Get Ready for A Record Apple-Picking Seasonbianca
The 2022 fall harvest outlook for apples – the #1 most consumed fruit in the U.S. – is looking very promising. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts that apple yields are hitting new records this year and are up by 3% compared to 2021. With the total production of apples in the U.S. forecast at over 10 million pounds, it’s safe to say we’re in for a plentiful apple season.
Apple harvest outlooks by region
Despite being only the third-largest apple-producing state, Michigan is showing great improvement in its crop yields this year, going up by 68% since 2021, from 656 million to a whopping 1.1 billion. The huge difference in numbers reflects not only this year’s favorable conditions but also the frost damage that plagued last year’s production. What’s more, many growers report that several varieties will be ready for harvest ahead of schedule.
Following a mild winter with favorable weather and an equally pleasant spring with ideal growing conditions, New York’s apple harvest has all the makings of a record-setting year. The USDA predicts a 1.45 billion pounds yield for New York crops, or 36.25 million boxes, which is an uptick from the state’s production in 2021.
The country’s largest apple growing state is set to deliver about 6.5 billion pounds of apples (or 162.5 million boxes), according to the USDA’s most recent crop production estimate. The unusually cold and wet spring season affected this year’s production, bringing it down by 4% compared to last year’s yields.
Other important growing regions
According to the same USDA crop production forecast, by the end of the year:
- Pennsylvania is set to deliver 460 million pounds
- California is expected to produce 240 million pounds
- Virginia will yield 185 million pounds
- Oregon is expected to deliver 175 million pounds of apples.
Why are apples so important?
The U.S. apple industry is huge, bringing billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. In 2021 alone, almost 5 million tons of apples were produced in the United States. As pointed out by a recent US Apple Association report, “U.S. apple production has been steadily growing over the last 75 years. While there was a slowdown in the 2000s following a boom in the 1990s, the industry has recovered and is returning to the long-term trendline.”
Apples are a widely popular fruit with a rich and fascinating history, dating back to biblical times. They’ve been featured in ancient mythology and inspired countless words of wisdom. We’ve all heard the wise call to healthy eating “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” at least once in our lifetime.
Their popularity has only grown with time – and so has the number of apple varieties grown all over the world. At this moment, over 7,500 varieties of apples exist in the world, 2,500 of which are grown commercially in the United States. Gala, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Fuji are amongst Americans’ favorite apple varieties.
Speaking of, here are some fun and interesting facts about apples in the United States:
- As mentioned before, apples are most consumed fruits in the U.S.
- All 50 states grow apples in the U.S.
- The United States is the world’s second largest apple producer.
- 1 in 4 apples grown in the U.S. are exported.
- The crabapple is the only apple variety native to North America.
- The first apple trees in the U.S. were planted by the pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Where can you get fresh wholesale apples?
Stocking up on the fresh apples going into the fall season is a must. September is the best time of the year to get your hands on some peak-season, crisp, delicious apples that you can turn into memorable dishes for your customers!
Do yourself (and your restaurant) a favor and get in touch with an experienced food wholesaler like Riviera Produce who can provide the finest quality farm-fresh apples at reasonable prices, anytime you need. Just browse our items list and start gathering all the fresh produce you need for the upcoming fall dining season!