Cornell AgriTech’s apple breeding program has released three new varieties.
In a Sept. 2 news release, Susan Brown, professor and apple breeder, and Kevin Maloney, research specialist, announced the release of Cordera (NY 56), Pink Luster (NY 73) and Firecracker (NY 109). The new varieties will be open to all U.S. growers, not just those in New York.
Spanish for “lamb,” Cordera was named after Robert Lamb, a longtime apple breeder at Cornell University. The new variety retains its flavor and texture and is resistant to apple scab, a fungal disease that reduces fruit yield and quality. In addition to orchard test plots across New York state, the grocery chain Wegmans has been testing Cordera in its Canandaigua orchard for five years.
“Disease resistance makes the performance of NY 56 stand out in our orchard,” Mark Bowker, orchard crop expert at Wegmans Organic Farm, said in the release. “Of course, it always comes down to flavor, and we think it has that, too.”
Pink Luster, a descendant of Honeycrisp and Gala, has bright pink-red skin, crisp texture, and juiciness. The variety matures in mid-September, which makes it well-suited for on-farm sales and U-pick operations, according to the release.
“NY 73 has generated substantial interest at our orchard,” John Halsey, owner of the Milk Pail in Southampton, New York, said in the release. “Some of the visitor comments we have heard are that it has beautiful color, medium to large size, making it fun and easy to pick, wonderful mild tart flavor, and very smooth enjoyable skin texture.”
Firecracker is one of the few varieties that work well for eating, baking and hard cider production, according to the release.
“Firecracker has a partial russet skin, and it has a unique combination of acidity and sweetness that produces really complex and evolving flavors,” Brown said in the release.
Nurseries that would like to obtain a license for the new varieties can call Jessica Stein, senior licensing and business development officer at Cornell Technology and Licensing, at 607-255-0270, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
—by Matt Milkovich