2014 WINTER TRANSITION TO THE DESERT
Weather & General Crop Outlook
Generally speaking the weather in the desert has been hotter than normal during the growing period for winter production. We have also experienced periods of rain and extremely high temperatures (over 100 DF). The effects on the early crops are dehydration of product, and some deformed and irregular growth. In Imperial Valley particularly, it is reported that there will be lower yields due to poor stands.
Here is a general report on transition on a few major commodities. We will be in the desert the next week and will have a full report on quality and outlook after our visit.
The new season Washington apple crop has started this week with limited availability. The general harvest should start within the next 10 days. Early reports indicate that this is the largest volume crop in Washington state history with a total crop estimate of 141 million bushels. This is a 20% increase up from the 2013-2014 season which ended up with 113 million bushels.
This increase in volume is primarily in the Galas, Honeycrisp, Fuji’s and Granny Smith. The Red Delicious volume remains about the same as in previous years. In general, the peak sizes will be 72’s, 88’s and 100’s on most all varieties. However, with the increase in the overall volume we expect good availability on most sizes.
The weather in Washington overall has been conducive towards a good growing season and packers remain optimistic about the quality and condition of the apples so far.