It’s Mother Nature’s Call…
That is, whether or not Washington State will have its biggest apple crop in history this upcoming harvest. According the field reports coming in and being reported by VP Fruit Procurement and Grower Services Cris Hales, “It’s a very heavy bloom and this warm, sunny spring has brought on an abundant crop of young apples very quickly. Now we just need to see about getting through the hail season. If hail doesn’t produce widespread crop damage, estimates are the fresh apple yield will more than a 135 million boxes of apples for the fresh market”
By comparison, this year’s crop is estimated to come in at about 115 million boxes. According to Cris, “the industry is geared up and ready for the large crop; we likely have hit a new plateau. The 2012 crop which was hit with hail ended up being 128 million boxes, nearly 9 million more than any of the prior years.”
Pears on the other hand may be a challenge as the crop produces a smaller crop every other year and the FY15 crop is a smaller crop year.
Tree Top’s Logistics team is gearing up to handle the large crop which will likely be harvested fairly early if the warm weather persists. The team is working closely with Fruit Procurement & Grower Services to improve scheduling and communication with warehouses and will be securing additional bins. According to Joel Yeager, director of Logistics, “Our new Presort Facility could not come on line at a better time—just in time for us to take full advantage of it and help get the right fruit to the right place for processing more efficiently.”
Agriculture is an unpredictable business with Mother Nature playing perhaps one of the largest roles in good production and good profits for growers and processors.
As Cris stated in her FY15 Raw Fruit Forecast, “Let’s keep our fingers crossed Mother’s Nature continues to be good to us.”