Certified acres of organic apples, pears and cherries in Washington State increased at a slower rate in 2009 than in previous years. Reported transition acres decreased for all tree fruit signaling a response by producers, particularly apple producers, to the significant price drop for the 2008 crop. Organic apples now represent about10% of all apple acres in the state, but not all of this fruit is sold as organic. Apple and pear prices, both conventional and organic, dropped for the 2008/09 season, resulting in significantly reduced organic premiums. Recent organic apple returns (2009/10 season) appear to have marginally improved over the previous year, but did not return to the higher values prior to the 2008 crop. Total state organic apple production could reach 12 million boxes by 2011. Washington State producers expanded their acreage of organic soft fruits in recent years.
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