By Rob Blakey, WSU Extension Post Harvest
Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage capacity in the state continues to increase, with an anticipated 10% increase in capacity in the next two years. This follows the 19% increase in CA capacity from 2013/14 to 2017/18.
Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere (DCA) storage comprises a small percentage of the storage capacity in the state (approximately 6% in 2019/2020), but is a growing segment with approximately 29% of rooms under construction and planned for completion in 2019/2020 being DCA rooms. Eight of the 24 respondents have, or plan to have, DCA storage capacity in the next two years. The reasons given for using DCA were for (i) long term storage of organic fruit (50%), (ii) better quality of conventional fruit (25%), and another 25% of warehouses wanting to use DCA for both of these reasons.
Regular atmosphere (RA) storage capacity is stable, with no new capacity planned in the coming two years (among the respondents).
The 24 survey responses accounted for approximately 50% of the total Washington apple volume. Thank you very much to these respondents for taking their contribution.
Tree Fruit Extension Specialist, WSU Extension
Postharvest Information & Technology Transfer