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Seattle's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and More | Seattle, Washington | KING5.com

High winds and wildfires reduce Washington's apple crop up to 10%

Washington state supplies 65% of the nation’s fresh apple crop each year.

Washington’s apple crop will be up to 10% smaller than expected because wildfires and extreme windstorms have battered orchards in recent weeks.

The Washington Apple Commission said Wednesday that the state supplies 65% of the nation’s fresh apple crop each year.

The commission in August estimated the 2020 crop would total 134 million 40-pound boxes. But over Labor Day weekend, a strong windstorm moving through central Washington state knocked many apples off trees and damaged some trellis systems.

The wind also fueled wildfires that produced intense smoke, preventing employees from safely working in orchards.

Finally, more accurate reporting of how many apples were on trees found a lighter crop volume than expected.