(July 28) YAKIMA, Wash. — With Washington ginger golds coming on by Aug. 5 and new crop galas only 10 days after that, Snokist Growers has launched its commit-to-pack apple packing line.

Snokist, a cooperative with 350 grower members, introduced the line July 22 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by growers and local dignitaries.

Traditionally, there have been two ways of packing apples in Washington. One is to pre-size them, which involves taking the fruit from the orchards in bins, separating it by size and color and then putting it back in bins to await orders for apples of those specific attributes.

That worked well, particularly for varieties such as the red delicious, said Neil Galone, vice president of fresh fruit sales. The disadvantage was that it increased how much the apples were handled.

The other way of packing is a commit-to-pack line, which sorts harvested apples and sends them directly to carton or bag packing.

Doug Schreiber, senior vice president of production, said presizing fruit was becoming less of an issue with the increasing interest in varietals.

“By converting to strictly a commit-to-pack line, we minimize the handling and help to ensure good fruit condition on arrival,” Schreiber said. “In addition, this state-of-the-art line will electronically provide consistent color week after week throughout the season.”