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Kate Evans

Apple crop expected to be up 18% from last year

YAKIMA — Just over 137 million boxes of apples are expected to be packed this year, an 18% increase from last year’s crop.

The forecast was issued Aug. 7 by the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, which surveys growers to generate the estimate, according to a press release.

Gala is expected to have the largest share of the crop at 23%, followed by Red Delicious at 20%, according to the forecast.

Fuji will make up 13% of the total and Granny Smith will be 12%, according to the forecast.

Around 13% of the crop is forecasted to be organic, according to the release.

“Favorable summer growing weather means that Washington growers are expecting a crop with excellent quality and finish,” WSTFA President Jon DeVaney said in the release.

Evans is interim director of WSU research center

WENATCHEE — Horticulturist Kate Evans is the new interim director of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.  

Evans, who took over Aug. 26, replaced the retiring Jim McFerson, who had been director for four years, according to a WSU press release.

Evans had led the center’s pome fruit breeding program, which has developed the Cosmic Crisp apple. She’s been a professor in the university’s Department of Horticulture since 2008.

“The Pacific Northwest fruit industry is one of the largest in the world, and our growers depend on WSU research for better plants, practices, and ideas,” Evans said in the release. “As a scientist, it’s been exciting for me to help breed new varieties ideally suited for our growing conditions, market needs, and consumer preferences. Now, as interim center director, I’ll support WSU research that boosts the health and potential of our fruit economy.”