NW apple harvest could yield smaller fruit this year

Aug 12, 2011

Washington State harvests about 65% of the nation's apples each fall. But this year, because of the chilly spring, those cheery orbs of goodness could be a bit smaller and possibly less sweet.

The latest estimate says Washington state is set to pick about 106 million boxes of fruit this year. Each box is 42 pounds.

That's a pretty decent crop since last year growers hauled in about 109 million boxes.

Todd Fryhover is the president of the Washington Apple Commission based in Wenatchee. He says, although the overall numbers are good, the actual fruit could be puny.

"That being said we thought that same thing on gala harvest, and it turns out that the sizing was actually larger than what we had anticipated," Fryhover says. "So I guess the fruit is still in the barn so to speak and we'll have to wait and see what Mother Nature gives us in the next couple of months."

Fryhover says apple harvest should be about two weeks late. It will start in earnest in late this month or in early September.