Washington State apple producers expect to harvest 120 million packed boxes of apples this fall, according to the industry’s August forecast, the first official tally of the season.
That’s a drop of 9 million boxes from last year. However, Michigan and New York production has rebounded from 2012 when cold spring weather decimated the crops. Together, the two states are likely to produce around 30 million boxes more than last year.
Last year, Washington’s production jumped by about 20 million boxes. Dan Kelly, assistant manager at the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, said that typically when there’s a big increase in production, the market doesn’t adjust until the following year. “But in this case, when we jumped last year, we had a record crop and record prices,” he said.
Even with the Midwestern and New York crops being larger, Kelly said a 120-million-box crop seems like a manageable volume.
The total U.S. fresh apple crop is estimated at about 245 million boxes, which would be only the third largest national crop since 2000, he pointed out. The record volume was 252 million boxes in 2000, followed by 249 million in 2004.
In Washington, most varieties are down from last year with the exception of Gala, which increased 1 percent), Granny Smith (up 9 percent), and Honeycrisp (up 13 percent).
The Red Delicious crop is forecast at 33.7 million boxes, Gala at 26.3 million, Fuji at 15.6 million, Granny Smith at 15.0 million, and Honeycrisp at 5.7 million.
Washington’s organic apple production is estimated at 7.6 million boxes, down from 8.3 million last year.