WSTFA estimate suggests overall crop volume will be slightly down year-on-year
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s (WSTFA) 2022 apple forecast has projected a packout of 108.7m cartons (18kg).
If the estimate holds true, it would be an 11 per cent decrease from the 122.3m cartons packed in 2021.
“We are pleased with the size of the harvest, particularly in the face of a long, cold spring,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA president.
“Growing seasons are never the same, and currently many WSTFA members are still evaluating the impact of prolonged cold weather and ongoing crop development. Weather is always a factor, and some varieties still have several months of growth ahead.
“However, our members are to be congratulated for once again managing this uncertainty to deliver a strong harvest for the benefit of our state, country, and ultimately the world.”
The WSTFA estimate shows that five varieties make up the majority of the Washington crop.
Gala leads production at 20 per cent, followed by Red Delicious and Honeycrisp at 14 per cent. Granny Smith makes up 13.4 per cent, while Fuji is at 12.7 per cent.
Cosmic Crisp is predicted to make up 4.6 per cent of the harvest, up from 3.2 per cent last year.
DeVaney said proprietary varieties like Cosmic Crisp continue to grow their share of the overall crop, reflecting increased consumer preference.
“The strong harvest estimate for these varieties, which have been popular with domestic and international consumers, is good news,” said DeVaney. “Apples are synonymous with Washington state, and our members are set to deliver another year of high-quality and delicious fruit.”
Washington also leads the US in the production of organic apples, making up over 90 per cent of the country’s output. The organic forecast for 2022, is 14.4m cartons, or 13 per cent of the total harvest.
The WSTFA estimate is based on a survey of its members and represents the best forecast of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market, excluding product sent to processors.