USApple Outlook conference covers 2022 crop estimates and economics

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The US Apple Association Outlook 2022 was held in Chicago from August 18-19. (Matt Milkovich/Good Fruit Grower)

The first day of the US Apple Association’s 2022 outlook is over.

The conference, which is held in Chicago, meets annually to estimate the size of the next apple crop in the United States. The final USApple estimate for the 2022-2023 harvest will be announced on Day 2 – and this post will be updated to include the USApple count – but other estimates and many apple statistics were discussed on Day 1. A fuller article, featuring speakers discussing economic trends and their impact on the apple industry, will be published in the October issue of Good fruit producer.

Chris Gerlach, director of industry analytics at USApple, said the US Department of Agriculture‘s estimate of US apples for 2022, made earlier this month, was 241 million 42-pound bushels. . USApple added about 14 million bushels to the USDA total — which only counts the seven major apple-producing states, not the entire country — for a national estimate of 255 million bushels, up 2. 7% from 2021, he said.

The USDA’s 2022 estimate for Washington was 154 million bushels, down 3.8% from a year ago. However, on August 15, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimated a fresh Washington apple harvest at around 103 million bushels (the result of a long, cold spring). Adding in an estimate for state processing apples could give you a total of about 116 million bushels — well below the USDA estimate, Gerlach said.

New York’s USDA estimate for 2022 is 34.5 million bushels, up 8.2% from 2021. Michigan, with an estimate of 26 million bushels, will be up 67 .7% compared to its 2021 harvest (which suffered from frost losses). Pennsylvania expects a harvest of 10.9 million bushels, down 17.4% from a big harvest in 2021.

According to the USDA, California will produce 5.7 million bushels in 2022, up 11.1% from last year; Virginia 4.4 million bushels, up 12.8%; and Oregon 4.1 million bushels, up 12.5%.

Gala (45.9 million bushels) will still be the top US variety in 2022, followed by Red Delicious (34.4 million), Fuji (25.9 million), Honeycrisp (24.5 million) and Granny Smith (23. 5000000). Cosmic Crisp will fill 7.1 million bushels, up from 5.1 million in 2021, according to the USDA.

Fresh apples will remain the largest sales category for US apples, at 67%. Of the remaining processing apples, juice and cider (13%) and canned (11%) will be the top selling categories, according to the USDA.

by Matt Milkovitch

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