Survey forecasts slight rise in 2020 fresh apple production

For the Basin Business Journal | September 6, 2020 1:00 AM

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association is forecasting the state’s 2020 fresh apple crop at around 134 million 40-pound boxes.

That’s a little less than 5.4 billion pounds of apples, and very close to the state’s apple harvest of 133.9 million boxes in 2019, the Tree Fruit Association announced in early August.

“The 2020 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s. Harvest is underway and growers anticipate being able to meet strong consumer demand with an ample and high-quality harvest,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA president. “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.”

According to the association, the most numerous apples grown and picked in Washington this year will be Gala apples, which will count for around 23 percent of the total crop, followed by Red Delicious at 17 percent, Fuji at 14 percent, and Granny Smith and Honeycrisp at both 13 percent of forecast production.

Last year’s smash debut, Cosmic Crisp, is set to account for slightly more than 1 out of every 100 fresh apples picked this year.

The association said organic apple production is expected to hit 21 million boxes, or 16 percent of total output, up slightly from 15 million boxes in 2019. However, the association did note that not all organic produce is ultimately packaged and marketed as organic.

According to the Tree Fruit Association, the forecast is based on a survey of association members and is an estimate of the volume of fresh apples that will eventually make their way to market. Apple harvest begins in August and lasts into November, the association said, adding that the forecast is still subject to several months of weather that can change the final harvest figures.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at