Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Ledbetter, C.A., Peterson, S.J. 2005. 'Apache' and 'Kettleman': Two Early-Season Apricots for the Fresh Market. Hortscience. 40(7):2202-2203.
Interpretive Summary: California orchards provide 95 % of the apricots grown domestically to the fresh and processing markets. High quality apricot varieties which are suitable for cultivation in the hot southern San Joaquin Valley are in demand by apricot producers to take advantage of the early and profitable marketing season. Using traditional breeding methods, two new apricots named Apache and Kettleman have been introduced for propagation and production. Both Apache and Kettleman are extremely productive in the early growing districts, and have better fruit quality as compared to the apricot varieties currently being grown. The higher fruit quality of these two new varieties is expected to have a significant impact on consumer purchases of fruit in the early part of the season. Having high quality fruit on the supermarket shelves at this time is imperative in gaining repeat sales at times later in the apricot season.
Technical Abstract: 'Apache' and 'Kettleman' are two new early-season apricots recently introduced for fresh market sales. They were developed by the Agricultural Research Service's Prunus breeding program in Parlier, CA and introduced in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Both of the new varieties are self-incompatible and require other early flowering apricot varieties to facilitate pollination and fruit set. With appropriate pollenizers, both 'Apache' and 'Kettleman' are extremely productive. At commercial maturity, fruit of 'Apache' are characterized by an almost translucent golden-orange skin color and a mild pink-red blush, while skin color of 'Kettleman' is a solid deep orange. Both new varieties mature before the major tonnage cultivar 'Castlebrite' with 'Apache' maturing approximately 7 to 10 days prior to 'Kettleman'.