Apricot Production Down Pt 1

Apricot Production Down Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. It may have been 8 months ago, but the late winter snow and freezing temps we had back in late February and early March are now exacting their toll on certain growers.

Washington State Tree Fruit Commission president, BJ Thurlby says apricot growers are finally feeling the chill …

THURLBY … “You know, our apricot crop here in Washington was definitely reduced. I was running the numbers yesterday and it appears that we sold a grand total of right at 26-hundred ton, but at the same time that’s the shortest crop we’ve had since 1996.”

Thurlby says the loss was more than 50% …

THURLBY … “So, yes the apricot crop was short. Now, you know, the apricot crop is a small crop, one of the small crops we deal with. Comparatively, you know, it would normally be 6 or 7-thousand tons.”

Thurlby says it may be a smaller crop, but it’s all relative …

THURLBY … “In contrast, our cherry deal in the Northwest, which is a world-wide phenomenon, is closer to 230-thousand tons. So, just to give people a little perspective, the Washington apricot crop is actually a smaller crop, but we’ve got plenty of them. You know, we could feed everybody along the west coast for several weeks if we needed to.”

So, bottom line …

THURLBY … “This year was short. It was unfortunate, you know, that if the growers don’t have tonnage, even if the fruit’s great, they, it’s hard to make any money and that was kind of the, I think, the short story of this year.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on this year’s apricot crop and what growers are expecting next year.

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