Washington Apple Shipping Report Shows Larger Volume, Sizing

Washington Apple Shipping Report Shows Larger Volume, Sizing

By Pacificpro Sales LLC, Belleville, WA

Good volume shipments are expected this entire season through the summer into new crop, on the primary varieties.

The entire 2023 Washington apple crop is currently in storage and controlled atmosphere rooms and is shaping up to be a great season for growers and consumers alike.

The harvest began in mid- August with the Gala variety and finished in November with the latest season variety to be harvested, the Pink Lady. Estimates put the total crop size in the 134 million box range. This is up over the 5-year average and a significant increase from the 2022-23 crop of 104 million boxes, a 29% increase.

The large crop is due to the ideal growing season in the spring and summer of 2023. The lack of any significant freezes after the bloom, no significant hailstorms or other weather damage, and 90-degree temperatures this summer resulted in a very clean crop with great sizing, color, crispness and flavor.

The warm days but not overly hot days, which would be more than 100 degrees, are great for sizing and sweetness, and when coupled with the cooler nights, results in great color and condition.

The Gala variety tops the list as the largest volume Washington apple variety this season at roughly 20% of the total crop or 26.5 million boxes, followed by the Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Fuji.

The iconic Red Delicious has been usurped in recent years by the Gala as the largest Washington variety. The Honeycrisp saw a significant jump in total volume this year due to the larger crop and better quality resulting in higher pack-outs.

The newest broadly grown variety, the Cosmic Crisp, continues to grow in both availability and popularity, accounting for roughly 5% of this season’s total Washington crop.