Apples ripen in a Brewster-area orchard.

YAKIMA – Washington’s apple crop is expected to be around 134 million standard 40-pound boxes.

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association released its 2020 fresh crop forecast on Monday.

The forecast is close to the 2019 crop of 133.9 million boxes.

“The 2020 Washington state apple crop looks to be similar in size to last year’s,” said Jon DeVaney, association president. “Harvest is underway and growers anticipate being able to meet strong consumer demand with an ample and high-quality harvest.

“Our members are growing large crops, but with more varieties to choose from and while continuing to raise the already high standards of quality that domestic and international consumers have come to expect.”

For the second straight year, Gala will be the most numerous variety at 23 percent of the crop. Red Delicious is projected at 17 percent, followed by Fuji at 14 percent, with Granny Smith and Honeycrisp at 13 percent each.

This year, Cosmic Crisp is forecast to come in at 1.2 percent of the total crop and Cripps Pink at 5 percent. Last fall was the first production year for Cosmic Crisp.

Organic apple production projected at 16 percent of the total, or 21 million boxes, up from 15 million boxes in the 2019 apple crop. Typically, not all organic production is ultimately packed and marketed as organic, according to the association.

The forecast is based on a survey of association members, and represents a best estimate of the total volume of apples that eventually will be packed and sold on the fresh market, excluding product sent to processors.

Apple harvest typically begins in August and continues into November, and as a result the forecast is still subject to several months of variable weather that can affect the final harvest total, the association said.

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