( File photo )

The 2019 U.S. apple crop is up 4% compared with a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first forecast.

The 2019 crop — fresh and processing crops — is forecast at 10.6 billion pounds, or 252.4 million (42-pound) cartons. That is up 4% from a year ago.

“Washington growers reported favorable summer growing weather, contributing to a crop with excellent quality and finish,” the USDA reported in its forecast.

New York growers also reported favorable growing conditions. In Michigan, a wet spring hampered pollination, according to the forecast. Below normal fruit counts in Michigan were partially offset by good fruit sizing, according to the report.

According to the USDA, the forecasts for the major apple producing states are:

  • California: 300 million pounds, up 20% from 250 million pounds last year;
  • Michigan: 1.05 billion pounds, unchanged from a year ago;
  • New York: 1.25 billion pounds, down 10% from 1.4 billion pounds last year;
  • Pennsylvania: 500 million pounds, up 2% from 488 million pounds in 2018;
  • Virginia: 185 million pounds, down 9% from 204 million pounds a year ago; and 
  • Washington: 7.2 billion pounds, up 7% from 6.7 billion pounds in 2018.

The U.S. Apple Association will release its annual production forecast during its Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference Aug. 23 in Chicago.


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