Actualidad nacional e internacionalMay. 25, 2017
Washington: Productores de damascos esperan buena cosecha. Demanda en aumento (texto en inglés)
Washington stone fruit growers are anticipating a nice crop for the season with growth in apricots leading the way.
“We had a nice winter, we’ve got plenty of water, our spring weather was a bit cooler than the last couple of seasons, but nothing out of the normal so we’re expecting a good crop,” says James Michael of the Yakima, Wash.-based Northwest Cherry Growers.
Collectively, on apricots alone, Michael anticipates 6,000 tonnes of apricots. While that’s on par with last year’s crop, Michael notes that over the last five years, growers have seen an increase in apricot demand between 25-30 per cent. “It’s not a particular boost, but in stone fruit, the peaches and nectarines have settled down,” he says. “The industry has removed a lot of the white variety and there’s a lot of switching back and forth in varieties. The one area I’ve seen consistent growth is in apricots for the last five years.”
New variety interest
While varieties such as Perfection and Rival remain good sellers, he’s seeing particular growth in the Robada variety. “It’s become our number one variety and it’s one of the largest drivers to increase our production. It colors up really well, it’s a larger piece of fruit, it’s visually attractive and has the flavour to match. The growth in Robada has helped grow the category for us.”
He also sees it being part of a larger trend of growing interest in “classic fruits.” “There’s more of a return to traditional categories,” he says. “People across North America are branching out to classic fruits such as pomegranates or persimmons and things that we read about in old poems. Ten years ago we didn’t see these on a grocery store shelf.”
Michael anticipates that volume will start either late June or the first week of July. “Then we’ll have solid volume throughout the month of July and even have some late-season varieties of stone fruit that will push into mid-August this year,” he says.