FISHERS, N.Y. -- The board of the Western New York Apple Growers Association based here has approved the unification of the state's western and eastern growing regions into a statewide apple promotion organization.
If state growers approve the concept, the new organization could be up and running by July, according to Susan Woehr, communications director for the association. Growers completed a survey in February to assess their support. It will be reviewed by the board later this month when a final decision will be reached on how to proceed.
The push for unification is coming from eastern growers who are withdrawing their support from the New York and New England Apple Institute, which is currently conducting their marketing programs. For many years New York growers have contributed a larger share of the money used for the promotion and marketing activities of the Institute, said Woehr, because a marketing order in New York assesses 8 cents per bushel, a charge not assessed in the New England states.
An additional reason for unification, Woehr said, is that both regions are now growing similar varieties of apples that are sold fresh. In the past, western growers produced apples primarily for processing, while eastern growers produced primarily Macintosh apples.