The pome fruit harvest is underway with positive expectations for 2021. Last year saw a much better winter with enough rain in most of the production areas. Cooler weather during spring and the flowering period has resulted in a good crop. Pome fruit growers in general are excited about the season ahead as colour and pack-outs look promising.

The season is estimated to be five to ten days later. However, the later cultivars could still catch up. Overall, most apple varieties are expected to increase compared to the 2020 harvest. Young orchards that will come into production, as well as the favourable weather conditions, have had a positive impact on the export crop estimate. An increase of 4% is expected in apples and 2% in pears. The increase in pears can be attributed to Packham’s Triumph volumes (+6%) and Abate Fetel returning to a normal yield.

pome fruit
Pome fruit export estimate (12,5kg equivalent cartons x million).

At this stage, Early Bon Chretien pears have been negatively affected by russeting and a decrease of 14% is estimated compared to the previous season. The Langkloof region experienced a severe hailstorm during the second week of January 2021. The hail was localised between the Haarlem and Misgund areas. Pome fruit size from the orchards that were not affected looks better, and higher pack-outs are anticipated. Hortgro