Tags: Immigration | apples | washington | rot | 95 million | immigrants

Washington State Lets $95 Million Worth of Apples Rot

Image: Washington State Lets $95 Million Worth of Apples Rot
(Brad Calkins/Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 03:28 PM

The stench of rotting apples is everywhere in Washington as growers are dumping their harvests in open fields because of overproduction and labor disputes.

According to King5 television, millions of tons of apples are going to waste.

Roughly $95 million worth of apple sales are being left to rot in the sun for fruit flies to scarf down, according to Washington State Tree Fruit Association data cited in the King5 report.

The problem is due to two factors: the apple crop is the state's largest on record, and labor disputes at the state's ports resulted in apples sitting for too long. Then the fruit turned bad and had to be discarded.

Trucks have been dumping tons of apples to make room at shipping ports and farms.

China, meanwhile, has reached a trade agreement with the U.S. that will see both nations export their apples to each other. The agreement went into effect this week.

"I think it will be a valuable market for the industry," Northwest Fruit Exporters manager Fred Scarlett said.

Some apple growers have inserted themselves into the national immigration debate. A report last fall highlighted the thousands of illegal aliens — as many as 250,000 — working on American farms who could be deported under current immigration laws.

One Washington apple grower, whose 2,000-person labor force is mostly comprised of immigrants, said he'd like to see Washington fix the system.

"Hopefully, this motivates them to come together to work on a fix to the broken immigration laws," Ralph Broetje said of the current immigration debate.

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The stench of rotting apples is everywhere in Washington as growers are dumping their harvests in open fields because of overproduction and labor disputes.
apples, washington, rot, 95 million, immigrants
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2015-28-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 03:28 PM
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