The initial outlook for new season shipments of Washington state apples and North Carolina sweet potatoes are looking good, with increases in loadings expected for both.
Washington apple shipments for the fresh market are expected to hit nearly 133 million carton this season . If you include apples for processing it climbs to 168 million cartons, which was be a massive 15.7 percent increase over last season. This would represent 64 percent of the nation’s apple volume.
Shipped in 40-pound cartons, the fresh crop is up 15 percent from last year’115 million boxes. However this would be down 6 percent from 2014’s record 141.8 million boxes.
Washington growers typically begin harvesting in early August and continues into November, but due to warm growing conditions the crop is coming on a week or two early. The forecast also could be affected as we journey into the season due to several months of variable weather which can affect the final season’s crop total.
The red delicious variety remains the biggest-producer accounting for 25 percent of total production. Galas are at 23 percent fujis at 14 percent,with granny smiths at 13 percent. This season honeycrisps are forecast at 7 percent and cripps pinks — also known as Pink Lady apples — are at 4 percent.
Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $4200 to Dallas.
Sweet Potato Shipments
Depending upon the growing operation, harvest of North Carolina sweet potatoes for the new season will get underway anywhere from August 15th to the 25th. However, the old crop from the 2015-16 season will continue to be shipped into September. However, old crop supplies are dwindling. This will probably result in some shippers shipping uncured sweet potatoes from the new crop. Just make sure your customers are aware you’ll be delivering uncured product, since cured sweet potatoes are preferred. The new season with cured sweet potatoes should be in good volume by early October.
The outlook on size of the North Carolina crop hasn’t been issued yet, but early indications are it will be as large, if not a little larger than last season.