US Apple Association today issued the following news release:

 Vienna, Va. – April 29, 2015 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will officially announce today that the US Apple Association’s (USApple) request for a bonus buy of fresh apples and processed products has been approved. 

This purchase includes 34.9 million pounds of fresh apples and 16.1 million pounds of processed apple products, and is the largest USDA apple purchase in history. The estimated dollar value of the purchase is $18.3 million. The apples and apple products will be used to supplement USDA’s supply for nutrition programs, such as the school lunch program.

“Coming on the heels of what was likely the largest apple crop in US history, this USDA purchase is welcome news and we thank the department for it,” said US Apple Association president & CEO Jim Bair. “Adding this action to USDA’s recent success in opening the China market for US apples, it is an understatement to say we are grateful.”

“I’d also like to call out USApple’s director of regulatory and industry affairs Mark Seetin for special thanks. His initiative and hard work on this bonus buy are appreciated.”

USDA estimates that the Purchase Announcement soliciting offers to sell will be published within a month.