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Looking for U.S. Apple Crop Facts in 2019?  Scroll down this page and  follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!  

U.S. Apple Crop Facts

2019 U.S. Apple Crop Facts

Apples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use.  They're big, not easily bruised, most varieties store well, they can be eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many tasty and healthy dishes. Apples are fat-free, low sodium, and cholesterol-free. A bushel weighs between 42 and 48 lbs. A medium apple has about 80 calories. Apples originated in the Middle East (in an area between the Caspin and the Black Sea) more than 4000 years ago! They were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples arrived in England at around the time of the Norman conquest (in 1066) and English settlers brought them to America in the 1600 and 1700's.  Only the crabapple is native to North America. Johnny Appleseed did really exist; his name was John Chapman, and he was born on September 26,1774 near Leominster, Massachusetts.  (For more about Johnny Appleseed, see this page!)

Current Season (2019) Apple Crop Data and Facts

How big will this year's crop be?  It depends upon who you ask, since (in the major apple growing areas)  there were no big, late damaging freezes and rainfall has been consistent, this could be a record. The first estimate of the size of the 2019 United States apple crop will be released in August by the USDA. A few weeks later The U.S. Apple Association's releases their estimate.

2018's U.S. apple crop was 272.7 million bushels. 1 bushel is 42-48 lbs; for calculations, 42 lbs is the assume average. The USDA estimated the 2018 apple crop production at 11.4 billion pounds.

A good year is anything above 245 million bushels. For historical comparison, the 2013 crop was 248.6 million bushels. Historically, the trend is steadily upward, with occasional dips for a late freeze. The five-year average for 2009-2014 was 227.7 million bushels.

The top crop was 277.2 million bushels 1998.

Costs and Values of Apples

According to the USDA, the value of the U.S. apple crop in 2018 was approximately $3.6 billion.  See the chart at right.

US apple crop valuation in dollas

Previous Year's Apple Crop Figures

Fruit Grower News reported that the US Apple Association announced that the 2013 U.S. apple crop was about 248.6 million bushels (the August 2013 forecast was for 243 million bushels).  That's a 15 percent increase over 2012's final crop of 215 million bushels, and a 11 percent increase over the five-year average (224 million bushels). It's the largest crop since 2004, according to USDA numbers. The price range for apples wholesale (such as at large real farm markets and at orchards) was between $15 to $30 per bushel, depending upon the variety and location. Popular varieties, like Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc. were around $22 - $26/bushel (wholesale).

Who are the top apple producers?

The PeopleĀ“s Republic of China now produces the largest amount of apples, followed by the United States, Poland, Italy and France, in order. Apples are grown in almost every state, but since apples cannot set fruit and produce a viable crop unless they get enough total hours of cold each winter, warm winter states like Florida and warm areas of Texas, etc. do not produce commercial crops.  That leaves about 32 states  growing apples commercially. Washington State is by far the largest producing state for apples in the United States. The top ten apple producing states, in order, are:

  1. Washington (171 million bushels in 2018)
  2. New York (31 million bushels)
  3. Michigan (28 million bushels)
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. California
  6. Virginia
  7. North Carolina
  8. Oregon
  9. Ohio
  10. Idaho

Apple seasons

Fresh apples appear in grocery stores all year round now, thanks to a global marketplace, but the northern hemisphere's apple season is typically from as early as July to as late as November.  The peak of the apple season is September and October.

So where do apple come from the rest of the year? Some (not all) varieties of apples store very well, and will keep for months in storage warehouses that maintain the proper temperature and humidity.  That extends the season until 6 months later (March / April) when apples from the southern hemisphere are in season.  Which means that from March to July fresh apples in U.S. grocery stores come from the southern hemisphere, mostly from Chile and New Zealand. That accounts for about 6% of annual U.S. apple consumption according to the U.S. Apple organization.

Favorite varieties and uses for apples

Two-thirds of the U.S. crop is eaten fresh and one-third goes to processed uses (apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, packaged apple slices, etc.) Apple varieties change over time.  Red Delicious is still the most grown apple, making up most of the U.S. apple crop, but as consumer tastes shift, apple growers adapt their orchards, but trimming the trees down to a main trunk and several large branches, and then grafting growing tips of the new variety into those remaining branches. This allows growers to quickly (within 2 years) produce the new variety to meet consumer demand.

An example of this is Honeycrisp which has gained popularity on the traditional #1, Red Delicious. The top ten apple varieties currently grown in the United States are:

  1. Red Delicious
  2. Gala
  3. Golden Delicious
  4. Fuji
  5. Granny Smith
  6. McIntosh
  7. Honeycrisp
  8. Rome
  9. Empire
  10. Cripps Pink

Red Delicious production is steadily declining, while Honecrisp is still increasing.

Canning apples - fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions

Recipes, illustrated with step by step instructions

Want to Grow Your Own Apples? 

I do and it's easy and fast.  Apple trees I planted in my yard two years ago are bearing several dozen fruit each this year!  Here's a guide to selecting a variety to grow and how!

Looking for Apple Cider?

And a fun tour? Check out Cider Mills.com!  They list the cider mills where you can go for a tour (and tasting!  yum!)

Other Apple Facts and Fun!

  • 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
  • About 100 different varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
  • A bushel of apples typically weighs between 42 and 48 lbs.
  • Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
  • Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.
  • United States consumers ate an average of 45.2 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products. That's a lot of applesauce!
  • 61 percent of United States apples are eaten as fresh fruit.
  • 39 percent of apples are processed into apple products; 21 percent of this is for juice and cider.
  • The top apple producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which produced over 83 percent of the nation's 2001-crop apple supply.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • In 2001 there were 8,000 apple growers with orchards covering 430,200 acres. (don't know how many of those are PYO).
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit, but you normally buy 2 or 3 year plants at the nursery, so it's only 2 years till they produce!
  • Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
  • Did you know you can carve an apple to make a doll?  Weird, but true and they look neat!  See this website for how to make one yourself!
  • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
  • In Europe, France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 bushel boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.
  • In colonial time apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
  • China is the leading producer of apples with over 1.2 billion bushels grown in 2001. The U.S. is number 2 .
  • Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London.
  • One of George Washington's hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
  • America's longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.
  • A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds (up to 48 lbs) and will yield 12 to 15 quarts of applesauce.
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • And the many apple associations listed on this page have more facts and resources

Weights and Approximate Typical Processed Yields of Apples

 If you have this much fresh apples:

 You should get this much...

Commonly made products

 Canned or frozen (quarts)
 Canned or frozen (pints)
1 bushel 
(42-48 lbs)
1 bushel = 12 to 15 qt. canned applesauce (no sugar added), 14 - 18 with sugar

1 bushel = 10 to 12 qt. juice

12 - 16 quarts
28 - 36 pints
 3 lbs.
1 quart applesauce
1 quart
2 pints 
8 medium apples = 2.25 lbs 1 nine-inch apple pie 
or
3 cups of applesauce
1 peck = 10 to 14 lbs

 


Apple Festivals

Here is a list of major apple festivals in the U.S., Britain, Australia and other countries. If you know of any more, please write me! Feedback.

Other References.

Most sources are references are cited within the article above, but here are a few others