Normally we go with Marker Miller in Winchester, Virginia (the top of the Shenandoah Valley) to gauge ripeness of our apples - their Ginger Golds, Honeycrisps, etc. Well this year they had a ripeness date of August 4 for the Ginger Golds and have not said anything about Honeycrisps yet.
Well, our GG’s were not ripe on Aug 4, but several days later and our Honeycrisps have been dropping as ripe. In addition, our Pixie Crunch on G-890 are Crimson and ripe (usually not until 8/27 or so), the Kinder Krisps are ripe for a few days, and our Macs are dropping, as our Orleans Reinettes. Other apples are showing brown to slightly brown pips weeks early - including Pippins, Winecrisp, and Tennessee Limbertwig.
Has been dry and hot and bloom was late, so go figure. Only one Fireblight strike, and almost no fungus evidence, and only bug damage seems to be Plum Curculio (incidental).
If anyone has any thoughts we would love to hear them. BTW - visited the Winchester AREC (Alison Smith Center) on the 14th for their Open House. The Scientists are doing good stuff and commenting that what was common only in the South is inching its way up to NY, e.g., fungus, parasites, etc. Looks like Climate Change is as real as can be.
They are also quite firm in their opinion that commercial organic fruit orchards in Virginia are a very tough proposition at best. Climate is wrong - heat, rains, dirt, diseases, and bugs are all here in abundance. Considering I used several RUPs this year to grow apples, I would have to agree.