Jun 29, 2016Fruit Crop Guesstimate reflects optimistic outlook
When industry representatives gathered June 22 for the 61st annual Fruit Crop Guesstimate, they came with mostly optimistic outlooks regarding the 2016 crop.
Grand Rapids, Michigan was the setting for the event that provided an opportunity to hear expectations for the peach, blueberry, sweet cherry, apple and tart cherry sectors.
Sponsored by the Michigan Frozen Food Packers Association, the one-day format allowed attendees to hear the estimate numbers and then have the opportunity to network and discuss the upcoming crops at a reception.
Guest speaker was Lowell Randel, vice president of government and legal affairs for the Global Cold Chain Alliance. He outlined the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act on the industry.
Michigan’s 2016 Fruit Crop Guestimate for apples was 26.3 million bushels, up from the 2015 estimate of 22.5 million bushels.
The Michigan Processing Apple Growers Marketing Committee met June 21, and estimated the apple crop to be 26 million bushels.
“Michigan has an excellent crop potential this year,” the committee reported. “Weather conditions were excellent, which created a good cell division and a king bloom crop. Quality and size is outstanding to date; extra bearing surface will also factor into the crop size. Crop maturity is reported to be 3-5 days ahead of normal. Overall, growers are extremely optimistic about the 2016 apple crop.”
In Washington state, growers have assessed the 2016 crop could reach 135 million boxes fresh, which would be a 17 percent increase over 2015.
In 2016, the U.S. tart cherry industry will produce an estimated 351.3 million pounds, 253.0 pounds of that coming from Michigan. The total 2015 U.S. estimate was 249.7 million pounds.
Other major tart cherry producing states’ production is estimated as follows (million pounds): Utah, 50.0; Washington state, 27.0; Wisconsin, 11.0; New York, 7.0; Oregon, 3.0; and Pennsylvania, .3.
The Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB) met June 23, The CIAB determined that crop size will result in an effective regulation of 29 percent.
The Michigan sweet cherries guesstimate for 2016 was set at a total of 54 million pounds, up from 24.4 million pounds in 2015, and representing 90 percent of the 2014 crop of 59.8 million pounds.
Of the 2016 sweet cherry total for Michigan, 1.5 million pounds is estimated to be fresh; 3 million canned; 16.5 million frozen; and 33 million brined.
Michigan is projecting 101 million pounds (53 million fresh, 48 million in processed) of blueberry production in 2016. This compares to a 2015 estimate of 85 million pounds.
For other top producing states, Georgia anticipates 85 million pounds in 2016; New Jersey, 45 million pounds; Florida, 25 million pounds; and Indiana, 25 million pounds.