Washington state, the nation’s leading apple shipper is expected to load around 136 million cartons this season, compared to 116 million a year ago.
However, some apple shippers across the state believe volume could be even higher.
Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA notes some estimates have the forecast as much as 145 million to 150 million boxes. The proof in the pudding will arrive in December, when the crop is all harvested. However, this is in contrast to last year’s crop, which had fewer shipments than normal, plus had further reduction due to less fruit meeting minimum shipping standards.
Gala apples will overtake red delicious this year as Washington’s top apple variety.
In Washington’s 2019 estimate, both varieties will gain on last year’s volume, but galas will increase by 16 percent, for a forecast total of 31.8 million 40-pound cartons, to grab the No. 1 spot from red delicious.
Reds will total 29.4 million cartons, or 4 percent more than last year’s 28.2 million.
Fuji (17.7 million cartons), granny smith (17.3 million) and Honeycrisp (15 million) round out the top five apple varieties in Washington for the upcoming season. Honeycrisp volume is expected to jump 24 percent over last year’s 12.1 million boxes.
The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, British Columbia ships conventional and organic Jazz, Envy and Pacific Rose apples grown in Washington, as well as New Zealand. It should start moving Jazz around October 15th, with the first Envy shipping about two weeks later.
Chelan Fresh of Chelan, WA shipped about 1 million cases of organic apples last year, and it is anticipating a 20 percent increase this season. The company loaded organics into July this season and expects the same for this new season.