book; thank your librarian

All libraries are cornerstones of their communities and we celebrate them during library month

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

Twarynski trick sends Rockets past ‘Hawks

Rockets end five-game winless streak with victory Friday over Portland

Vehicle leaves scene after striking lamp post

After hitting a lamp post on Springfield Road, a vehicle has left the scene

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read