The 2012 U.S. apple crop will be 192.0 million bushels, down 14 percent from last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forecast shows. That would be the shortest crop since 1986, despite a large crop in Washington. Eastern regions were seriously impacted by spring freezes.
The Agricultural Statistics Service’s estimate includes both fresh and processing apples and puts Washington’s total crop at 135.7 million boxes, a 5 percent increase from last year. The Washington industry is forecasting a fresh crop of 108.8 million boxes, a similar volume to a year ago.
New York, the nation’s second most important apple growing region, will harvest only 14 million boxes, down 52 percent from last year, and Michigan, normally the third-largest producing state, will harvest only 2.5 million boxes, a tenth of its normal volume, the USDA forecasts. Pennsylvania will have a slightly larger crop than last year at 11.5 million boxes.
The total Midwest crop is estimated at 6.0 million boxes, an 80 percent drop from last year. The East will be down 31 percent, and the West up 6 percent. Harvest in the East and Midwist is running at least 10 days earlier than usual.