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Washington's apple crop is forecast to be smaller this year

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association on Monday projected the 2022 Washington state fresh apple crop will see an 11% decrease.

SEATTLE — Washington's apple crop is forecast to be a bit smaller this year because of the cool spring.

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association on Monday projected the 2022 Washington state fresh apple crop will total 108.7 million forty-pound boxes. That's an 11.1% decrease from 2021’s 122.3 million boxes.

“We are pleased with the size of the harvest, particularly in the face of a long, cold spring,” said Jon DeVaney, WSTFA President.

The estimate shows that five popular apple varieties make up the majority of the harvest. Gala leads production at 20%, Red Delicious and Honeycrisp are each projected at 14%, followed by Granny Smith at 13.4%, and Fuji at 12.7% of total production.

Cosmic Crisp, which is grown only in Washington state, is 4.6% of the harvest, up from 3.2% last year.

Washington apples are sold in over 40 countries and are the state's top farm commodity, representing 20% of the state’s farm-gate agricultural value in 2020. On average, 30% of the harvest is exported.

Grapes could soon outpace apples as the fruit of Washington due to the recent growth of the wine industry

According to data given to KING 5 by the United States Department of Agriculture, apples took up 172,000 bearing acres in Washington in 2021. For wine grapes, it was 57,000 acres.

In terms of value, in 2021, the value of utilized production for Washington apples was $2.1 billion. Wine grapes were far behind at $262 million.

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