Washington Apples in Pandemic Pt 2

Washington Apples in Pandemic Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Export markets may be recovering for Northwest food producers, but the road back to “normal” will likely be a slow go.

Washington Apple Commission’s Toni Lynn Adams says much of their market is domestic, but about 30% of our apples, on average, are shipped to other countries …

ADAMS … “Currently, exports have declined by 18%, and so about 5-million boxes. And, there are some markets that are reopening such as Viet Nam. They have really low cases and so they have started to reopen.”

Adams expects that reopening to help a little …

ADAMS … “But we have other markets like Mexico and India that are still in the middle of an extreme lockdown. And, so this has caused lots of challenges. So, there are major markets like Mexico, which is our number one export market, has been heavily impacted. So, it varies from market to market, so it’s not consistent across the board.”

And, Adams says exports have been a real challenge, but, on a good note, domestic shipments are up about 6% …

ADAMS … “Keeping in mind that apples store really well when refrigerated. They can last a couple of weeks. They are hardy fruit, so they store well. So, when we’re looking at how consumers are buying products in the store or if they’re ordering online, they’re doing more bulk purchases so they’re increasing the volume of what they’re buying instead of having more consistent purchasing behavior.”

Listen tomorrow for more on the coronavirus impact on Washington apples and how the retail market is shaping up.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us as always is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, let’s talk about fruit russet.

AW: Russet occurs when the fruit skin cells are damaged 30 to 40 days after petal fall. Several things can cause this and each leave their own “style”.

BL: Now, can we determine what caused the russet by the damage left behind?

AW: brown stem bowls mean either wet weather or rust mites.

Netting, which looks like bad lace on the fruit, can occur from early powdery mildew. Rings or leaf outlines appear if there are poor drying conditions after a spray application when water droplets pool at the bottom or under a leaf. Tan-ish sunken areas can be caused by frost.

BL: Are all apples & pears prone to russet?

AW: yellow or green fruit are more prone compared to red fruit. Anjou pears are probably the worst. In the next episode, I’ll discuss some options for prevention.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.



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