2018 Washington Apple Crop Expected to be Down Slightly
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) released its forecast for the 2018 Washington state fresh apple crop today, predicting a fresh pack crop of 131 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples, down 2% from the 2017 crop.
While slightly smaller than last year’s crop, prospects look bright, says WSTFA President Jon DeVaney. “Harvest has started for some early varieties, and growers anticipate a crop of excellent quality fruit,” he says. “Members also report improved sizing over 2017.”
‘Gala’ is projected to be the most numerous variety in 2018 at 24% of production, with longtime leader ‘Red Delicious’ now projected to come in second at 21.5%. These varieties are followed by ‘Fuji’ at 13.5% and ‘Granny Smith’ at 13% of total production. This year ‘Honeycrisp’ is forecast to come in at 10.8% of the total crop and ‘Cripps Pink’ at 4.5%.
Organic apple production continues to increase, and is forecast to be 14% of the total, or 18.9 million boxes. However, the WSTFA notes 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 the best estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market — excluding product sent to a processor.
Apple harvest typically begins in August and continues into November. As a result, the WSTFA emphasizes this forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather, which can affect the final harvest total.