Northwest Apple Crop Looks Good So Far, If Farmers Can Get It Picked

May 15, 2012

Northwest apple growers expect a bumper crop this year in combination with higher prices. But as correspondent Anna King reports, farmers are worried they won’t have enough workers to pick the apples at peak ripeness.

This year – if nothing huge happens Mother Nature wise – Northwest growers should be able to ripen a lot of fruit. But there’s been a workers shortage -- in part because of border enforcement. That’s the case in the Washington asparagus harvest right now – which is usually an indicator for later crops. Jon DeVaney heads the Yakima Valley Growers and Shippers Association. He says leaving apples on trees would be a shame this year, because higher prices are expected.

Northwest apple farmers have been producing more fruit in the last few years because newly-planted acreage is coming into full production. The newer types of apple trees are also more productive.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio