Ontario apple growers picking early

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Jlye

Apple harvest is well underway.

According to the Ontario Apple Growers, lots of July rain and hot, sunny days in August helped the fruit grow and build flavour.

Sunshine changes an apple’s starch levels into sugar.

While this year’s harvest is expected to be about 15 percent smaller than in 2020, the yield is expected to still be plentiful.

And according to Ontario Apple Grower Chair, Cathy McKay, apples are maturing a few days to almost a week sooner so consumers may have a chance to pick their own a little earlier than usual.

Ontario farmers grow approximately 15 main varieties of apples along the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, as well as Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The farm gate value of the Ontario apple crop is approximately $90 million, which includes sales to fresh and processing markets as well as on-farm/pick- your-own.