Apricot Production Down Pt 2

Apricot Production Down Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Last winter’s late snows and cooler temps resulted in the lowest Washington apricot crop since 1996. Production this year was only 26-hundred tons, more than half off the yearly average.

Washington State Tree Fruit Commission president BJ Thurlby says it hit apricots particularly hard because they’re the first fruit trees bloom …

THURLBY … “So, with that cold weather we had, those trees wanted to bloom a little bit, so even with it being cold the buds were a little bit more susceptible than other fruit that we grow and, sure enough, that cold weather just kind of zapped all the trees and from beginning to end, everybody ended up with less than really half a crop so it made for a real challenging year for the apricot growers.”

Thurlby says it may not seem like much, but we produce a fifth of the nation’s apricots …

THURLBY … “But, yeah, we’re 20% of the apricot deal nationally so it shortened it up and California had a very big crop. So, we didn’t really feel it in the market that the crop was really hurt because some years, when we have a shorter crop, whatever it might be, any tree fruit, you might see a higher price because we’re short, but in that particular arena, California grows quite a bit more than we do, and they had a full crop. So, it was just one of those years where I think the growers would just as soon forget and look forward to next year.”

Thurlby says only time will tell …

THURLBY … “You know, what we see quite often it these trees will be, they have fewer fruit so they’ll actually get more rest and may actually be probably more vigorous for a larger crop next year. So, we think next year we will be looking back at a, you know, 6-thousand to 7-thousand-ton crop again, no problem.”

Thurlby says it’s still too early to tell if this fall’s early cool-down will have any impact on next year’s crop.

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