New-crop apples have begun already in the Pacific Northwest, according to Fresh Plaza.
“We have apples earlier than expected--we’re early by at least two weeks,” says Jeff Aguigui of Ag Grower Sales LLC in Wenatchee, WA. “It’s because of the heat wave in June. The apples matured a bit quicker because of that heat so it was almost like a rapid growing season.” He also adds that nighttime temperatures didn’t cool as well and that in the last three months, temperatures were still sitting at 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit at 6 a.m.
This is on a crop that’s estimated to be slightly larger than last year by a few million boxes--as high as 124.5 million is estimated at this point. Aguigui notes that Ag Grower has started with Royal Gala apples as well as new crop Bartlett pears, Golden Delicious, Ginger Golds and Honeycrisp. What remains to be seen is how the quality of the apples fared given that heat.
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