|8/20/2014 11:35:00 PM|
Record breaking apple crop in 2014
This year's state apple crop outlook is looking bright.
So bright, in fact, that the predicted outlook is expected to break the 2012 state record by 8.5 percent.
In 2012 state apple producers packed and shipped 129 million boxes. This year's crop is expected to yield 140 million boxes.
"The outlook is that we will have more apples than we've ever had," says Doug England, General Manager of Manson Apple Growers.
Locally, the concern is that the large wildfires in the area, coupled with last week's severe thunder storms, may have effected the crop.
But, England says the crop is still on its way to being one of the best looking and tasting crops ever to come from Washington state orchards.
"They are excellent in quality and size. We are looking forward to getting the apples out to the consumer in good shape," England added. "At this point we need to concentrate on getting them off (the trees) right now."
England says the smoke from surrounding wildfires hasn't affected the crop itself, but may have affected the availability of laborers.
"No, smoke hasn't affected anything. There are a few people that are still trying to get more labor, everyone is trying to build up their picking crew," he said.
England did say by week's end locals could see fruit for sale.
"We are a later district, but we'll have some fruit coming in next week," England added.
The severe thunder storms and heavy rains also didn't affect the quality of the crops, however there are other concerns to keep in mind.
"The storm has made a mess, lightning hit our building, showered our ceiling with sparks. Right now we're getting phones and computers back up," England said in a phone interview last Thursday, Aug. 14.
The rains also caused other concerns for locals trying to navigate their daily lives, and England said the affects on growers and laborers is also very real.
"This kind of rain doesn't hurt the apples, but it devastates access to orchards," he added.
Which is bothersome to harvest time, when pickers are getting ready to get in there, to pick, pack and ship.
Still, the outlook on the statewide crop is expected to break the 2012 record.
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