This year’s Washington apple crop will be one of the largest in history, according to the latest figures from the Washington State Tree Fruit Association.
The crop is estimated at 138.2 million 40-pound boxes, up from the 137.3 million box estimate in August, according to the association’s Nov. 1 apple storage report.
That figure is also well above the 116.7 million boxes harvested a year ago. But this year’s crop is below the record 141.8 million crop size from 2014.
The statewide harvest was mostly completed, according to the report, but harvest of a few additional orchards could boost the overall crop size. The crop estimate includes all apples expected to be packed and sold fresh, rather than sent to a processor.
Harvested apples are moved directly to retailers or put in storage until they are shipped over the next several months.
“Although late-season cold weather decreased totals for some later harvested varieties, larger totals on earlier varieties and excellent quality are contributing to strong pack-outs and keeping the projected overall fresh crop close to the earlier forecast,” Jon Devaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, said in a written statement.
As expected, Gala was the top variety, making up 23.5% of the overall Washington crop. Red Delicious, once the state’s dominant variety, remains in second at 19.7%.
Rounding out the top six varieties are Fuji at 13.1%, Granny Smith at 12.8%, Honeycrisp at 12.5% and Golden Delicious at 5.5%.
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