Handful of Washington apple varieties still availableMay 9, 2019
Washington apple growers are carefully controlling their storage crop to avoid any gaps in apple supplies before the new crop begins in August.
“Lately more sheds have been opening controlled atmosphere (CA) rooms. And they have Red Delicious, Granny Smiths, Royal Galas and Golden Delicious available,” says Gerald Castro of Ag Grower Sales LLC in Wenatchee, WA. “There’s even still some Honeycrisps, Fujis and Pink Ladies available. It just depends on when sheds want to open their CA rooms.”
This means sheds are selectively making varieties available throughout the week. “So one of the sheds will run Red Delicious today and tomorrow and then Honeycrisp the next day and Golden Delicious after that,” says Castro, who adds that New York and Michigan states are also still shipping apples. He does note that some sheds are already done and working on cleaning up their remaining apple inventory.
In terms of sizing, it’s largely retail-sizing available on apples, so between 64-88 count apples.
Meanwhile demand looks steady, as it does for apples year round, though as the school season ends or slows down (in the case of year-round schools), institutional program demand will lighten up.
All of this means pricing is high. “Especially on smaller apples,” says Castro. “It’s a little bit higher than last year at this time.” He notes that Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious are going for more than $30/box while Honeycrisps are anywhere between $60-$100.
Looking ahead, Castro continues to see more CA rooms opening up to go through the remaining storage crop. “They’re making sure that they don’t sell everything out so that they don’t have product for the rest of the summer,” he says. “They’re trying to spread it out till new crop starts.”
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