washington apples
6:01 am
Sat August 24, 2013

New Wash. Apple Not Yet in Stores, But Plenty Others Will Be

Northwest apple growers are expecting a bumper crop this year. Harvest is already beginning on some farms, but growers are excited over an apple variety you can’t even get in stores yet.

At 4.8 billion pounds, Washington’s crop this year is going to be the second largest on record, and only second to last year’s crop.

Northwest apple expert Rebecca Lyons attributes that recent growth to newer and much denser plantings. But more and more farmers are turning toward premium, newer varieties to earn profits.

One new variety, called WA-38, is being developed at Washington State University.

“So 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. It also has a lot of sweetness but it also has a good tangy, apple acidity as well,” said Kate Evans, who heads WSU’s research on the deep red fruit.

But the WA-38 won’t be planted commercially until 2016. Evans says giving the new apple the right name may be much harder than taste-testing.

As for apples you can get this year, galas and golden apples are coming off the trees now in warmer parts of the state.