USApple Crop Update

Apples are America’s favorite fruit, with 26 lbs of apples and apple juice consumed per person, per year, with apples boasting a number of health benefits. The U.S. apple production has been steadily growing over the last 75 years. While there was a slowdown in the 2000s following a boom in the 1990s, the industry has recovered and is returning to the long-term trend line, and the projections indicate an upward trend increasing by 8.6% by 2027. (Source: US Apple Industry Outlook 2022)

USDA forecasted the total 2023 apple crop to be 1.5% higher than 2022 crop. With the new information collected at the USApple Conference in mid-August, however, the current crop is expected to be 4.1% higher than last year’s. The main reason for the increase is that Washington State is forecasting a crop of 160M bushels, a 9.5% increase compared to last year.

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 Michigan with 32M bushels (-1.2% from 2022 very large crop), New York State with 28M bushels (-13% from last year’s excellent crop), “other” states with 14M (flat), Pennsylvania with 10.8M (+10% from 2021), and then California, Virginia, and Oregon.

USApple Production Estimate in Millions of 42-pound Bushels

USDA 2023/24 Forecast2023/24 USApple2022/235-Yr. Average
United States250.0256.3246.3258.8
New York26.228.032.332.1

Apple Varieties:

  • Varieties on the rise include Honeycrisp (+46% in the past five years), Pink Lady/Cripps Pink, and Cosmic Crisp (+22% from 2022).
  • Varieties in decline include Golden Delicious, Gala (still strong #1 variety), and Red Delicious (-42% in the past five years).

Main Varieties, Washington State and U.S.

By VarietyWABy VarietyUS
Honeycrisp15%Red Delicious12.5%
Granny Smith14%Honeycrisp11.1%
Red Delicious13%Fuji10.1%
Fuji12%Granny Smith9.9%
Pink Lady/Cripps Pink6%Golden Delicious6.3%
Cosmic Crisp6%Pink Lady/Cripps Pink4.9%
Golden Delicious4%Cosmic Crisp3.8%
Ambrosia Others2%Rome2.8%

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: 7.7 million bushels
  • 2023 (F): $9.4 million bushels
  • 2026 … 20 million bushels (very close to Honeycrisp and Fuji)

Organic Apples

From 2011 to 2021, the organic acreage has increased from 13K acres to 31K (+132%); and production has increased from 7.1M bushels to 23.4M (+230%). Washington State accounts for 88% of the organic acreage and 95% of the production. Gala (29% of the production), Honeycrisp (17%) and Fuji (16%) are the top three varieties.

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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