The forecast for the 2016 Washington apple crop is 132.9 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples, according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA). This is up 15% over 2015’s 115 million box crop, but still down 6% from the 2014 record crop of 141.8 million boxes.
“Weather in 2016 has been favorable for the development of a high-quality crop with good color and storability. In addition, harvest has begun 1-2 weeks earlier as a result of those conditions,” said WSTFA President Jon DeVaney. “Washington apple growers expect to deliver a large crop of beautiful apples to consumers this year.”
Consumers will have many varieties of Washington apples to choose from. While ‘Red Delicious’ remains the most numerous variety with a projected 25% of production, ‘Gala’ is close behind at 23%, followed by ‘Fuji’ at 14% and ‘Granny Smith’ at 13% of total production. This year ‘Honeycrisp’ is forecast to come in at 7% of the total crop and ‘Cripps Pink’ at 4%.
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).
Apple harvest typically begins in early 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 season’s crop total.