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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.

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U.S. Apple Crop Facts

2023 U.S. Apple Crop Facts

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.

Current Season (2023) Apple Crop Data and Facts

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

National Statistics for Apples
U.S. Apple Crop by Year

 

Graph of U.S. Apple crop by yearA 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison of major apple producing states

US apple crop comarison by state from US AppleMichigan 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

US apple crop valuation in dollars 

Costs and Values of Apples

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.

 

Previous Year's Apple Crop Figures

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.

US apple production graphFresh vs. processed by year

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.

Who are the top apple producers, by Country and state?

The People's Republic of China now produces the largest amount of apples.

  1. PRC (China)
  2. United States,
  3. Poland,
  4. Italy
  5. France.

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:

 

  1. Washington (2021 was 154 million bushels (6.76 billion lbs, down from 171 million bushels in 2018)
  2. US apple crop valuation in dollarsNew York
  3. Michigan
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. California
  6. Virginia
  7. North Carolina
  8. Oregon
  9. Ohio
  10. Idaho

Apple seasons

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.

Apple Exports and Imports

Apple Exports

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).

Apple Imports

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).

Favorite varieties and uses for apples

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:

  1. Gala
  2. Red Delicious
  3. Fuji
  4. Honeycrisp
  5. Granny Smith
  6. McIntosh
  7. Golden Delicious
  8. Cripps Pink (aka, Pink Lady)
  9. Rome
  10. Empire

Pink Lady/cripps pink and Cosmic Crisp continue to gain popularity.

Red Delicious production continues to decline.

Canning apples - fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions

Recipes, illustrated with step by step instructions

Want to Grow Your Own Apples? 

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!

Looking for Apple Cider?

And a fun tour? Check out Cider Mills.com!  They list the cider mills where you can go for a tour (and tasting!  yum!)

Other Apple Facts and Fun!

  • 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
  • About 100 different varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
  • A bushel of apples typically weighs between 42 and 48 lbs.
  • Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
  • Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.
  • United States consumers ate an average of 45.2 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products. That's a lot of applesauce!
  • 61 percent of United States apples are eaten as fresh fruit.
  • 39 percent of apples are processed into apple products; 21 percent of this is for juice and cider.
  • The top apple producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which produced over 83 percent of the nation's 2001-crop apple supply.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • In 2001 there were 8,000 apple growers with orchards covering 430,200 acres. (don't know how many of those are PYO).
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit, but you normally buy 2 or 3 year plants at the nursery, so it's only 2 years till they produce!
  • Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
  • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
  • In Europe, France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 bushel boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.
  • In colonial time apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
  • China is the leading producer of apples with over 1.2 billion bushels grown in 2001. The U.S. is number 2 .
  • Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London.
  • One of George Washington's hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
  • America's longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.
  • A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds (up to 48 lbs) and will yield 12 to 15 quarts of applesauce.
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • And the many apple associations listed on this page have more facts and resources

Weights and Approximate Typical Processed Yields of Apples

 If you have this much fresh apples:

 You should get this much...

Commonly made products

 Canned or frozen (quarts)
 Canned or frozen (pints)
1 bushel 
(42-48 lbs)
1 bushel = 12 to 15 qt. canned applesauce (no sugar added), 14 - 18 with sugar

1 bushel = 10 to 12 qt. juice

12 - 16 quarts
28 - 36 pints
 3 lbs.
1 quart applesauce
1 quart
2 pints 
8 medium apples = 2.25 lbs 1 nine-inch apple pie 
or
3 cups of applesauce
1 peck = 10 to 14 lbs


Apple Festivals

Here is a list of major apple festivals in the U.S., Britain, Australia and other countries. If you know of any more, please write me! Feedback.

Other References.

Most sources are references are cited within the article above, but here are a few others

 


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most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book