Washington State Apple Crop Estimate Declines 5.3% | The bottom line
Quality rather than quantity is the final prediction for this year’s apple harvest.
Washington State Tree Fruit Association officials lowered their 2021 statewide apple harvest estimate by 5.3% from 124.85 million to 118.255 million cans.
“The apple harvest is still coming to an end for some Washington varieties, but based on the volumes harvested so far, our members expect a decrease,” said Jon DeVaney, president of the association, in a statement. release published Tuesday.
“Our members are reporting smaller harvests of some varieties, including Honeycrisp, Galas and Red Delicious. The high heat earlier in the season affected what was ultimately chosen in some cases, ”DeVaney reported. “The organic harvest should still exceed 15 million boxes.
“Despite the smaller harvest, we are seeing high quality fruit and consumers can expect delicious Washington apples throughout 2022,” he added.
Tuesday’s updated apple harvest estimate is based on a survey of association members and is measured in standard 40-pound cans of fresh apples. It represents the fruits picked up to October 31st and a better estimate of what remains to be harvested.
The new estimate of 118.255 million boxes would represent a decrease of 3.1% from the apple harvest of 122 million boxes in 2020 and 12.1% lower than the 2019 harvest of 134.5 million boxes .
Among this year’s success stories is the growing market share and consumer preference for the new Cosmic Crisp strain. It officially launched in stores on Monday, the first time the apple has hit the market since its first public sale in 2019.
Kathryn Grandy, director of marketing for Proprietary Variety Management, which holds the license to market the cosmic chips, said the harvest is expected at 4.5 million cans, up from 1.75 million last year. Cosmic chips are estimated at about 3% of this year’s apple harvest, according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association.
With harvest underway in September, growers at Barrett Orchards, Gilbert Orchards and Valicoff Family Farms said cooler late summer temperatures helped their apple harvest recover somewhat from the heat. June and early July record.
“Yields are down on apples, but the quality looks excellent,” said Sean Gilbert, of Gilbert Orchards near Yakima.