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Ag Weather Impacts-Apple harvest
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: August 24, 2018

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Early varieties of apples are now being picked across the inland northwest. One of the prime areas for growing apples is the Walla Walla Valley. Yesterday, I spoke with Todd Davis of Davis Orchards near Milton Freewater. They grow several varieties of apples on around 200 acres. I asked Todd to give me a rundown on this years growing conditions.

Todd:

The spring and summer were good until it got hot. We’re just trying to keep everything from burning. Have to do a lot of the evaporative cooling and a lot of sunburn protection. We spray Eclipse. It’s a calcium boron that paints the trees white and reflects the light off of them.

Prior to the heat in July, the mild and wet conditions in May and early June presented it’s own challenges.

Todd: We had fire blight. We definitely had fire blight strain. It rained in May and early June which kept the fire blight going, going and going. It was bad, but we didn’t have it as bad as a lot of people. We didn’t lose any orchards, but we lost trees. In the spring, we spray with a lot of preventative biologicals. We try to get them to build the inoculum on the bloom with the good guys, so the bad guys don’t have a place to get started.

Since they have many apple varieties, Todd says they normally pick apples until the end of October.

Todd: We start with early Honeys and now we’re picking Galas, then we’ll go pick some more Honeys, then reds, goldens, Fujis.

In addition to Davis Orchards, fruit stands with fresh apples can be enjoyed for these next few months.

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