Looking for U.S. Apple Crop Facts in 2020? 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.
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 Caspin 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!)
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 2019 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.
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 crop was 277.2 million bushels 1998.
According to the USDA, the value of the U.S. apple crop in 2018 was approximately $3.6 billion. See the chart at right.
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 $15 to $30 per bushel, depending upon the variety and location. Popular varieties, like Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc. were around $22 - $26/bushel (wholesale).
The People´s Republic of China now produces the largest amount of apples, followed by the United States, Poland, Italy and France, in order. Apples are grown in almost every state, 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. 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.
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.
An example of this is Honeycrisp which has gained popularity on the traditional #1, Red Delicious. The top ten apple varieties currently grown in the United States are:
Red Delicious production is steadily declining, while Honecrisp is still increasing.
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