This season’s sweet spot in apples is found in British Columbia, where the 3.6 million bushel crop will be up 22 per cent from a year ago. The numbers are led by 1.6 million bushels of Gala and 820,000 bushels of Ambrosia – two of the top-ranked consumer favourites.
While Ontario’s crop is expected to be off by 20 per cent with 5.8 million bushels, the quality is excellent says Tom O’Neill, general manager, Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association. “Volumes are down because apple trees are still recovering from last year’s drought,” he explains. “They didn’t all set fruit.”
Varieties with lower volumes include Spy, Honeycrisp, Golden and Red Delicious apples. Plentiful varieties include McIntosh (1.3 million bushels) followed by Empire (983,000 bushels) and Gala (873,000 bushels).
Quebec enjoyed a better season, with 5.5 million bushels down only one per cent. As with Ontario, McIntosh (3.2 million bushels) leads the way followed by Spartan (513,000 bushels) and Cortland (446,000 bushels).
New Brunswick growers are celebrating a good season with 220,000 bushels up by five per cent. McIntosh (90,000 bushels) tops the variety category with Cortland (49,000 bushels) and Honeycrisp (20,000 bushels) following.
Nova Scotia also enjoyed good growing conditions with projections for 2.2 million bushels, up by five per cent. The province leads with Honeycrisp (330,000 bushels) followed by Northern Spy (310,000 bushels) and McIntosh (190,000 bushels).
O’Neill presented these statistics at last month’s U.S. Apple Outlook Conference in Chicago. Overall, the Canadian apple harvest estimate is at 16.4 million bushels, down by five per cent from a year ago. He reported that Canadian apple acreage has been consistent during the last four years at 43,000 acres, with 38,000 in production.
Estimates for Top Five Canadian Apple Varieties by Volume for 2017
5.1 million bushels
2.8 million bushels
1.3 million bushels
1.2 million bushels