The Washington apple crop estimate puts the 2015 season at 125.21m cartons, down 10.5 per cent on the record 140m-box crop last year, according the first forecast released by the Washington State Tree Fruit Association.
The reports forecasts a 33 per cent increase in Honeycrisp, while Red Delicious and Golden Delicious production will fall 26.2 per cent and 24.5 per cent respectively.
US growers are switching to new varieties of apples as demand for branded apples and organic varieties increases.
Steve Lutz, VP of marketing at CMI, has reported that CMI growers will have a significant increase in Honeycrisp volumes, as well as increases in its production of Ambrosia, Kiku and Kanzi apples.
“Market prices for apples send very clear signals to our growers on what varieties they should expand and which apple trees should be removed,” Steve Lutz, VP of marketing at CMI said in a press release. “The message growers heard loud and clear from the 2014 crop is that retailers and consumers want more Honeycrisp and branded apple programs.”
The 2014/15 growing has also presented a challenge for Washington apple producers, with a hot summer after a mild, dry winter potentially affected the coloration and internal quality of early varieties.