Organic Apples Pt 1

Organic Apples Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Organic apple production is climbing in Washington state, up 37 % in 2017, and poised to grow an estimated 16 % this year.

I asked Washington State University professor David

Granatstein if the growth was from new growers or if existing growers were expanding their acreage or swapping conventional acreage for organic?

GRANATSTEIN ... "It's a mix. It's existing growers expanding as well as new growers and particularly some new food companies getting into it."

Granatsteins says the growth should be slowing down ...

GRANATSTEIN ... "I would say this next year, there's quite a few acres in the pipeline and that it should drop off, based on all the info that we have, and it just intuitively or not, this huge increase is going to put some pressure on price and that's going to send a different message back to the production side, you know, slow down, cool it, we're going too fast here."

Granatstein says a surprising amount of organic apples go to the processed market ...

GRANATSTEIN ... "The rough estimate for last year's crop was 10 percent diverted. I don't know how much went to processing, probably the majority because there's really strong demand for organic processed products. There's all kind of new products coming out with fruit bars, this and that, and many of them have fruit as ingredients and apple is a very common ingredient. So, there has been a really good processing market for them."

Granatstein says Washington is one of the best places in the world to grow organic apples due, in large part, to the fact we don't have apple scab.

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