Research eyes weather’s effects on new apple types

Renovations that were meant to introduce new and improved apple varieties into Canada’s orchards now call for new research on how much those apples like our weather.

The federal government on Tuesday pledged over $226,000 to the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association for a three-year research project in tandem with the Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Centre at Kentville, N.S.

The research is expected to look at how weather impacts the maturity and quality of new high-value apple varieties, the government said.

The funding is expected make the Maritime apple industry “more competitive and increase the profitability of farmers” through its study of fruit maturity and quality and helping growers adapt to “changing weather patterns.”

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In 2010, the Maritimes produced 37,724 tonnes of apples, with a farm gate value of $14.1 million.

“A main goal of this project is making the Nova Scotia apple industry a better managed, more efficient and more profitable industry, and this investment makes that possible,” association president Michael Walsh said in Tuesday’s release.

The federal funding will flow through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year (2009-14), $163-million program meant to help “test solutions to new and ongoing issues.”

Agri-Futures Nova Scotia delivers CAAP program funding in the province.

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