The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) has released its forecast for the 2018 Washington state fresh apple crop, with the group anticipating a fresh pack crop of 131m standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples.
This estimate is down two per cent on 2017’s result, when the state turned out a 134m-box crop.
“The 2018 Washington state apple crop looks to be slightly smaller than last year’s crop but will still deliver an abundant supply of delicious apples for consumers to enjoy this year,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA president. “Harvest has started for some early varieties, and growers anticipate a crop of excellent quality fruit. Members also report improved sizing over 2017."
Gala is projected to be the most numerous variety in 2018 at 24 per cent of production, with Red Delicious at a projected 21.5 per cent.
These varieties are followed by Fuji at 13.5 per cent and Granny Smith at 13 per cent of total production, with Honeycrisp forecast to come in at 10.8 per cent of the total crop and Cripps Pink at 4.5 per cent.
Organic apple production continues to increase, and is forecast to be 14 per cent of the total, or 18.9m 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.
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.