Washington Apple Update Pt 2

Washington Apple Update Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. We’re still a few weeks away from understanding what kind of effect our extra-long summer weather season had on earlier estimates for this year’s apple crop.

Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, says the warmer weather helped things ripen a bit quicker, but then you have to get the apples off the trees …

DeVANEY … “With the limits on overtime, a lot of folks were, you know, they were definitely wanting to avoid going over the 55-hour threshold this year to not trigger overtime. And, in many cases, they wanted cautious about not getting too close to that and inadvertently crossing that line.”

And that, DeVaney says probably cost at least some of the workers money …

DeVANEY … “People were, in some cases, not working an extra day a week that they could have in prior years. And so, that put some constraints on the calendar.”

DeVaney says some varieties, like Honey Crisp, saw a bit of a drop in their estimates, but it’s too early to tell on the other varieties …

DeVANEY … “Picking will usually continue into November so we usually, we look to the December 1 Report as sort of the final estimate of what the crop is that got picked. But, by November 1st, people will people will have been out picking a lot of varieties and will be able to make a stronger estimate of what the crop is looking like, with still a little bit of yet-to-be-harvested estimate there.”

Earlier estimates expected Washington apple production to be down about 11% compared to last year thanks to cooler and wetter weather late last winter and early spring.

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