The Washington Apple Commission is out with the first estimate of the 2020 crop, which is expected to be around 134 million 40-pound boxes. That figure is on par with last year’s 133 million boxes.
However, since the time of the initial estimate, the Northwest experienced extreme weather which most likely will impact the final harvest numbers. The Labor Day weekend windstorm resulted in apples being knocked off the tree and some growers reported damage to their trellis systems as well. On top of that, wildfires burning across the west coast have produced intense smoke, delaying harvest a few days in some areas.
The adverse weather is expected to reduce the crop volume anywhere from 5%-10%.
Washington apple growers and orchard crews started picking Galas in late August and have since moved on to Honeycrisp. Harvest in Washington typically begins mid-August and lasts into November. Red Delicious, Fuji and Cosmic Crisp will be harvested in October and the season will wrap up with Granny Smith and Cripps Pink in November.
Demand for Washington apples has been high in response to elevated health-conscious and bulk-purchase behavior by consumers. Volume of apples shipped during this time period is slightly lower than last season, but overall movement is good. Suppliers are working hard to meet the demand and keep on pace with season goals.
Washington is the leading apple producer in the U.S., representing 65% of all U.S. fresh apple production.
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