Apple crops down on expectations

The unpredictable weather throughout the 2009 growing season may have adversely affected apple crops around the country.

According to Grower, English Apples and Pears expects its overall harvest weight to be down on expectations.

It stated that the reason for this is the lack of rain throughout the summer months, with chief executive Adrian Barlow revealing that the tonnage could be around 20 per cent less than anticipated.

On the plus side, the expert said the dry conditions had made harvesting the apples less problematic, while the cool August nights have helped make them juicier.

"We have had no difficulties with the handling of the crop and have been able to get on with the picking," he explained.

Mr Barlow added that while the total tonnage is expected to be down on the original predictions, it is still likely to be greater than 2008s levels.

In other news, Rubens apples from Norman Collet have enjoyed a bumper harvest in only their second season, the firm told Grower.