The growing conditions have been far from perfect. Washington State Apple orchard districts have been a little too warm and the color is not real great at this point. The galas in general are lighter in color than normal due to an early bloom and the fruit needs to get picked off before it starts cracking in the stem bowl. It can only hang for so long. Of course there are always areas that were not as affected. Also, the new varieties of galas are a more solid red color because of the strain.
If the weather stays warm, the color on some of the early variety apples like Honeycrisp, Galas, and Jonagolds could be lighter than last year. We are at a critical time for the weather to cool down and yet the weather the next week will be in the high 80’s with August 28 and 29 expected to be in the low 90s and this will bleach out more color.
Last year Washington State was basically the only game in town, but this year Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania are blessed with a bumper crop and great finishing weather. Without a domestic apple commission for Washington State and the amount of new apple plantings, it appears Washington State is nearing the end of bull market run of the last 10 plus years.
With the new demand for “Local” and the increased freight costs going to the major population centers on the east coast, Washington State is in for a run for the money, with the other apple producing states. If Washington State growers implement a new “Washington State Apple Commission” for 2014 it could push the chain stores to give Washington State apples more play on the front end of the shipping season (September, October, and November). How are we going to move these future crops without a domestic apple commission? I've been told we have enough trees in the ground to produce a 200 million box crop. Don’t you think it is time to reconsider the need for a joint marketing and promotional effort? United we stand, divided we fall comes to mind. Maybe the shippers /growers will reconsider their need for a silver bullet.