Editor’s note: This post was updated Aug. 19 to include the USApple crop estimate announced on Day 2 of the conference.

The U.S. Apple Association’s Outlook 2022 was held in Chicago Aug. 18–19. (Matt Milkovich/Good Fruit Grower)
The U.S. Apple Association’s Outlook 2022 was held in Chicago Aug. 18–19. (Matt Milkovich/Good Fruit Grower)

The U.S. Apple Association’s Outlook 2022 is a wrap.

The conference, held in Chicago, convenes annually to estimate the size of the coming U.S. apple crop.

On Day 2, the association gave its final estimate of the size of the 2022–23 apple crop: 244.2 million 42-pound bushels.

Washington state will lead the way with 143 million bushels, followed by New York (32.3 million), Michigan (29.5 million), Pennsylvania (11 million), California (5.4 million), Virginia (4.9 million), and Oregon (4.2 million). Remaining states will contribute 13.9 million bushels, according to USApple.

Other estimates, and plenty of apple statistics, were discussed the first day. A fuller story, which will include speakers discussing economic trends and how they’re affecting the apple industry, will be published in the October issue of Good Fruit Grower.

Chris Gerlach, USApple’s director of industry analytics, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2022 U.S. apple estimate, made earlier this month, was 241 million 42-pound bushels. USApple added about 14 million bushels to the USDA total — which counts only the top seven apple states, not the entire country — for a national estimate of 255 million bushels, up 2.7 percent from 2021, he said.

USDA’s 2022 estimate for Washington was 154 million bushels, down 3.8 percent from last year. However, on Aug. 15, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimated a fresh Washington apple crop of about 103 million bushels (the result of a long, cold spring). Adding in an estimate of the state’s processing apples might get you a total of about 116 million bushels — far below the USDA estimate, Gerlach said.

New York’s 2022 USDA estimate is 34.5 million bushels, up 8.2 percent from 2021. Michigan, with an estimate of 26 million bushels, will be up 67.7 percent over its 2021 crop (which suffered from frost losses). Pennsylvania expects a crop of 10.9 million bushels, down 17.4 percent from a big crop in 2021.

According to USDA, California will produce 5.7 million bushels in 2022, up 11.1 percent from last year; Virginia 4.4 million bushels, up 12.8 percent; and Oregon 4.1 million bushels, up 12.5 percent.

Gala (45.9 million bushels) will still be the top U.S. variety in 2022, followed by Red Delicious (34.4 million), Fuji (25.9 million), Honeycrisp (24.5 million), and Granny Smith (23.5 million). Cosmic Crisp will fill 7.1 million bushels, up from 5.1 million in 2021, according to USDA.

Fresh will remain the largest sales category for U.S. apples, at 67 percent. Of the remaining processing apples, juice and cider (13 percent) and canned (11 percent) will be the biggest sales categories, according to USDA.

by Matt Milkovich