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Bob Larson Apple Trade Worries Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: September 05, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Washington apple growers are expected to produce about 131-million boxes of fresh apples this year, slightly down from last year, but good just the same. But, with the trade wars still raging, growers are worried who will buy them.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association president Jon DeVaney says some varieties could be hurt more than others …

Devaney … “Red Delicious, for example, is a variety that is very successful in the export market. More than half of our Red Delicious are sold overseas and so when we have disruptions to the export market that’s one of the varieties that can be hurt the most, the growers of that variety. So, having alternate customers domestically or in other export markets where we’re not currently having trade problems is very important for all growers.”

But. DeVaney says whether or not the trade disputes can be settled in time …

Devaney … “Hopefully! What government agencies consider soon and what growers consider soon are not always the same thing, unfortunately. But, the sooner that’s resolved the better because, again, growers are looking for the chance to compete more than they’re looking for some short-term bailout, for example. You know, that’s been discussed and everybody appreciates concern for the grower’s welfare, but really we just want to see the resolution of this trade dispute so that growers can go back to competing in a free market.”

DeVaney says the yet to be approved agreement with Mexico could be good news for Red Delicious growers, but they’ve also been buying other varieties as the Mexican economy grows.

Apple growers in the U.S. export roughly $1-billion dollars in apples every year, with roughly a third of those coming from Washington.

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