2017 Apple Crop May be Largest Ever
Coming off what could turn out to be the largest apple crop in U.S. history, the nation’s total number of apples in storage stands at 66.4 million bushels, 21% more than one year ago, according to the most recent U.S. Apple Association survey.
As for this year’s fresh apple holdings, on May 1, according to the survey, they totaled 46.6 million bushels, 20% more than the inventories reported for the same day last year. Processing holdings totaled 19.9 million bushels, 21% more than last year.
The most recent total storage figure is not only 21% above last May’s total of 55.1 million bushels, it is 25% above the five-year average for that date.
In fact, U.S. Apple Regulatory and Industry Affairs Director Mark Seetin believes last year’s crop may end up setting a record.
“Based on historical storage data comparisons, the 2017 apple crop could wind up being a bit larger than the 2014 crop of (USDA-estimated) 281.2 million 42-pound units,” he says.
But it’s not just last year’s crop that was so huge, Seetin says. Four of the last five apple crops have been in the top five historically.
“That said, the industry of today has dramatically advanced from growers adopting new technology for production and postharvest storage that deliver a much higher quality product to consumers,” he says. “Packer/shippers and marketers have proven themselves up to the task of effectively marketing larger crops, and indications to this point are that they will effectively handle the remainder of this crop.”