For the past 42 years Milne Fruit Products representatives have been recording vital information to predict the Concord Grape harvest and crop yields. We have monitored winter’s effect on the plants, watched buds break, counted clusters, conducted berry counts and called veraison (onset of ripening). This year’s veraison call has been completed, and we’ve calculated the yield and harvest calendar for the 2011 crop.
“The effects of the big freeze we had last November are apparent in this year’s expected crop,” said Andy Schilperoort, Milne’s grower relations manager. “Typically we see an average yield of 8.4 tons per acre. Some areas will yield as little as 4 tons per acre. Statewide there will be approximately 20% less Concord than average years.”
Additionally, this has been one of the coolest growing seasons ever. Schilperoort called veraison on September 7, about three weeks later than the typical year. The onset of ripening usually signals there is a month left until harvest gets underway. Schilperoort optimistically added, “The upside of having summer temperatures peaking at 90 rather than over 100 is that the berries are large, plump and healthy-looking.”
When the grapes start arriving at the production facility over the next week, Milne will process around the clock and carefully monitor product quality.
Please contact your Milne sales representative (509.786.2611) or broker to facilitate your procurement strategies.