basket of apples
Updated: March 29, 2024
By Dr. Joseph Fiola


Apple Maturity for Optimum Harvest Dates

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Fruit Pulse (Apple Maturity Assessments for the Mid-Atlantic)
Routine measurements of fruit starch levels, ground color and other maturity indices allow growers to make improved decisions about optimum harvest dates for long-term storage.

Learn more on routine measurements of fruit starch levels


How Can Growers Determine Apple Fruit Maturity and Optimal Harvest Dates? (FS-1180)
Independent of the target market of your apples, estimating optimum harvest dates is critical not only for scheduling labor, but also to ensure a high-quality product. Author: Macarena Farcuh

Important Apple Cultivars in the Mid-Atlantic Region (EB-2023-0684)
Md Shipon Miah and Macarena Farcuh
Choosing the right apple cultivar is crucial when establishing an apple orchard; being well-informed and carefully selecting cultivars that align with your specific requirements and thrive in your environmental conditions are essential for your orchard's success.



Apple Maturity Assessments
Video Length: 5:54  |  Date: September 19, 2023
Description: In this video, two graduate students at the #FarcuhLab, at @agnrmaryland demonstrate how to determine apple harvest maturity and optimal harvest dates by using different maturity indices, including changes in fruit background and surface color, fruit firmness, starch contents, and soluble solids contents. This is important as an individual maturity index cannot explain the true maturity status of an apple. These indices should be monitored at least 4 weeks before the anticipated commercial harvest. Happy harvesting!

The FarcuhLab has started a YouTube channel for you to subscribe and follow! Go to

Organic Apple Production - A Beginner's Guide

Organic Apple Production - A Beginner's Guide
This informational webinar will help you find out what's involved in profitable organic apple production.
Produced by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, Guy Ames and Tammy Hinman, NCAT

Apples: Organic Production Guide

Publication by Tammy Hinman and Guy Ames, NCAT IP020 (published 2011), provides information on organic apple production from recent research and producer experience. Produced by the NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project.

Download the publication

Apple Cultivars for the Retail Market

Video on apple cultivars that have characteristics suited for direct market retail operations. These include favorites customers are already familiar with, and some less familiar ones that have interesting flavors and appearances that will help you differentiate yourself at the market. This list contains apples that ripen throughout the harvest season, and while they may not all store well, their excellent flavor make them ideal for the farmers market or roadside stand. Published by Penn State Extension.

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Bark Grafting Apple Trees

This video discusses how to bark graft a block of trees to quickly convert a portion of orchard. This project is supported in part by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Grant # 2015-70017-22852.
By Penn State Extension, Produced by Mike Basedow, James Schupp, Robert Crassweller, and Tara Baugher

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Bench Grafting Apple Trees

This video discusses how to bench graft different varieties onto the rootstock of your choice. This project is supported in part by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Grant # 2015-70017-22852.
By Penn State Extension, Produced by Mike Basedow, Robert Crassweller, James Schupp, and Tara Baugher.

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Fruit Production

Great Apples - MSU Extension

Information from Michigan State University Extension's fruit expertise team.

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Insect IPM in Apples

Part of a series highlighting the latest breakthroughs in bio-rational pest control, this fact sheet looks at the use of kaolin clay as an integrated pest management strategy.

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Orchard IPM

In this short video, you will learn some basic orchard scouting principles for a common disease – apple scab – and also mite pests and beneficials. From Penn State Extension.

Watch video

Controlling Bitter Pit in Apples: Best Practices for Growers (FS-2023-0701)

By Talia Tracton and Macarena Farcuh

Bitter pit is a physiological disorder in apples that negatively impacts its marketability. It is linked to a calcium imbalance in fruit cells. A multifaceted approach—monitoring and balancing factors like plant nutrition, vigor, and chilling injury susceptibility—is key to avoiding the disorder.

Apple Orchard System Blueprint

A video discussion on how components relate to the management steps for pre-plant planting and tree care during the first season, second season, and early bearing years.
Developed by Penn State Extension, Produced by Tara Baugher, Senior Extension Educator, James Schupp, Professor of Pomology, Robert Crassweller, Professor of Tree Fruit, and Mike Basedow, Extension Assistant.

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