Apple harvest in Washington kicked off in late August and will continue through early November. There are some exciting developments this year for the dedicated growers that for many years have cultivated a nutrient rich and crunchy apple crop in Washington’s fertile soil and temperate climate.
Over the past few years, varieties grown in Washington have become more diverse, according to the Washington Apple Commission.Consumers will be met with a range of selection with over 56 varieties of apples available in the 2019/20 season. The organic category continues its upward trend and is indicated to represent 13% of the total crop.
This crop forecast is set to be 137 million 40 lb. boxes, a hefty increase of about 17.6% from the 2018 crop, according to the Washington Apple Commission.
“In the major apple growing areas, there were no big damaging freezes and mild summer temperatures, allowing the crop to thrive. Rainfall has been consistent, and conditions have favoured a season fruitful in quantity and quality,” said Craig Stauffer, CEO of Vanguard International, “This may prove to be a record-breaking season for apples out of Washington.”
According to Proprietary Variety Management LLC,Washington will produce its first commercial volume of the long-awaited Cosmic Crisp Apples. This crop is expected to reach nearly 450,000 boxes, with two and three-year-old trees released for sale in the coming Winter months. Harvest of this variety will begin in Mid-September and continue into October. With about 11 million trees of Cosmic Crisp planted so far, Proprietary Variety Management LLC says Cosmic Crisp production will rise to about 2 million boxes by 2020, and see further increase after that. This is expected to stay largely domestic in the first year of commercial production, but will see overall volume and opportunities for export increase significantly in the next couple of years.
According to the Washington AG Network, Gala is projected to be the most numerous variety in 2019 accounting for 23% of production. Red Delicious is projected at 20%, putting this variety in 2nd place. Rounding out the top five is Fuji at 13%, then Granny Smith and Honeycrisp both at 12% of total production. Organic apple production is forecast to be 13% of the total, or 18.3 million boxes.
Vanguard International looks forward to working with our great customers around the world and our long term Washington apple growers, packers, and shippers to deliver high quality apples over the next 12 months.
Please contact your Vanguard International representative for more information.