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USApple Crop Update

The U.S. apple production has been steadily growing over the last 75 years, and the projections indicate an upward trend increasing by 7.6% by 2026. From 2007 to 2021, the number of apple-bearing acres in the U.S. fell by around 17% but at the same time, production increased by more than 8%. Most of these gains are due to significant reinvestments to develop higher density orchards. (Source: US Apple Industry Outlook 2022)

USDA forecasted the total 2022 apple crop to be 3% higher than 2021 crop. With the new information collected at the USApple Conference in mid-August, however, the current crop is expected to be 2% shorter than last year’s. The main driver for the drastic change in direction is the crop in Washington State, which was expected to be 3% below last year’s, but now, is forecasted to be 11% smaller than 2021.

Washington State’s crop is 60%-65% of the total U.S. crop, so volume variances have a significant impact on U.S. total production.

Washington State is followed by New York with 32.3M bushels (+1.3% from 2021), Michigan with 26.2M bushels (+89% from last year’s terrible crop), “other” states with 13.9M (flat), Pennsylvania with 11M (-17% from 2021), and then California, Virginia, and Oregon.

USApple Production Estimate in Millions of 42-pound Bushels
USDA 2022/23 Forecast 2022/23 USApple 2021/22 5-Yr. Average
United States 255.0 244.2 248.3 264.0
Washington 154.8 143.0 161.0 169.0
New York 34.5 32.3 31.9 32.3
Michigan 26.2 29.5 15.6 22.1
Pennsylvania 11.0 11.0 13.3 11.9
California 5.7 5.4 5.1 5.6
Virginia 4.4 4.9 3.9 4.5
Oregon 4.2 4.2 3.7 3.9
Other 14.2 13.9 13.9 14.7

Apple Varieties:

  • Varieties on the rise include Honeycrisp (+48% in the past five years), Pink Lady/Cripps Pink, and Cosmic Crisp (+40% from 2021).
  • Varieties in decline include Golden Delicious, Gala (still strong #1 variety), and Red Delicious (-41% in the past five years).
Main Varieties, Washington State and U.S.
By Variety WA By Variety US
Gala 20% Gala 18.1%
Red Delicious 15% Red Delicious 13.6%
Honeycrisp 14% Fuji 10.2%
Granny Smith 13% Honeycrisp 10%
Fuji 13% Granny Smith 9%
Pink Lady/Cripps Pink 6% Golden Delicious 7%
Cosmic Crisp 5% Pink Lady/Cripps Pink 4%
Golden Delicious 4% Rome 4%
Ambrosia 2% Cosmic Crisp 3%
Braeburn 0% Idared 3%
Others 9% Others 10%

A quick mention about the Cosmic Crisp variety:

  • over 14 million trees have been planted
  • 2019: 335,000 bushels - first true commercial crop
  • 2020: 2.1 million bushels
  • 2021: 5.1 million bushels
  • 2022 (F): 7.1 million bushels
  • 2026 … 20 million bushels (very close to Honeycrisp and Fuji)

Meanwhile, organic apples maintain their importance in the market. Their premium to the packing houses is 16% over conventional apples. U.S. retail median price for conventional apples is $1.35/lb, for organic the price is $2.12/lb, a difference of $0.77/lb. or 57%. There is significant interest in increasing production of organic apples.

Apples, both organic and conventional, are part of FruitSmart’s core business; contact us today for your apple needs, especially cold pressed NFC, apple juice.

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