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Production of Honeycrisp in Washington State will soar during the next ten years from less than 4 million boxes to more than 13 million boxes, making it the state’s fourth most important variety, an agricultural economist predicts.

Dr. Desmond O’Rourke of Pullman, Washington, made the prediction by extrapolating from a recently published report of fruit trees and acreage in Washington compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Total apple production is likely to reach between 115 and 128 million packed boxes by the end of the decade, he believes.

Gala could overtake Red Delicious as Washington’s number-one apple variety by 2018. Fresh Red Delicious production will drop from the current 33 million boxes to 25 million boxes by 2021, he estimates, and Gala will increase from the current 24 million to 29 million during the same period.

O’Rourke expects that Golden Delicious Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cameo, and Jonagold will decline in volume during the coming decade.

For more details and industry reactions, see the January 15 issue of the Good Fruit Grower. The graph above is a corrected version of the graph illustrating the article in the magazine.