The Washington state Tree Fruit Association released its 2021 fresh apple crop forecast Friday which calls for a crop of just under 125 million standard forty-pound boxes. If realized, this year’s crop would be 2.3% larger than 2020, but 7.2% smaller than 2019.
For the third straight year, Gala will be the most numerous variety at 21%, Red Delicious is projected at 16%, followed by Honeycrisp and Granny Smith at 14%, and Fuji at 13% of total production. This year, Cosmic Crisp is forecast to come in at 3% of the total crop, a 114% increase from last year’s, while Cripps Pink at 6%.
“The 2021 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s crop. Growing seasons are never the same, and currently many WSTFA members are still evaluating the impact of this summer’s adverse and variable weather conditions. Members have made their best attempt to incorporate these factors, but with harvest just beginning and several months of unknown weather ahead, further reductions in the size of the forecasted crop are possible.” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President. “In spite of these challenges, our growers anticipate meeting strong consumer demand with an ample and high-quality harvest. This crop reflects the continued growth of new varieties to delight all consumer tastes combined with the high standards of quality that domestic and international consumers have come to expect.”
Organic apple production is forecast to be 12.3% of the total, or 15.36 million boxes. This is essentially unchanged from the 15.6 million boxes in the 2020 apple crop. Although it should be noted that typically not all organic production is ultimately packed and marketed as organic.
Apple harvest typically begins in August and continues into November, and the WSTFA stressed this forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather which can affect the final harvest total.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]