Good year for Washington juice grape growers

Published On: Nov 16 2012 12:29:46 PM PST
Grape growers agriculture
YAKIMA, Wash. -

Wine grape growers get most of the attention, but juice grape growers in Washington say they've had a good year, thanks to a relatively bountiful crop and higher prices.

Growers harvested about 174,000 tons this year. Trent Ball of the Yakima Valley College's agriculture program says that's higher than the past two years, but down about 19 tons from the 10-year average.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports growers were paid about $280 a ton. Demand has been high because of spring frost damage to grapes in New York and Michigan vineyards.

Washington is the country's largest producer of juice grapes, accounting for more than half of the national production. Most are grown in Yakima Valley near Grandview. Most are concord grapes used in drinks or to make jams and jellies.