For the first time, Honeycrisp will make the list of the top six apple varieties produced in the United States this year.
The rank order of the top six U.S. varieties, by bushels, is Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp, Mark Seetin, director of regulatory affairs for the U.S. Apple Association, reported during the association’s Apple Outlook and Marketing Conference in August.
Honeycrisp production has been rising steadily, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged the 2012 Honeycrisp crop at 6.2 million bushels, beating out McIntosh for the sixth position. While McIntosh production is slowly falling, this spring’s freezes in the East hit that variety especially hard, cutting its production estimate to 5 million bushels from its more normal 10 million. Rome production is also down this year to just under 5 million bushels from a more normal 8 or 9 million.
In capturing sixth place, Honeycrisp is still much smaller than any of the big five. USDA forecasts production by variety this year of 47.2 million bushels of Red Delicious, 32.3 million of Gala, 20.6 million of Golden Delicious, 21.6 million of Fuji, and 20.6 million bushels of Granny Smith.