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Bob Larson NASS Ag Production Report Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: October 19, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The USDA’s National Ag Statistic Service is out with the 2017 list of agricultural production values that show apples, not surprisingly, sitting atop the list for Washington state for the 12th straight year.

All commodities came in at $10.6-billion dollars, up 4-percent over 2016’s total of $10.2-billion, but just short of 2015’s record of $10.7-billion.

NASS Northwest region director, Chris Mertz says while most of the news was pretty good, there were, as always, some ups and downs …

MERTZ … “Cherries, you know, dropped a little bit. Price had a decrease from the previous year. The production was up, but you’re still up there sitting fairly high for that commodity.”

Mertz says one of the commodities that performed well but didn’t make the top ten and continue an upward trend in production was blueberries, up 22-percent to $115-million dollars in 2017 …

MERTZ … “Blueberries were on the fringe as well and I’m not sure if everybody realizes that Washington ranks number one in blueberry production too. So, if we have some increases in that acreage it’s going to make that commodity increase, you would think, over time.”

Mertz says looking forward to next year’s apple production, the release of the Cosmic Crisp apple should be interesting …

MERTZ … “Absolutely! I think that’s going to have a big impact and it’s going to keep the demand up and the consumers are very excited about a new variety and people are marketing fairly strong so we hope that has a nice impact for the industry.”

Other fruits performed well including cherries at $479-million, grapes at $318-million, and pears at 4246-million.

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