When you say apple, often the word Washington is close by — at least in your mind. The state has long been a leader in apple production, and 2019 is no different. Recently, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association released its forecast for the 2019 state fresh apple crop, and it shows a healthy jump from 2018.
The 2019 forecast is for a fresh-pack crop of 137.3 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples. The association reports that this is an 18% increase from the 116.7-million-box crop raised in 2018.
In commenting on the crop, Jon DeVaney, WSTFA president, notes, “Members are expecting an ample 2019 apple crop with a good mix of varieties for today’s market. Favorable summer growing weather means the Washington growers are expecting a crop with excellent quality and finish.”
And there’s plenty of choice in the 2019 crop, too. Gala apples will be the most numerous variety, with 23% of production. Red Delicious comes in at No. 2, with 20% of the crop. Those varieties are followed by Fuji at 13% and Granny Smith at 12% of total production. This year, Honeycrisp is forecast to come in at12% of the total crop, and Cripps Pink at 5%.
Organic apple production is pegged at 13% of the total for 2019, or 18.3 million boxes. The association notes, however, that typically, not all organic production is ultimately packed and marketed as organic.
The apple crop forecast is based on a survey of WSTFA members and represents the group’s best estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market — excluding product sent to processors. The apple harvest typically starts in August and continues through November. Based on that, the forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather, which can affect the final harvest total.