2013 Apple Crop Estimate Unveiled

Apples_generic

There was certainly a change in tone during this year’s U.S, Apple Association Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference, at least compared to last year’s event. During the 2012 conference, many apple growers, packers, and marketers in the Eastern U.S. were facing a major crop loss thanks to a series of late frost events, and wondering how they were going to sell a crop that wasn’t there. For many in the meeting room, it was almost time to look to the following year.

Fast forward to this year, and the mood was a lot different. The Eastern apple producing states are coming back with a vengeance, and barring any late-season weather events, this year’s crop looks to be of high quality across the board. Meanwhile, shifts in varieties, along with a booming export market, portend a future that looks bright.

On The Rebound

This year, Outlook conference attendees had the chance to be even bigger prognosticators than in the past. Thanks to federal budget sequestering, USDA announced earlier this year that it would not be making federal crop estimates. To make up for this, USApple held a series of meetings and conference calls in states across the country this summer, and on Aug. 1 it announced its own initial forecast. The mid-August Outlook conference gave industry insiders the chance to make a more updated estimate.

This year’s crop is forecast to be 243,311 million bushels, which would be a 13% increase from 2012 and up 9% from the five-year average.

 

Below is a brief look at the highlights of this year’s crop, as presented by USApple’s Mark Seetin, directory of regulatory affairs, along with representatives from the three different regions of the U.S.
• According to Seetin, there were 328,000 bearing acres in 2012, versus 468,000 in 1995. However, overall production has stayed about the same, reflecting a continued shift toward more high-density plantings.
• In terms of varieties, Red and Golden Delicious account for 33% of total production, down from 57% in 1996. Gala is now the second-biggest variety, followed by Golden Delicious and Fuji. For the first time, Honeycrisp passed the 10 million bushel mark.
• Export volume in 2012 reached a new record of 46.7 million bushels, up 6% from 2011. Dollars generated from export sales also hit a new record of $1.16 billion, rising 17% from 2011 and topping the $1 billion mark for the first time.
• In the west, there has been quite a bit of excessive heat this year, which has led to sunburn in some areas, as well as spotty hail. The crop will be down a bit from last year, but will still be the second-large crop on record. according to Dan Kelly with Washington Growers Clearinghouse.
• “We no longer have normal crops, just averages,” said Mike Rothwell with BelleHarvest Sales in Belding, MI, who noted that the recent fluctuations in the Midwest crop size make marketing a challenge. The one benefit of last year’s small crop was that it gave the industry the chance to prepare for a much larger crop this year. which meant investments in infrastructure, packinglines, storage, and bins. On the whole, the Midwest apple crop is expected to be up 472% from last year (yes, that’s how hard Michigan was hit) and up 61% from the five-year average.
• In the east, the two states most affected by weather in 2012 — New York and North Carolina — should both have large but manageable crops this year, according to Phil Glaize of Fred L. Glaize in Virginia. In many areas, the fresh crop up, while the processing crop is down. The one lingering concern through the rest of the year will be whether the brown marmorated stink bug makes its presence known once again.

Around The World

Aside from the estimated U.S. apple crop, the Outlook conference gives other countries the chance to announce their crop forecasts as well.

• In Europe, where the 2012 apple crop was one of the smallest on record, this year’s crop is forecast at 10.8 million metric tons, up 7% from 2012 and the 5th largest crop in the last 10 years. Drought conditions in several areas could affect sizing, and while Golden Delicious remains the leading variety, new cultivar plantings continue to rise.
• China’s 2013 apple crop estimate calls for 37.5 million metric tons, a 2% drop from last year. Bearing acreage continues to rise, and Fuji accounts for 78% of all production.
• In Canada, the 2013 estimate is 22.6 million bushels, up 55% from 2012 and up 15% from the five-year average. McIntosh remains the top variety with a 28% market share, although this is the first time it has been less than 30% of the total crop.
• The Mexican 2013 apple crop forecast is 29 million boxes, which would be a new record and might mean a shortage of bins and storage capacity.

Apple Grower Of The Year Honored

Cordell Watt, American/Western Fruit Grower’s 2013 Apple Grower of the Year, was presented with his award during the U.S. Apple Association Outlook Conference.

“Cordell Watt has added acreage and planted some new varieties, while renovating the farm’s packinghouse,” said Brian Sparks, editor of American Fruit Grower, in presenting the award. “Most of his success, however, has come simply by identifying the most efficient production and sales strategies that are suitable for his farm.”

“DuPont is proud to congratulate Cordell Watt on his selection as 2013 Apple Grower of the Year,” noted DuPont Crop Protection, the sponsor of the Apple Grower of the Year award, in a statement. “Watt’s success at Timber Ridge Fruit Farm exemplifies the qualities this award honors: leadership, hard work, and dedication to producing high-quality fruit. We admire and respect the way he has sustained his family’s decades-old orchard for the next generation, while incorporating modern technologies for growing, packing, and marketing.”

“Progressive, passionate, and committed are thee words that come to mind when I think of Cordell Watt,” said Scott Swain of Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit in Winchester, VA, one of several individuals who nominated Watt for the award. “Cordell has a deep love and passion for the apple industry. With his dedication to the apple industry and financial success, he will thrive in the apple industry for a long time.”

Now in its 25th year, the Apple Grower of the Year award is designed to recognize growers who are skilled, progressive horticulturists and who demonstrate leadership and innovation in the apple industry.

 

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Apples & Pears Stories
Gala green tip apple bloom
Apples & PearsApple Scab Spores Begin To Emerge In Pennsylvania
April 14, 2015
Now is a good time to apply copper sprays to protect trees. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington Apple Detective Finds ‘Lost’ Varieties
April 9, 2015
Works with university researchers to resurrect apples of the Palouse region. Read More
Bartlett Pears
Apples & PearsPears Examined For Probiotic Benefits
April 8, 2015
Study published in Food Research International highlights the nutritional benefits of a diet rich in pears. Read More
sweet cherry bloom
Apples & PearsCold Spell Hits Mid-Columbia Region
April 3, 2015
Cherry and grape growers use wind machines, irrigation to protect early blooms and buds from freezing temperatures. Read More
apple blossom in Pennsylvania
Apples & PearsAn In-Depth Look At Bloom
March 31, 2015
Do you know what happens after the bees fly away? Here's an in-depth look at what happens in spring. Read More
Apples & PearsPink Lady Apple Production Continues To Grow
March 30, 2015
Total production is up nearly 50% over 2009, and is expected to increase 33% in the next three years. Read More
Apples & PearsHow Will We Sell All These Apples? [Opinion]
March 30, 2015
Apple production is reaching heights that would have been unthinkable two or three decades ago. That's great news for growers — if we can sell them all profitably, Read More
The Latest
drought sign water crisis
Apples & PearsDiversification: A Response To Drought [Opinion]
April 27, 2015
With Governor Jerry Brown’s announcement of mandatory use reductions, the general public in California is getting a wake-up call on Read More
Apples & PearsAPHIS Proposal To Allow Apples From China Becomes Rule
April 23, 2015
Growers in China expected to follow set standards of production to prevent possible importing of new pests. Read More
Apples & PearsFruit Processor To Expand Operations In Virginia
April 22, 2015
Andros Foods North America to invest $73 million in area and hiring 160. Read More
Gala green tip apple bloom
Apples & PearsApple Scab Spores Begin To Emerge In Pennsylvania
April 14, 2015
Now is a good time to apply copper sprays to protect trees. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington Apple Detective Finds ‘Lost’ Varieties
April 9, 2015
Works with university researchers to resurrect apples of the Palouse region. Read More
Bartlett Pears
Apples & PearsPears Examined For Probiotic Benefits
April 8, 2015
Study published in Food Research International highlights the nutritional benefits of a diet rich in pears. Read More
sweet cherry bloom
Apples & PearsCold Spell Hits Mid-Columbia Region
April 3, 2015
Cherry and grape growers use wind machines, irrigation to protect early blooms and buds from freezing temperatures. Read More
apple blossom in Pennsylvania
Apples & PearsAn In-Depth Look At Bloom
March 31, 2015
Do you know what happens after the bees fly away? Here's an in-depth look at what happens in spring. Read More
Apples & PearsPink Lady Apple Production Continues To Grow
March 30, 2015
Total production is up nearly 50% over 2009, and is expected to increase 33% in the next three years. Read More
Apples & PearsHow Will We Sell All These Apples? [Opinion]
March 30, 2015
Apple production is reaching heights that would have been unthinkable two or three decades ago. That's great news for growers — if we can sell them all profitably, Read More
Apples & PearsSounding Off On GMOs: The Arctic Apple Decision
March 27, 2015
Industry leaders share their feelings on the recently approved genetically modified apples. Read More
Apples & PearsMeet USApple’s Class of 2015 Young Apple Leaders
March 27, 2015
Young decision-makers see trip as an opportunity make sure the voice of the apple industry is heard by representatives. Read More
Pennsylvania hard cider guild logo
Apples & PearsPennsylvania Hard Cider Producers Founded Independent T…
March 25, 2015
The Pennsylvania Cider Guild is designed to help promote and educate members and consumers. Read More
Apples & PearsNeedles Found In Honeycrisp Sold At Grocery Store
March 24, 2015
Apples were believed to be tampered with; initial surveillance footage was inconclusive. Read More
Apples & PearsMonster Crops: How Much Is Too Much?
March 24, 2015
With larger-than-ever crops, more new varieties and uncertain markets, we explore the current state of apple production and what it means for the future of the industry. Read More
gmo apple
Apples & PearsFDA Concludes GMO Crops Innate Potato And Arctic Apple …
March 20, 2015
The agency says the evaluated varieties are as safe and nutritious as conventional counterparts. Read More
Apples & PearsIndia Eyed As Next Export Market For Washington Apple C…
March 17, 2015
Promotion plan includes focus on increasing shipments of Red Delicious in growing export market. Read More
Apples & PearsCompany Responsible For First GMO Apples Is Sold
February 27, 2015
Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the company behind the world's first non-browning apples, fetches $41 million. Read More