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First expectations Dutch top fruit harvest.

First expectations Dutch top fruit harvest.

Preparations for the new top fruit season are well underway. As with Dutch cherries and plums, we expect the harvest of the apples and pears to start two to three weeks later. Initially, the outlook was rather poor but the cold seems to have caused less damage than expected. We're now even thinning out the trees. Our harvest should be somewhat smaller than average. It will, however, still be of a good size.

In recent years, we put a lot of effort into cultivating new (red) pear varieties. These include the Early Desire and Red Conference. The Early Desire (Gräfin Gepa) is expected to have a good crop this year. This variety blooms slightly earlier. It was, therefore, ahead of the worst cold. We can start harvesting these pears from the end of August. We'll then have them available at the end of the first week in September.

We've recently planted many young Red Conference trees. This pear has the same DNA as the green Conference of which, by far, we have the most acreage. The Red Conference is the only red pear with good storage characteristics. We can only offer the Red Conference very exclusively this year. We expect this pear's first real commercial crop next year.