Organic apple acreage certified in Washington in 2017 exceeded expectations as certified orchards grew 37 percent to 22,116 acres.
It’s difficult to predict growth accurately since growers are not required to certify orchards in transition, said Washington State University researchers David Granatstein and Elizabeth Kirby, who shared these latest estimates in February’s Fruit Matters newsletter.
That resulted in a 43 percent jump in harvest volume — about 4.7 million boxes more than 2016.
Growth will continue in 2018, with somewhere between 25,500 and 26,500 acres expected to be certified. That’s a slower rate of growth than last year at about 20 percent, but it would add another 3.1 million boxes of organic apples to the state’s harvest.
Another 1,200 acres are certified in transition to come into organic production in 2019, according the Granatstein and Kirby’s analysis of Washington State Department of Agriculture data.
Read more about boom times for organic apples from Good Fruit Grower’s January article here.