Washington state apple crop estimate lowered 5.3%

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington State Tree Fruit Association officials have lowered their 2021 estimate of the statewide apple harvest by 5.3%.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the estimate was decreased from 124.85 million to 118.255 million boxes.

Association President Jon DeVaney said Tuesday the apple harvest is still wrapping up for some Washington varieties, but based on volumes harvested so far, members are expecting a decrease.

“Our members are reporting smaller crops of some varieties including Honeycrisp, Galas and Red Delicious,” he said.

High heat earlier in the season affected what was ultimately picked in some cases, DeVaney said.

“In spite of the smaller harvest, we are seeing high-quality fruit,” he added.

The new estimate of 118.255 million boxes would be a 3.1% decrease from 2020’s 122 million-box apple harvest, and 12.1% less than 2019’s harvest of 134.5 million boxes.

Kathryn Grandy, chief marketing officer for Proprietary Variety Management, which has the license to market Cosmic Crisps, said that harvest is anticipated at 4.5 million boxes, compared to 1.75 million last year. Cosmic Crisps are estimated to be about 3% of this year’s apple harvest, according to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association.

Growers with Barrett Orchards, Gilbert Orchards and Valicoff Family Farms have said cooler temperatures later in the summer helped their apple crop recover somewhat from record heat in late June and early July.