Despite the drought, Dutch apple and pear growers expect a good harvest this year. By providing extra irrigation, apples and pears have generally not suffered much from the drought so far. The harvest is expected to start a week earlier than last year, with harvest volumes estimated at around 259 million kilos of apples and 398 million kilos of pears. This data comes from GroentenFruit Huis and NFO.
The apples and pears currently on the trees are of good quality and will have an excellent taste due to the many hours of sunshine they have enjoyed. There has been little hail damage so far. Following last year’s low volumes, this year’s crop of apples and pears will be higher, but lower than the 2016 harvest due to a smaller production area.
Pear production continues to rise (10,080 hectares), while apple production continues to shrink (6,710 hectares). With a share of over 40%, Elstar is by far the most commonly grown apple in the Netherlands, with volumes of 106 million kilos expected for this year. The second variety is Jonagold (including Jonagored) with 66 million kilos.
The Conference harvest, which accounts for almost 80% of Dutch pears, is estimated at 312 million kilos. The surface area of Conference has increased by 5%. Beurré Alexander Lucas and Doyenné du Comice are the most widely cultivated pear varieties with an estimate of 29 million kilos and 26 million kilos respectively.