Spring bloom has come and gone for SweeTango apple trees across the U.S. and Canada, and growers are uniformly positive about volume, sizing and timing of the 2018 crop.
Fruit sizing is estimated to be slightly larger than last year, with harvest beginning in mid-August in Washington and moving east in the following weeks, according to a news release.
SweeTango is grown and marketed by Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative, with grower members located from Nova Scotia to Washington state.
Marketers describe the apple as sweet with a touch of citrus, honey and spice, with a loud crunch and lots of juice.
The managed apple variety broke into the top 10 apple varieties at retail during peak SweeTango season last September, the only club apple to do so that month.
After a moderate winter and a spring with mixed warm and cool weather, SweeTango orchards in Washington State had classic “snowball” bloom that has since set very well, said Brianna Shales, communications manager for Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers, in the release.
Stemilt expects volume to be about the same as in 2017 but with a higher ratio of organic SweeTango with one orchard completing the organic transition period.
Midwest orchards have set a good crop despite late snowfall, Lake City, Minn.-based Pepin Heights Orchards’ director of operations Chet Miller said in the release.
“Thanks to good bloom weather, the bees got their job done and we set a good crop,” Miller said.
Fowler Farms, Wolcott, N.Y., anticipates good SweeTango yield after ideal winter and spring weather, David Williams, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release.
A cool spring in Nova Scotia, Canada, provided good bloom conditions, and Coldbrook, Nova Scotia-based Scotian Gold is expecting its largest SweeTango crop yet, director of sales Dennis MacPherson said in the release.
“The forecast is calling for above seasonal temperatures throughout the summer in our region, which will help in bringing us good size and color again this year,” he said.