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Management

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Orchard management may need to be adjusted when growing cider fruit as compared to fresh market apples. Changes in management may be based upon desires to affect fruit/juice quality; to reduce production costs to meet lower price points for cider apples; or to reduce orchard inputs for environmental or labor management reasons. It is important to provide cider apples with a basic level of management in order to maintain acceptable fruit production; reduce disease inoculum and insect pest populations; and maintain worker access into the orchard. Furthermore, if an orchard is managed to provide fruit to both fresh and cider markets, it nearly always makes sense to manage your crop so that the maximum proportion of fruit goes to the highest-valued market. The recent increase in cider/sweet cider apple prices paid for dessert cultivars does not generally justify substantial reductions in inputs or management when growing them.