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Bob Larson Apple Trade Worries Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 04, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. With expected apple production in Washington down just slightly but quality high, the big questions for growers this year may lie within the trade wars.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney says as the apple harvest continues, tariffs and trade negotiations are on grower’s minds …

Devaney … “It doesn’t effect the harvest as much as it effects projections about where you think you might be sending that fruit and it’s anyone’s best guess is as good as anyone else’s on how long this dispute will take to get resolved.”

But, DeVaney says sooner would be better …

Devaney … “Obviously growers are hoping for it to be resolved sooner because we can compete with even some of the most prolific apple producers in the world like China based on our quality and our good reputation for food safety. But, we need to have access to those customers in order to compete and if we’re just shut out of a market we can’t do that.”

He says we’ve can’t just rely on the old standbys …

Devaney … “So, growers are really looking at making sure that they have fruit that’s going to be marketable in a couple of different markets. What a lot of growers do is they try to target specific export or domestic customers and if you’re not sure you’re going to have the access to those customers that you’ve grown the variety and size that that market prefers, then you need to be thinking about, well who else likes that size and variety of fruit?”

Listen tomorrow for more on this year’s apple trade.

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BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, an organic apple production update

AW: In an annual review of WA organic tree fruit, apples came in second for organic fruit sales in the US. About 8% of the fresh apples consumed in the US were Washington organic apples and it’s projected to grow 6% by 2020. Organic sales have been increasing about 10% every year with organic apple acreage increasing about 2.5%.

BL: Is the US the top producer of organic apples?

AW: Europe is still the main production area with China exponentially increasing acreage. In Washington, about 12% of the tree fruit acres are organic apples, pears and cherries.

BL: What are the main organic apple varieties?

AW: Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp are dominating organic plantings and transition acres. New & specialty cultivars are grown but are usually on less than 100 acres.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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