Cool Weather, Western X Held Back Washington’s Apricot Crop

As harvest continues for some varieties of peaches and nectarines, 2021 has proven to be a good year for the Washington stone fruit industry. However, one area that has struggled a bit is Washington apricots. B.J. Thurlby President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Commission said they expect harvest this year to be a bit short of expectations, around 3,000 tons.

He noted two reasons why this year’s crop is short. First, very cool overnight temperatures back in April hurt pollination efforts. The second, disease pressure.

“The Western X Disease has gotten into apricots which is also slowing down production there. Just five years ago we were at about 5,000 tons for the state of Washington which makes Washington the 2nd largest producer of apricots in the United States.  But it’s kind of dropped a little bit.”

Thurlby noted while the size of this year’s crop may be a little smaller, the quality of the fruit is very strong and consumer will be happy with Washington apricots.

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