Northwest apple growers are expecting a bumper crop this year and harvest is already beginning on some farms.
But growers are excited over an apple variety you can’t even get in stores yet.
Washington’s crop this year is going to be the second largest on record – at 4.8-billion pounds. Only last year’s crop was larger.
Northwest apple expert Rebecca Lyons attributes that recent growth to newer much-denser plantings. But more and more farmers are turning toward premium, newer varieties to earn profits.
One is called “WA 38”. It’s being developed at Washington State University.
“When you bite into WA 38 the first thing that hits you is that it’s very crisp … and extremely juicy. The two go together,” says Kate Evans, who heads the research on the deep red fruit. “It also has a lot of sweetness but it also has a good tangy, apple acidity as well.”
WA 38 won’t be planted commercially until 2016. But Evans says giving the new apple the right name may be actually be the harder job.
As for apples you can get this year: galas and golden apples are now coming off trees in warmer parts of Washington.
On the Web:
WA 38 Apple overview - Washington State University
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017