2023 Season Summary

As we enter the holiday season and outside activities shift from removing fruit to removing snow, we’d like to take some time to reflect on the past year. This year in particular presented some unique struggles for fruit growers. Despite this, GDD50 for the year ended approximately in line with the 20-year average.


Dry conditions in the early season set us up for low apple scab and cherry leaf spot pressure throughout the season.  While the lack of precipitation continued for most of May and June, rains at the end of July and August caused an increase in late-season SWD pressure and rots in cherries and apples, respectively. Despite additional rain later in the season, 2023 had less cumulative precipitation than any of the previous 5 years, which will likely affect the 2024 season.

This year’s drought conditions, which occurred over peak bud formation for Honeycrisp, combined with heavy cropload in most apple varieties will likely lead to a lighter crop in 2024.¬†Take the coming months to review your successes and struggles for the season and adjust your plans for the upcoming year. Here at the Station, we’ll be augmenting our thinning and pruning plans, as well as our fireblight management.

Thank you for your support of the station and we look forward to continuing our work in 2024!