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Grapes, apples may have record harvest   ADVERTISEMENT

Grapes, apples may have record harvest

YATES, SCHUYLER COUNTIES—The state grape and apple harvest for this year is shaping up to be one of the best on record. Viticulture Extension Specialist with the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program Luke Haggerty said this year’s grape harvest will be, as far as tonnage goes, one of the best harvests ever, or will “at least rank in the top five.” He said this year’s grape harvest will be one to compare other harvests to in the future.
Haggerty said one of the main reasons for the large yield this year is because the frost last year killed off many of the primary buds, which resulted in a low yield, which helped to set up this year for a high yield crop. He said combined with a good growing season, the estimated average yield for grapes is 8.5 tons an acre.
Haggerty said some vineyards employed a method known as crop thinning to enhance their results. He said many vineyards started off the year at around 16 tons per acre, which is “way more than they could actually get ripe.” Haggerty said growers would go through with their harvester at low speeds and shake off approximately three to four tons an acre to bring the crop down to a more manageable size and ensure better results in the future.
Grapes are not the only crop prospering in the region, as apples are also on pace for an excellent harvest. Roxanne Wager  of Apple Barrel Orchards in Penn Yan said “this season has been perfect” with warm and timely rains. She said Apple Barrel has begun the 2013 harvest, and the Macintosh and Cortland Apples she is picking  have “an excellent flavor and good size.”
Other area farmers are having similar success. Jeff Morris of  Glenora Farms in Dundee said the fruit he has harvested so far have “a nice size and color” and, as long as there is no hail or early frost, this year’s crop promises to be the best he has seen.
Rick Reisinger of Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen said the trees are producing more fruit than normal, attributing this to a “great growing season.”
“Everything fell into place this year,” Reisinger said. “We had no late frosts, so flowertime conditions were good, then we’ve had just the right amount of rain.”



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