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Jaìme Ceja loads boxes of Red Delicious apples onto a trailer in Tieton in 2017. Most Red Delicious are grown for the export market.

This year’s apple crop will be larger than last year’s, according to the first crop forecast from the Washington State Tree Fruit Association.

The association estimates a fresh crop size of 137.3 million 40-pound boxes, an 18 percent increase from 116.7 million boxes in 2018. This includes all apples that will be packed and eventually sold fresh, rather than sent to a processor.

The Gala variety has the largest portion of the crop at 23 percent, followed by Red Delicious at 20 percent. Other top varieties are Fuji at 13 percent and Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, at 12 percent each.

About 13 percent, or 18.3 million boxes, of the apple crop is estimated to be organic, though not all the apples will be marketed as such.

The forecast is based on a survey of association members . The apple harvest usually starts sometime this month continues into November.

Reach Mai Hoang at maihoang@yakimaherald.com or Twitter @maiphoang