Gala apples are in demand. “We see Gala movement going really well and will lead to strong summer pricing for them,” says Michael Van Meekeren of Van Meekeren Farms. “On pricing, some varieties are higher than average and probably influenced by the shorter volumes out of Washington, for example, Galas.” He adds that most other varieties are on average in pricing.
Demand for apples from Nova Scotia in general has been steady since December, likely assisted by what looks like an overall smaller amount of fruit available in the world. Van Meekeren anticipates demand to stay this way for the near future. “Last year’s crop has cleaned up very well. We’ve sold out of Pazazz and we’re about to run out of Ambrosia. Honeycrisp is the only one that’s still going pretty strong and at the current movement, I think they won’t carry through the whole way to the new crop,” he says.
Looking ahead at the 2023 crop, currently it is in full bloom and Van Meekeren says it’s set up for a really good crop. “Until last week everything was a little late. We had a cold spring and it was very slow. However yesterday was 30+ Celsius degree days so things got hot quickly and it looks to be on schedule right now,” he says. While the region has been dry--parts of the province are seeing wildfires, which are a rarity in Nova Scotia--the winter did see a few days of extreme cold temperatures. While stone fruit has been impacted by these temperatures, it looks as though apples haven’t been affected.
Regionally, the province will be up in volume in a few key varieties--Honeycrisp, Ambrosia and Pazazz, because of new plantings coming on, and likely down in some older varieties that are being pulled out of the ground.