Washington apple crop down 11.1 percent from last year

YAKIMA, Wash. – Washington state’s apple crop is projected to be down 11.1 percent from last year. 

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association released its forecast on Monday, projecting there to be 108.7 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples this year. 

That’s down from 2021’s 122.3 million boxes. 

“We are pleased with the size of the harvest, particularly in the face of a long, cold spring,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. “Growing seasons are never the same, and currently many WSTFA members are still evaluating the impact of prolonged cold weather and ongoing crop development. Weather is always a factor, and some varieties still have several months of growth ahead. However, our members are to be congratulated for once again managing this uncertainty to deliver a strong harvest for the benefit of our state, country, and ultimately the world.”

The estimate shows that five popular apple varieties make up the majority of the harvest. 

  • Gala: 20%
  • Red Delicious: 14%
  • Honeycrisp: 14%
  • Granny Smith: 13.4%
  • Fuji: 12.7%

Cosmic Crisps make up 4.6 percent of the harvest, which is up from last year’s 3.2 percent. 

Washington apples are sold in more than 40 countries. They are vital to the state’s economy and are its leading agricultural commodity. Apples made up 20 percent of the state’s farm-gate agricultural value in 2020 and on average, 30 percent of the harvest is exported. 

“Apples are a symbol of Washington,” said Derek Sandison, Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “Wherever I go in the world, the minute I say I’m representing Washington, people tell me how much they love our apples. The apple harvest is also vitally important to our state’s economy, representing approximately $7.5 billion in annual economic impact. Although they have faced many challenges this year, I wish the workforce and the state’s growers success as they begin another great harvest.”

Apple harvest typically begins in August and continues into November. As a result, the projected forecast released Monday is subject to change. 

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