Good Fruit Grower

January 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 39

16 JANUARY 1, 2015 GOOD FRUIT GROWER W ashington State grape growers pro- duced one of the biggest crops on record for both juice and wine grapes in 2014. For wine grape growers, the long, warm growing season resulted in a near perfect vintage. But many juice grape growers struggled to reach mini- mum sugar concentrations due to heavy crop loads, and, for those selling on the cash market, prices tumbled to levels not seen in a decade. For the last ten years, Washington, which is the nation's leading juice grape producer, has produced a statewide average of around 190,000 tons. The 2014 crop, which wrapped up harvest in mid-November, is estimated at around 264,000 tons, according to Dr. Trent Ball, who spoke during the Washington State Grape Society's annual meeting in Grandview in November. "We had a very warm growing year in Washington and a spectacular fall," said Ball, a partner in Agri-Business Consultants LLC and director of the viticulture and enol- ogy program at Yakima Valley Community College. Ball reports annually on juice and wine grape production and economic trends. "It was one of the earliest starts for both wine and juice grape harvests, and yields for juice grapes were extremely high, one of the biggest on record," he said. "The ber- ries just continued to size in the fall and get bigger and bigger." Exceptional tonnage Concord grape production averaged 12.3 tons per acre, up signifi cantly from last year's 7.7 tons per acre and 8.3 tons per acre in 2012. Though about 90 percent of Washington's juice grapes are purple varieties like Concord, about ten percent are the white Niagara variety. Niagaras averaged 17.2 tons per acre in 2014, setting a new state record. The previous record average for Niagara was 14.8 tons per acre. Washington produced an estimated 26,000 tons of Niagara grapes in 2014. Other juice grape producing regions in the United States also had big crops. New York, the nation's second largest producer, had a bigger crop than expected, as did Pennsylvania, all which helped push the national Concord crop to around 517,660 tons. "When you compile the national 2013 and 2014 crops—resulting in around 970,000 tons—it adds up to the largest consecutive totals for many years," said Ball. The buildup of Concord concentrate inventories depressed cash prices in Washington to around $110 per ton, a dramatic drop from last year's cash price of $225 per ton and $280 per ton in 2012. "We knew the cash price would come down, but going from $280 to $110 is a pretty dramatic drop," he said, adding that cash prices haven't been that low since 2004 and 2005. Prices for Concord concentrate (called concentrate 68 Brix) are at $8.50 per gallon in Washington and $10.50 on 10500 Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, CA 94513 800.634.1671 or 925.634.2191 (Alison Clegg or Richard Chavez) 877.457.6901 (Henry Sanguinetti) tBanning Red Fuji (USPP 16,624 P2) tBeni Shogun (USPP 7997) tBlondee ™ (USPP 19,007 McLaughlin cv) tBrookfield ® Gala (USPP 10,016) tBuckeye ® Gala (USPP 10,840) t$ISJTPMZO ® (USPP 21,300) t$SJNTPO(PME$SBC tDandee Red ® (USPP 16,620) t'SFUUJOHIBN$SBC tGolden Delicious tGranny Smith t)JMXFMM#SBFCVSO (USPP 7526) tHoneycrisp ™ (USPP 7197) t*OEJBO4VNNFS$SBC t+PCVSO ™ #SBFCVSO (USPP 11,992) tJonaStar JonaGold ™ (USPP 20,590) tLindaMac ® (USPP 12,900) t.BODIVSJBO$SBC tMidnight Red Spur ™ (serial 74/458,730) tPacific Gala ® (USPP 9681) t1FBSMFBG$SBC tRising Sun Fuji ® t3VCZ+PO ® (USPP 10,115) t3VCZ.BD ® (USPP 19,891) tSchlect Spur Delicious ™ t4FQUFNCFS8POEFS ™ Fuji (USPP 11,193) t4JNQTPO$SBC t4OPXESJGU$SBC tTorres Fuji ™ (USPP applied for) tUltima ™ Gala (USPP 13,753 P2) tZestar! ™ (USPP 11,367) Available on B-118, BUD-9, EMLA-7, EMLA-26, EMLA-106, EMLA-111, G-30, M-9 (T-337), NIC ® -29, or Supporter 4. APPLES $)&33*&4 MEMBER OF $POTJTUFODZ When you purchase young apple or cherry trees from ProTree Nursery, LLC, you can count on getting hearty, high-quality trees, each and every time. With over 40 years of experience, we are one of the leading suppliers to orchard growers. We work hard to make your job worry free – providing exceptional service and quality that you can depend on year after year. For a price quote or to inquire about specific varieties, call us today. It's what makes every ProTree tree as good as the last. t#FOUPO ™ t#JOH t#MBDL5BSU t#MBDL1FBSM ® t#SPPLT ™ t#VSHVOEZ1FBSM ® t$IFMBO ™ t$PSBM$IBNQBHOF t$SJTUBMJOB ™ t&CPOZ1FBSM ® t-BQJOT t3BEJBODF1FBSM ® t3BJOJFS t4FMBI ™ t4LFFOB ™ t4XFFUIFBSU ™ t5VMBSF ™ t7BOT Available on Colt, Gisela ® , Krymsk ® , Mahaleb, or Mazzard.* *Not all varieties are available on all rootstocks. Call for specific grafting information. Grapes "The big Concord crop came from a lot of high tonnage vineyards that averaged 16 to 18 tons per acre." —Keith Oliver Washington picks big wine, juice grape crops Concord grape grower cash prices plummet to $110 per ton. by Melissa Hansen PHOTO BY TJ MULLINEX Trent Ball gives the annual "State of the Grapes" report during the Washington State Grape Society's annual meeting.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - January 2015