2018 Washington Apple Crop Expected to be Down Slightly

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.

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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.