WASHINGTON — This year, Washington's fresh apple harvest is predicted to be 11.1% down compared to the 2021 harvest as a result of the cool spring.
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) released its 2022 Washington state apple crop forecast this week and announced its production of 40-pound boxes of fresh apples is projected to be 13.6 million less compared to the 2021 harvest.
According to the WSTFA report, the full apple crop for this year is expected to be 108.7 million compared to 122.3 million boxes in 2021.
“Growing seasons are never the same, and currently many WSTFA members are still evaluating the impact of prolonged cold weather and ongoing crop development," Jon DeVaney, WSTFA president said in a written statement. "Weather is always a factor, and some varieties still have several months of growth ahead."
The apple harvest represents nearly $7.5 billion in annual economic impact for the state of Washington.
Research from the WSTFA shows that five popular apple varieties make up the majority of the harvest production:
- Gala 20%
- Red Delicious 14%
- Honeycrisp 14%
- Granny Smith 13.4%
- Fuji 12.7%
- Cosmic Crisp, a proprietary varietal grown only in Washington state made up 4.6% of the harvest, up from 3.2% last year.
“The strong harvest estimate for these varieties, which have been popular with domestic and international consumers, is good news," DeVaney said. "Apples are synonymous with Washington state, and our members are set to deliver another year of high-quality and delicious fruit."
Washington apples are exported to over 40 countries. Its production is vital to the state’s economy.
Despite the reduction of fresh apple harvest this year, the production of emerging varieties and organic apples grew. Washington leads the nation in the production of organic apples with over 90% of the country’s output.
The organic forecast for 2022 is 14.4 million boxes or 13% of the total harvest.
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