Looking for U.S. Apple Crop Facts in 2023? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above. If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.
Apples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use. They're big, not easily bruised, most varieties store well, they can be eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many tasty and healthy dishes. Apples are fat-free, low sodium, and cholesterol-free. A bushel weighs between 42 and 48 lbs. A medium apple has about 80 calories. Apples originated in the Middle East (in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea) more than 4000 years ago! They were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples arrived in England at around the time of the Norman conquest (in 1066) and English settlers brought them to America in the 1600 and 1700's. Only the crabapple is native to North America. Johnny Appleseed did really exist; his name was John Chapman, and he was born on September 26,1774 near Leominster, Massachusetts. (For more about Johnny Appleseed, see this page!) What are the most popular U.S. fruits? click here.
How big will this year's crop be? It depends upon who you ask, since (in the major apple growing areas) there were no big, late damaging freezes and rainfall has been consistent, this could be a record. The first estimate of the size of the current year's United States apple crop will be released in August by the USDA. A few weeks later The U.S. Apple Association's releases their estimate.
2022's U.S. apple crop is projected to be 255 million bushels, up 2.7% from 2021, and but still way down from 2018's was 272.7 million bushels. 1 bushel is 42-48 lbs; for calculations, 42 lbs is the assume average. The USDA estimated the 2021 apple crop production at 9.8 billion pounds.
recent years comparison
A good year is anything above 245 million bushels. For historical comparison, the 2013 crop was 248.6 million bushels. Historically, the trend is steadily upward, with occasional dips for a late freeze. The five-year average for 2009-2014 was 227.7 million bushels.
The top U.S. crop was 277.2 million bushels in 1998. The 2019 crop in metric tons was estimated to be 4.8 million, up over 300,000 tons on rebounding output in top growing state Washington resulting from favorable summer weather.
The global apple crop of world production for 2019-2020 is estimated to rise nearly 5.0 million metric tons (tons) to 75.8 million metric tons.
Michigan and Viginia's apple crops are up substantially in 2022, while California, Washington state and NY state are seeing declines. Oregon appears to be flat or up slightly. See the chart at right from U.S. Apple.org
According to the USDA, the value of the U.S. apple crop in 2018 was approximately $3.6 billion. See the chart at right.
2022 apple prices will likely be up compared to 2021 by about 7% to 10%, assuming weather conditions remain normal.
Fruit Grower News reported that the US Apple Association announced that the 2013 U.S. apple crop was about 248.6 million bushels (the August 2013 forecast was for 243 million bushels). That's a 15 percent increase over 2012's final crop of 215 million bushels, and a 11 percent increase over the five-year average (224 million bushels). It's the largest crop since 2004, according to USDA numbers.
The price range for apples wholesale (such as at large real farm markets and at orchards) was between $18 to $40 per bushel, depending upon the variety and location. Popular varieties, like Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc. were around $25 - $33/bushel (wholesale). The inflation that we are seeiong for gasoline, housing and everything else is definitely affecting apple prices as well.
The chart at right from the USDA gives a good visual representation of the uses of apples. About 60% of the crop is typically processed into commercial apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, etc.
The People's Republic of China now produces the largest amount of apples.
Apples are grown in almost every state of the U.S., but since apples cannot set fruit and produce a viable crop unless they get enough total hours of cold each winter, warm winter states like Florida and warm areas of Texas, etc. do not produce commercial crops. That leaves about 32 states growing apples commercially.
Washington State is by far the largest producing state for apples in the United States. Washington State produces over half of all apples commercially grown in the U.S.. The top ten apple producing states, in order, are:
Fresh apples appear in grocery stores all year round now, thanks to a global marketplace, but the northern hemisphere's apple season is typically from as early as July to as late as November. The peak of the apple season is September and October.
So where do apple come from the rest of the year? Some (not all)
varieties of apples store very well, and will keep for months in storage
warehouses that maintain the proper temperature and humidity. That
extends the season until 6 months later (March / April) when apples from the
southern hemisphere are in season. Which means that from March to July
fresh apples in U.S. grocery stores come from the southern hemisphere,
mostly from Chile and New Zealand. That accounts for about 6% of annual U.S.
apple consumption according to the U.S. Apple organization.
Approximately 1/3 of the U.S. apple crop is exported to Mexico, Canada, India, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand (U.S. Apple Association, 2021).
Of course, during the off-season (February to July) the United States does import fresh apples. Most of these apples are imported from the Southern Hemisphere, (Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, etc.) since the seasons are reversed. The apples you see on grocery store shelves in Winter and Spring months are typically imported, although some are stored in cold storage from the previous U.S. harvest. . Overall, only five percent of the apples consumed in the United States are imported (U.S. Apple Association, 2021).
Two-thirds of the U.S. crop is eaten fresh and one-third goes to processed uses (apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, packaged apple slices, etc.) Apple varieties change over time. Red Delicious is still the most grown apple, making up most of the U.S. apple crop, but as consumer tastes shift, apple growers adapt their orchards, but trimming the trees down to a main trunk and several large branches, and then grafting growing tips of the new variety into those remaining branches. This allows growers to quickly (within 2 years) produce the new variety to meet consumer demand.
Gala took the top the top spot from Red Delicious in 2020 and is expected to remain #1 in 2022 with consumers, with almost 46 million bushels produced, accounting for around 18% of the U.S. apple market. Rounding out the top five are red delicious (34 million bushels), fuji (26 million bushels), Honeycrisp (25 million bushels) and granny smith (24 million bushels).
Honeycrisp continues to gain. . The top ten apple varieties currently grown in the United States are:
Pink Lady/cripps pink and Cosmic Crisp continue to gain popularity.
Red Delicious production continues to decline.
I do and it's easy and fast. Apple trees I planted in my yard two years ago are bearing several dozen fruit each this year! Here's a guide to selecting a variety to grow and how!
And a fun tour? Check out Cider Mills.com! They list the cider mills where you can go for a tour (and tasting! yum!)
You should get this much...
Commonly made products
|1 bushel = 12 to 15 qt.
canned applesauce (no sugar added), 14 - 18 with sugar
1 bushel = 10 to 12 qt. juice
||1 quart applesauce||2 pints|
|8 medium apples = 2.25 lbs||1 nine-inch apple pie
3 cups of applesauce
|1 peck = 10 to 14 lbs|
Most sources are references are cited within the article above, but
here are a few others
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book