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Growers sample Cornell apples

Some of the more than 25 growers taste-testing Cornell apple varieties.

Some of the more than 25 growers taste-testing Cornell apple varieties.

More than 25 New York apple growers gathered on campus January 9 to sample the latest pair of varieties released by Cornell, ‘New York 1’ and ‘New York 2’. The varieties — whose branding names have yet to be determined — were developed by breeder Susan Brown, associate chair of the Department of Horticulture, and will be grown exclusively by New York orchardists through a licensing agreement with an industry group, New York State Apple Growers LLC.

The two new varieties have been under development for more than 15 years. The juicy snap of “New York 1” recalls its ‘Honeycrisp’ parent, but the trees produce more reliably and the fruit stores well. Sweet and tart “New York 2” is suited for baking and fresh use, and boasts the added benefit of higher levels of vitamin C, says Brown. (See Two new apple varieties released for NYS growers only, Cornell Chronicle, May 4, 2010.)

The apples, grown at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and in grower-cooperator orchards in western New York, were harvested at several dates through the fall and subjected to different post-harvest storage practices. “It’s important to determine the best time to harvest and how to store these new varieties before they hit the market so that consumers always get the best these apples have to offer,” says Chris Watkins, associate director, Cornell Cooperative Extension and post-harvest researcher in the Department of Horticulture.

To ensure retailers and consumers have sufficient supply, New York growers have committed to planting more than 950 acres of these two new varieties over the next several years, says Brown. The new varieties will likely be available with the fall 2013 harvest.

Chris Watkins tallies results while research support specialist Jackie Nock and PhD candidate Franziska Doerflinger look on.

Chris Watkins tallies results while research support specialist Jackie Nock and PhD candidate Franziska Doerflinger look on.

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