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Washington state apple growers expect a bumper crop this season

Washington, (Qnnfash) – Washington state’s apple growers are poised for a robust and high-quality harvest this year, following favorable growing conditions and a return to more normal patterns.

Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, expressed optimism about this year’s harvest, citing moderate spring and warm early summer weather that created near-perfect growing conditions. He anticipated excellent size, color, and overall quality in the apples, which are the state’s leading agricultural commodity.

Washington apples contribute significantly to the state’s economy, with fresh market apples valued at $1.98 billion in 2022 and over $4.91 billion when accounting for utilized and processed apples. The estimated harvest for this year is just over 134 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples, marking a 28.8% increase over 2022’s harvest.

Last year, a cold spring impacted pollination, leading to lower production. However, this year’s moderate weather has resulted in a healthy crop that is expected to surpass the previous six-year production average by 5%.

The forecast reflects a diversification of apple varietals, with Gala leading the harvest at 19.8%. Other prominent varieties include Red Delicious (13%), Honeycrisp (14.6%), Granny Smith (13.8%), and Fuji (11.7%). Cosmic Crisp, a proprietary varietal unique to Washington, continues to gain ground, comprising 5.9% of the total harvest.

The market for organic apples is also expanding, with Washington being a leader in organic apple production. The forecast predicts 21 million boxes of organic apples this year, accounting for 15.7% of the total harvest.

Despite the positive outlook, the final harvest total is subject to variable weather conditions. Apple harvest typically spans from August to November.

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