Washington Apple Harvest Forecast Up Nearly 20%
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) released its forecast for the 2019 Washington state fresh apple crop today.
The 2019 forecast is for a fresh pack crop of 137.3 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples. This is an 18% increase from 2018’s 116.7 million box crop.
“WSTFA members are expecting an ample 2019 apple crop with a good mix of varieties for today’s market,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. “Favorable summer growing weather means that Washington growers are expecting a crop with excellent quality and finish.”
Consumers will have many varieties of Washington apples to choose from. ‘Gala’ is projected to be the most prevalent variety in 2019 at 23% of production, with the old standard, ‘Red Delicious,’ now relegated to second position at a projected 20%.
Coming in third among varieties will be ‘Fuji’ at 13%, followed by ‘Granny Smith’ at 12% of total production. This year ‘Honeycrisp’ is also forecast to come in at 12% of the total crop — the super-popular variety’s footprint continues to grow each year — and ‘Cripps Pink’ follows at 5%.
Organic apple production is forecast to be 13% of the total, or 18.3 million boxes, 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). 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.