CHICAGO – Despite smaller crops in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania, 2011 U.S. apple production is expected to be up thanks to a much larger Michigan crop.

About 227.5 million bushels of U.S. apples are expected for the 2011-12 season, 3% more than last season and right at the five-year average, according to the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association, which released the forecast Aug. 19 at its annual Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference.

The U.S. Apple estimate is higher than the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast, which estimated the 2011-12 total at about 226.5 million bushels.

According to the association, industry leader Washington is expected to produce about 130 million bushels, 2% less than last year and on par with the five-year average.

New York, the second-largest producer, is projected to produce about 30 million bushels, 1% less than last season and 3% under the five-year average.

U.S. Apple projects Michigan, the No. 3 producer, to produce about 26 million bushels, 86% less than last year and 38% above the 5-year average.

Pennsylvania is expected to produce about 10 million bushels, 15% less than last year and 12% under the five-year average.