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Bob Larson Washington Apple Outlook Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: August 10, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The pre-harvest predictions are out for Washington’s 2018 apple crop and things are looking pretty good. The forecast for fresh pack is 131-million 40-pound boxes, down slightly from last year’s 134-million.

But, Washington State Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney says this year’s apple looks to be a little bigger, but what’s really needed is today’s marketplace is a diversity of sizes …

Devaney … “American consumers tend to like slightly larger fruit and given the tariff issues that many of our export fruit is facing at the moment, having larger sizes that are better suited to the domestic market helps.”

DeVaney says there was one significant change in varietal dominance …

Devaney … “This year we saw for the first time the projection for Gala apples being larger than Red Delicious. Red Delicious had been the biggest volume variety in our state for decades and so having it move into second place was a change. And, it’s less about there being less total Red Delicious than just the growth has been in other varieties.”

And, he says organic acreage continues to increase …

Devaney … “The transition acreage for organic takes about three years to get fully organic certified. So, we know that more acreage is in the process of being certified organic. And, this year the projection is about 14% of the total apple crop being organic production and that compares with 10% last year.”

The forecast is based on a survey of Association members and represents, with an average difference of about 1%, an estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market.

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