From the Orchard to your Table
Orchard Life & A−peel−ing Facts
Apples are grown in every state in the continental United States. Top-producing states include Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.
The largest U.S. apple crop on record, of 277.3 million cartons, was harvested in 1998. An estimated 7,500 U.S. apple growers manage orchards covering 379,000 acres, trailing only oranges and grapes in the amount of U.S. acreage committed to fruit production.
In 2008, the average U.S. consumer ate an estimated 16.4 pounds of fresh-market apples and 33.3 pounds of processed apples, for a total of 49.8 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products.
Almost sixty five percent of the 2008 U.S. apple crop was eaten as fresh fruit, while 34.5 percent was processed into apple products, and 1 percent was not marketed. Of the 34.5 percent of the crop that was processed, 15.7 percent was used in juice and cider; 2.1 percent was dried; 2.1 percent was frozen; 12.2 percent was canned and 1.1 percent was fresh slices. Other uses include the making of baby food, apple butter or jelly, and vinegar.
Exports of fresh-market apples from the 2008 crop totaled an estimated 40 million bushels, or 27 percent of the total U.S. fresh-market crop. Imports in that same year totaled an estimated 9.9 million bushels, resulting in a positive balance of fresh-apple trade.
Exports of U.S. apples have increased over the past decade, due to liberalization of export markets, increased disposable income in developing countries, and substantial industry export promotion efforts. Leading markets for U.S. apples include Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.