The message from Greg Orchards & Produce Inc., based in Benton Harbor, MI, is clearly one of health and abundance.
“We should have an abundant crop of good-quality apples and peaches,” Sales Manager Marilyn Redder told The Produce News. “Growers have been busy thinning, which is an excellent sign. All our fruit trees, both apples and peaches, are very healthy coming into the 2013 season. We had abundance of blossoms and more leaves present than normal. The trees are green, lush and full of good-quality fruit. A healthy tree produces more flavorful sweet fruit.”
With apples, the company grows Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala and Fuji. Honeycrisp plantings are maturing. Redder said she would not be able to estimate the volume of this year’s apple crop until August.
“We have a long way to go before it is harvested and in storage,” she commented. “We will have a better handle on the crop after June drop. But it will still be too early to get an accurate prediction.”
The apple harvest generally ramps up in mid- to late August and concludes at the end of October.
“Typically harvest time for peaches is late July through mid-September,” she added.
The company’s pear volume has declined over the years. “We handle very few anymore,” Redder stated.
Greg Orchards continues with food safety-audits and inspections. Redder said the company updates these in response to customers’ changing needs.