Apples – A fall industry staple

Autumn is prime apple picking season.

And though it seems like there’s an abundance of apples everywhere you turn lately, many apple growers in pockets of the country are experiencing hardships.

The USDA projected a 4 percent deduction nationwide.

New England states, such as Maine and New Hampshire, have witnessed a 20 percent reduction in their crop, according to a story.

Unusually warm temperatures caused apples to blossom early, but the weather became significantly colder in mid-May, which caused apples to scar, turn black and/or rot.

"I haven't seen anything like this," said Geoffrey Njue, a fruit expert with the University of New Hampshire's Cooperative Extension, who noted that frost insurance is available to fruit growers but not often utilized.

In Vermont, legislators expedited permits for temporary foreign workers to harvest state apple crops to increase the profit potential of their state’s harvest.

“An entire season’s work was at risk, and crops don’t wait for paperwork,” said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, as reported in The Epoch Times. “I’m glad we found a commonsense solution for a happy ending after this close call.”

The U.S. apple industry is most often overshadowed by commodity crops like corn, soybeans and wheat, but is deserving of more recognition:

U.S. Apple Industry Facts (U.S. Apple Association)
  • Washington is the nation’s top-producing state of 36 apple-producing states
  • There are about 7,500 apple producers nationwide
  • The industry is valued at more than $1.6 billion/year
  • The Red Delicious apple is the most grown followed by Golden Delicious
  • Sixty-three percent of the apples grown are sold as fresh fruit with the remaining processed into apple products
  • The U.S. is the No. 2 global apple producer
  • One of every four apples harvested is exported
Apple growers in Ohio fared much better than their counterparts in New England. A dry summer led to a peak growing season and early blooming crops. As quoted in the Mansfield News Journal, "The harvest is probably a third of the way through. The crop is very early this year," said Bill Dodd, president of the Ohio Fruit Growers Association. "We're looking forward to a successful season."

Ohio Apple Industry Facts
  • Apple production for Ohio stands at 2.5 million bushels this year
  • Ohio apple growers produce up to 100 million pounds of apples each season
  • Ohio produces about 40 different varieties, some Ohio originals
  • Ohio ranks 10th in the nation for apple production
  • Ohio’s industry value is about $32 million
For a listing of Ohio apple orchards, click here. Because apples are the most varied food on the planet, with more apple varieties on record than any other food, the apple industry is important socially and economically. It certainly has a longstanding history and will forever remain respected worldwide. Have you visited or plan to visit an orchard this season? What’s your favorite apple?

Photo obtained from:

No comments: