Up 15 percent over last year
YAKIMA –The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) released its forecast for the 2016 Washington state fresh apple crop today.
The 2016 forecast is for a crop of 132.9 million standard forty pound boxes of fresh apples. This is up 15 percent over 2015’s 115 million box crop, but still down 6 percent from the 2014 record crop of 141.8 million boxes.
“Weather in 2016 has been favorable for the development of a high-quality crop with good color and storability. In addition, harvest has begun 1-2 weeks earlier as a result of those conditions,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. “Washington apple growers expect to deliver a large crop of beautiful apples to consumers this year.”
Consumers will have many varieties of Washington apples to choose from. While Red Delicious remains the most numerous variety with a projected 25 percent of production, Gala is close behind at 23 percent, followed by Fuji at 14 percent and Granny Smith at 13 percent of total production. This year Honeycrisp is forecast to come in at 7 percent of the total crop and Cripps Pinks at four percent.
This forecast is based on a survey of WSTFA members, and represents a best estimate of the total volume of apples that will eventually be packed and sold on the fresh market (excluding product sent to processor). Apple harvest typically begins in early August and continues into November, and as a result this forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather which can affect the final season’s crop total.