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Crop Production

Program Contact: Bernardita Sallato, Tree Fruit Extension Specialist
(509) 786-9205 • b.sallato@wsu.edu

Yakima County Crops

Tree Fruit Crops

Yakima County is the leading County in Washington State in the production of apples, sweet cherries, pears (including Bartlett pears).  There are hundreds of acres of peaches, nectarines, plums/prunes, apricots, and other soft fruits.

See WSU’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension website for extensive information and resources on tree fruit production.

WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension

Apples

Green apples in a tree.

Yakima County is the leading county in the nation in apple production with over 55,000 acres of apple orchards producing premier apple varieties like Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Honeycrisp as well as hundreds of antique apple varieties.

“American consumers can be confident when eating or serving apples-whether organic or conventional-that they are enjoying a safe, nutritious, healthy and delicious home-grown food produced with pride by the U.S. apple growers and the apple industry,”

–Wendy Brannen, Director of Consumer Health and Public Relations for U.S. Apple Association (USApple).

Pears

Pears hanging on a tree.

Yakima County is a premier pear production area with over 8,400 acres of orchards.

Pear Integrated Pest Management information can be found on the WSU Pear IPM page.  This page includes information on controlling various pear pests through a variety of methods with in-depth information on common pests.

For More information on commercial pear production, see: Pest Management Strategic Plan for Pears in Oregon and Washington, by Katie Murray and Joe DeFrancesco, Oregon State University.

Cherries & Other Stone Fruits

Bing & Rainer cherries hanging from a tree limb

Within the State of Washington, Yakima County is the number one producer of sweet cherries (2,500 acres), plums/prunes (>400 acres), nectarines (>600 acres), and peaches (>1,000 acres).  In your travels through our County, you may also come across apricots, tart cherries, pluots (plums crossed with apricots) and even pecotums (peach X apricot X plums).

Vegetable Crops

There is sizable acreage of vegetable crops in Yakima County that feeds the truck market, local farmer markets and roadside vegetable stands. So don’t forget your vegetables!  Yakima County is the leading producer of squash (summer and winter) and peppers (bell and chile) in Washington and has over 3,600 acres of sweet corn.  From May to September, roadside vegetable stands are loaded with asparagus, onions, snap beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.  Sometimes you may find crops like sweet potatoes, peanuts or okra where producers rely on greenhouse plantings to extend the growing season for crops normally found further South.  See WSU’s Vegetable Research and Extension website for more information and resources on vegetable production.

Fruit & Berry Crops

Yakima County has over 19,000 acres of grapes including juice grapes like Concord as well as wine and table grapes.  The production of wine grapes has exploded in the past ten years as Washington State wines garner national and international recognition and a plethora of wine tasting rooms contribute to a robust tourist trade. Premier grape varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Riesling and Chardonnay are grown here to feed a growing wine industry that has earned the Yakima Valley the designation as one of the American Viticultural areas found in Washington. The Yakima Valley has become the home to the State’s highest concentration of wineries. In addition, a number of berry crops including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants find their way to niche markets, broaden the selection of fruits at numerous fruit stands in the area, and contribute to the growing fruit juice industry in the region. Yakima County is the number one producer of melon in the State including watermelon, cantaloupe and muskmelon.  See the Small Fruit Horticulture Program website for more information on berry crops and other small fruits.  Additional research on other types of fruit production can be found on the Western Washington Tree Fruit & Alternative Fruits website.  The Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources also has a Fruits webpage where you can find featured publications on recent research.

Nut Crops

There has been a modest increase in acreage devoted to nut crops as local producers diversify their crops and discover that there are some ideal climatic areas that can give rise to a quality walnut, chestnut and filberts right here in Yakima County.

Other Crops and Crop Production Resources

Hops

Yakima County is the leading county in the nation in the production of hops.  There are nearly 19,000 acres of hops planted and harvested annually.  Hops are the essential ingredient in the world-renown brews of the Pacific Northwest.

Fruit & Nuts Food Systems

The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences Food Systems website features information on Fruit & Nuts in the food system that contains links to research on a variety of different fruits.