Honeycrisp Popularity Grows As Top Choice Of Washington Producers

Special sessions set to probe handling of hot variety.

Published on: Jun 10, 2013

When it comes to apples, nobody grows more than Washington, and when it comes to varieties, the Honeycrisp is nudging out competitors in the state.

In fact, the Honeycrisp is as hot as an apple variety, that Washington State University is holding a series of workshops and tours beginning this week to help producers grow, harvest and store the cultivar.

The "Honeycrisp Experience: Production, Harvest and Storage," series kicks off June 11 with orchard tours at BMR Orchards, Royal Slope, June 12 at Maverick Orchard, Brewster, and June 13 at Chiawana Orchards in Gleed.

The seminar follows up with autumn preharvest tours of BMR on Sept., 10, Chiawana Orchards on Sept. 12, and Maverick on Sept. 17.

Apples like these are getting more competition as Honeycrisp is making new inroads into the consumer marketplace
Apples like these are getting more competition as Honeycrisp is making new inroads into the consumer marketplace

The series, says WSU Extension tree fruit specialist Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel, is for those commercially producing Honeycrisp now, and those interested in trying out plantings of the variety.

"The popularity of the Honeycrisp to customers is very high," she notes, "due to the sweet, juicy, crunchy character of the apple. I think the number of growers is going up pretty fast. In fact, I believe we could have as many as 300 growers attending these sessions."

While a big hit for consumers, growing the variety offers challenges, she says, which will be addressed at the field meetings.

However, space may be limited and interested producers are urged to sign up soon online.

A fee of $100 is charged for all three parts of the series, including a Research-to-Pactice workshop7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Wenatchee Convention Center, with lunch provided by AgroFresh.

In-depth discussions of the day-long session  will probe economics of growing Honeycrisp, and talks on orchard establishment and site optimism, as well as growing of trees, crop load and light management. Harvest strategies and fruit quality/storage will also be topics.

For more information, Hoheisel may be contacted at (509) 788-5459 or via email at ghoheisel@wsu.edu.