Washington apple crop "ample", with Gala to consolidate leading position
The fresh apple crop in the U.S. state of Washington is set to be on par with last year, with Gala set to cement its position as the leading variety.
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association's (WSTFA) 2020 forecast is for a crop of 134 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples. This is very close to 2019’s 133.9 million box crop.
“The 2020 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s. Harvest is underway and growers anticipate being able to meet strong consumer demand with an ample and high-quality harvest,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President.
“Our members are growing large crops, but with more varieties to choose from and while continuing to raise the already high standards of quality that domestic and international consumers have come to expect.”
For the second straight year, Gala will be the most numerous variety at 23%, Red Delicious is projected at 17%, followed by Fuji at 14%, and Granny Smith and Honeycrisp at 13% of total production. This year, Cosmic Crisp is forecast to come in at 1.2% of the total crop and Cripps Pink at 5%.
Organic apple production is forecast to be 16% of the total, or 21 million boxes, up from 15 million boxes in the 2019 apple crop. Although it should be noted that typically not all organic production is ultimately packed and marketed as organic.
This forecast is based on a survey of WSTFA members, and represents a best estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market (excluding product sent to processor).
The apple harvest typically begins in August and continues into November, and as a result this forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather which can affect the final harvest total.