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The latest frost for nearly 20 years in April meant fewer apples grew, with as much as 10 percent of the country’s Braeburn crop affected. However, farmers were surprised to find that the reduced crop had grown to more than twice the normal size and weight.
Weighing in at an average of 450g each, the apples dwarf the typical 170g Braeburn and will be the biggest apple sold by Morrisons in living memory.
Braeburns are typically picked in the autumn and require three weeks’ rest at chilled temperatures to sweeten. The cold April stopped apple trees from flowering fully, limiting the pollination essential for fruit growth. However, favourable conditions later in the growing season gave a nutrient boost to the remaining apples which had got off to an early start, allowing them to grow to their giant size.
Despite not meeting its usual specifications, the retailer has decided to take the giant-sized crop from its British growers and 120,000 apples will go on sale over the next fortnight.
“These giant British Braeburn apples offer great value,” said Mark Booth, apple expert at Morrisons. “Our relationship with our growers meant we were able to take the whole crop from our apple farmers and ensure these huge but delicious apples are eaten.”
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