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Slightly Smaller Crop Of Apples Expected

Washington state apple growers could harvest 84.2 million boxes of fruit this year, the second-largest on record, a pair of shipping organizations said.

A combined report released Thursday by the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association and the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers showed the state’s apple crop will be 8 percent smaller than last year’s bumper crop of 92 million boxes. The shippers attributed the decrease to hail damage and wet spring weather that decreased the number of blooms.

Apples are the No. 1 agricultural product in the state, accounting for about $1 billion in sales.

The report shows Red Delicious production down by 12.2 percent; Golden Delicious, down 3.9 percent. Growers hope that means higher prices for their crop.

Production of new varieties, however, may rise. Fuji harvest is projected to rise 9.5 percent; Galas 8.2 percent; Granny Smith, no change.

, DataTimes