The university is having a drawing to assign the limited number of trees available to Washington growers for planting in 2017. The drawing, which has received more than 260 applications, closes May 31, according to the release.
Information on the variety is available online.
Desmond O’Rourke, president of Belrose Inc., Pullman, Wash., said one obvious unanswered question about the Cosmic Crisp is who will market it. Another is whether all growers who are successful in the drawing will be able to provide the needed quality for a successful new variety.
“With most of the club varieties, the club sponsor actually selects the growers and the packers that they would have working with them,” he said. “In this case, there is no merit standard, simply if you are a Washington grower you can put your name into the lottery,” he said. Club varieties often have an exclusive packer and marketer to tightly control quality, he said. O’Rourke said the new variety will face challenges in the years ahead.
“It is very easy to have a lot of hype initially, but actually putting a consistent quality apple like a gala on the market is very difficult.”