(Aug. 16) New York apple grower-shippers are gearing up for a season of large fruit with good flavor and quality. Harvest times are expected to be normal.

Peter Gregg, spokesman for the Fishers-based New York Apple Association, said the association expects 25 million bushels will be harvested in the state this fall.

Last year’s crop was 24.7 million bushels, and the state’s five-year average is 24 million bushels, Gregg said.

“The rains have helped fatten up the fruit,” Gregg said.

Apples are expected to be larger than normal, with many size 100s available, said Tre Green, president of Chazy Orchards Inc., Chazy, N.Y. Last year, there were many size 160s in the crop, he said.

Apples from Sun Orchard Fruit Co., Burt, N.Y., will likely be one to two sizes larger than last year’s, with more 80s-88s available for trays, said John Russell, director of sales and marketing.

He said there would still be a good supply of smaller apples for bags.

Chazy Orchards lost about half of its apple crop Aug. 7, when a severe thunderstorm with hail and 60 mph winds hit Chazy.

Other growers in the Lake Champlain Valley were not affected.

“A mile north and a mile south (of Chazy), the road was dry,” Green said.

Chazy Orchards typically picks about 300,000 bushels of apples in a season, he said.

The loss of 150,000 bushels is significant for the company, but it will not have much effect on the state’s overall crop.

Green said he expects apple prices to be higher this season because of high transportation costs and lower supplies from several regions.

Michigan is expected to produce a smaller crop because of freezing weather early in the season in the northern part of the state. Late spring and early summer hailstorms hit Washington’s apple crops.

Last year’s New York apples have been cleared out of storage, said Joe Nicholson, president of Red Jacket Orchards, Geneva, N.Y.

Russell said good consumer demand and the clean pipeline should make for a strong New York apple market.

Green said he expects cartons of 12 3-pound bags of 100-count mcintosh apples to sell for $27 to $30, and 100- to 56-count honeycrisps to sell for about $60 a box.

On Sept. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices for cartons of 12 3-pound film bags of U.S. Extra Fancy 2½-inch minimum mcintosh apples at $14.

On Aug. 15, the USDA reported controlled-atmosphere prices, including exports, for good quality U.S. Extra Fancy red delicious apples shipped out of the Yakima Valley and Wenatchee District, Wash., at $24 for 72s-88s, $20-22 for 100s, $19-20 for 113s and $18-20 for 125s.

Last year, on Aug. 15, the USDA reported prices, including exports, for good quality U.S. Extra Fancy red delicious apples shipped out of the Yakima Valley and Wenatchee District at $10-11 for 72s-125s.