WA Apple Crop Forecast Expected To See 24% Increase Over 2022
That's a lot of apples. The Washington State Tree Fruit Association has released the forecast for the 2023 Washington state fresh apple crop. Officials estimate the crop at just over 134 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples, a 28.8% increase from 2022’s 104.3 million boxes.
THE FORECASTED CROP WILL BE BIGGER THAN LAST YEAR
Association officials say the 2022 harvest was smaller than normal because of a cold sprin and snow that prevented some pollination during bloom.
But this year it's different.
Associaiton officials say cooler weather has helped growers deliver a healthy crop much closer to what they call the "previous six-year average production. That's a return to historic norms is also seen in growers’ reports of good size distribution and expected high quality across all varietals."
FRUIT QUALITY IS UP ALONG WITH A LARGER CROP
“There is a lot of excitement as we are seeing a more normal harvest and excellent fruit quality this year," says Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. He says spring and early summer weather "created near-perfect growing conditions, so our domestic and foreign customers are going to see great size, color, and overall good quality in our apples."
GROWERS ARE GEARING UP FOR A LONG HARVEST
He says the harvest is just starting in the Yakima valley and other areas.
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association says apples are a vital part of the state's economy representing 21% of the state’s total agricultural value in 2021.
How much of the crop was exported last year? 20% down from the five-year average of 28% due to lower overall production in 2022.
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