The UK’s largest apple and pear growers have warned that the 2018/19 harvest could be lower than expected due to the ‘June drop’ being much higher than anticipated. This drop is due to the cold weather across the south east at the end of March.
The June drop typically occurs eight weeks after flowering and continues into July. Young fruitlets are shed naturally by the trees due to issues such as poor pollination or poor weather conditions after flowering began. Thinning is normally then conducted manually, but due to the excessive drop this year, this will be very moderate.
Bemoaning the poor crop development this year, Kent grower Paul Mansfield said, “British growers like myself and AC Goatham & Son have both been investing in major new orchard plantings over the last several years and we would have expected to achieve much greater potential this year thanks to that. Unfortunately, we just can’t control the weather and for a second year it has played a significant role in the volume of quality British apples available.”