( File photo )

A new estimate projects that the 2020 Washington apple crop will be similar in size to last season.

The Yakima, Wash.-based Washington State Tree Fruit Association forecasts the 2020 fresh crop in the state at 134 million 40-pound cartons, nearly the same as the 2019 crop of 133.9 million cartons.

“The 2020 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s,” Jon DeVaney, association president, said in a news release. “Harvest is underway and growers anticipate being able to meet strong consumer demand with an ample and high-quality harvest. Our members are growing large crops, but with more varieties to choose from and while continuing to raise the already high standards of quality that domestic and international consumers have come to expect.”

For the second year in a row, gala variety apples will be the biggest volume variety, according to the release. Galas will account for 23% of the state’s crop, compared with 17% for red delicious, 14% for fuji, 13% each for Honeycrisp and granny smith and 5% for cripps pink.

The surging Cosmic Crisp variety will account for about 1.2% of the total crop, according to the release,

Organic apple production is forecast to reach 21 million cartons, or 16% of the fresh crop. That compares with organic production of 15 million cartons in 2019, according to the release.

The fresh apple forecast is based on a survey of association members, according to the release.

Washington apple harvest began in August and continues into November, and the release said the forecast is subject to several months of variable weather.

 

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