‘Vintage Year’ for apple crop, experts say the weather was just right
Many Northwest apple growers are reveling in a good crop – with good quality, moderate sizing and nice color.
“Most of our people around our board of directors call this a ‘vintage crop,’ probably one of the best crops we’ve had at least in the last decade,” said Todd Fryhover, who leads the Washington Apple Commission from Wenatchee.
Now, the industry will have to work hard to find homes for nearly 140 million 40-pound boxes of apples out of Washington.
Most apples are out of the orchards now and are being sorted and packed. Some will be put in storage, while others are being shipped right away to markets across the nation and around the world. This year was Goldilocks: Fryhover said it wasn’t too cold in the spring, no freezes during bloom and it wasn’t too hot in the summer – he said it was just right.
“We always have a few hail storms, some areas are just prone to it, but in general quality hasn’t been impacted by weather this year,” Fryhover said. “We moved into August and we didn’t see those 100,110 temperatures again like we have in the past, so it really has been an ideal year for growing a quality crop.”
Looking good for apple sales is the fact that India is back in the apple importing business with the lifting of tariffs.
Indian tariffs had been slapped down on Northwest growers after the Trump Administration put tariffs on steel.
Also, Asian markets, like China, are waking up with the weaker dollar, Fryhover said. He said apple growers and packers are very excited about India opening back up. So far, Washington’s packers have shipped about 200,000 boxes of apples to India since the trade tariffs were lifted in September.
“It provides us with an opportunity to ship a large volume of our fruit to a market that’s very interested in our fruit – specifically on our red delicious and our gala,” he said.