Washington forecasts big apple crop
The organic apple crop is estimated at almost 9 million boxes, a 46 percent increase from last season.
Washington Apple Commission
The Washington apple industry expects to harvest a record 108.8 million boxes of fresh apples this fall. That’s six million boxes more than during the 2009-10 season that just ended, but only slightly more than the 108.3 million boxes shipped two years ago.
“This number, even if it ends up being the biggest crop, is not far off what we’ve been doing for the last five years or so,” commented Dan Kelly, assistant manager at the Washington Growers’ Clearing House Association. “The industry has adjusted to these big crops pretty well.”
He said some russet on Golden Delicious and Fuji could reduce packouts, but that could be offset by the fact that the August estimate often proves to be slightly below the actual volume shipped.
Volumes of all varieties except Braeburn and Jonagold are forecast to be up from last year. The biggest increases, percentagewise, will be in Granny Smith (up 13 percent from last season’s 12.7 million boxes) and Fuji (up 12 percent from last season’s 13.1 million boxes). Gala volume is forecast to increase by 7 percent to a record 20.6 million boxes.
Red Delicious is forecast to increase this season by 1.5 percent to 35.4 million boxes, which would be the biggest Red crop since 2006. Red Delicious production in the state peaked at 61 million boxes in 1994. The Golden Delicious crop is estimated at 11.2 million boxes, up 7 percent from last year. The largest Golden Delicious crop the state ever produced was 18 million boxes in 1996.
Washington’s organic apple crop is estimated at a record 8.6 million boxes, up 46 percent from a year ago.
Kelly said early indications were that 2010 apple production in other areas—such as Pennsylvania, Europe, and China—would be down, so there was unlikely to be a glut on the world market.