Growing apples profitably for today’s market is a challenge. Beside all technological knowledge, growers must have management skills, if they want to have a successfully production season.
Many growers have difficulties at harvesting and handling the fruits. They have to know when to pick apples, because harvesting period and the duration affects on the quality, durability, transportation and storage of apples.
A farmer’s ability to successfully harvest and handle his fruits could be the difference between financial success and failure.
When to pick apples
Harvesting apples at just the right time is key, not only to obtaining the highest quality fruit but also to maximize the storage life. Each variety of apple has its own maturation time and can be dependent upon weather conditions during the growing season. For example, apples will ripen earlier if there is a mild, sunny spring which kick starts the trees fruiting cycle early. Because of this, you should gauge harvest time through other indicators rather than a specific date on the calendar.
First of all, mature apples are firm, crisp and juicy with good color and a developed flavor characteristic of the variety. The consequences of a premature harvest result in lower yield (reduced fruit weight), higher cooking loss, irregular shape of the fruits, atypical and a weaker flavor, poorer meat texture, weaker storage capacity and higher incidence of physiological disorders. If, however, the fruits are harvested too late, the duration of their consumption shortening, fruits fall off, softer, are characterized by lower content of acids, poorer tolerate transportation, are less storage capacity and are more common occurrence of water-core.
How to pick apples
Apples should never be pulled off the tree. Otherwise, the tree is disturbed, other fruits may fall off and fruit spurs can be removed with the apples, which reduce next year’s crop potential.
One of the easiest picking techniques is the “rolling method”. Using this method the apple is gently turned upside down on the spur. If the fruit is ready to pick it usually separates easily without disturbing other apples or the fruit spur. After picking, apples should be carefully set in the picking container, because fruit hitting other fruit, or hitting the side of the container may causes bruising and decay.
On the fruit quality and its resistance during the total turnover the biggest mark left time and the method of harvesting. Well-known adage is that the quality of fruits occurs in the farm, where certainly a significant role plays the application of modern agricultural practices. Provided that all measures have been implemented in the best way, the time and method of harvesting have a significant impact on the quality and sustainability of the products.
How to determine the optimal time, i.e. the day of harvesting is very important issue and one of the most responsible jobs, because the final financial result depends on that, especially if the fruits are intended for long period of storage.
The organization of modern fruit production is unthinkable without regular record keeping of all agro-technical measures, from planting to harvesting and storage of finished products, which you can do easily with AGRIVI farm management system. There you can maintain a complete records of your employees, inventory, finance and the best practice processes will reveal how and when to perform a particular activity, such as when to start harvesting.