(VIENNA, VA) – At two separate gatherings of the apple industry over the past week, the forecast for 2013 was for a sizable apple crop. At the annual meeting of the Michigan Frozen Food Packers Association (MFFPA) in Grand Rapids last week, the consensus forecast was just under 251 million bushels nationally, while attendees of the Premier Cooperative Apple Forum in Syracuse, N.Y. earlier this week separately pegged the 2013 crop at just under 252 million bushels. The approximate difference of 1 million bushels between the two estimates amounted to a difference of just four tenths of one percent. Though the numbers seem large in comparison to recent crops, a 252 million bushel crop would be only 11 percent above the five year average of 224 million bushels, and would be far from the largest crop on record which was 277 million bushels harvested in 1998.
Much of the difference compared to last year came from Michigan and New York. Michigan produced only 2.7 million bushels of apples, losing 90 percent of their crop to frost damage. New York’s 2012 crop of 17.1 million bushels represented just 62 percent of the five year average production of 27.9 million bushels. This year, MFFPA estimated the Michigan crop at 26.3 million bushels, while the Premier Cooperative estimate was for 30 million bushels for Michigan. For New York, MFFPA estimated the 2013 crop at 34 million bushels, while Premier pegged it at 32 million bushels. Both groups put the Washington estimate at 148 million bushels, down roughly 5 percent from 2012 production as reported by USDA at 155 million bushels.
Note: USDA has stopped publishing tree fruit and nut statistics due to the federal budget sequester, and the agency will not be issuing its typical August 1 forecast of the 2013 apple crop. US Apple is developing an estimate of the 2013 crop that will be announced at the annual Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference in Chicago on August 22-23.
Source: US Apple Association