That’s a lot of apples but less than last year’s crop. The Washington State Tree Fruit Association has released its forecast for the 2022 Washington state fresh apple crop projecting 108.7 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples, a 11.1% decrease from 2021’s 122.3 million boxes.
Officials say however that emerging varieties and organic production continue to grow in importance as a share of the overall crop, reflecting increased consumer preference.
A cold spring impacted a lot of crops in the Yakima Valley
“We are pleased with the size of the harvest, particularly in the face of a long, cold spring,” says 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.”
Five top varieties make up a a majority of the harvest this year
What’s your favorite apple? Five popular varieties make up a majority of the harvest.
Gala leads production at 20%, Red Delicious and Honeycrisp are each projected at 14%, followed by Granny Smith at 13.4%, and Fuji at 12.7% of total production. Association officials say Cosmic Crisp, only grown in Washington state continues to expand in its share of the total crop. This year, Cosmic Crisp is 4.6% of the harvest, up from 3.2% last year. You can find a Washington Apple just about anywhere you go. Sold in more than 40 countries apples are vital to the state’s economy and are its leading agricultural commodity. A press release from the association says apples represented 20% of the state’s farm-gate agricultural value in 2020. On average, 30% of the harvest is exported.
Washington growers are leaders in the organic market as well
Washington also 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. It should be noted that not all organic production is packed and marketed as organic.
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