Aug 12, 2020
USDA: Apple, peach forecast down for 2020

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its latest 2020 fruit crop forecast on Aug. 12. The report showed anticipated crop production decreases in apples and peaches, while increased yields are forecast in cranberries, pears and grapes.

The crop breakdowns are as follows:

Apples, commercial: United States apple production for the 2020 crop year is forecast at 10.7 billion pounds, down 3% from the previous year. Forecasted production this season is expected to be lower compared with last year, in all states except Oregon. Michigan had a cool to cold late winter hat delayed the development of spring buds and severe freeze in early May 2020  Apple production in Michigan is expected to be 3% lower than the previous year.

Cranberries: United States 2020 total cranberry production is forecast at 8.97 million barrels, up 13% from 2019. Wisconsin production is forecast at 5.50 million barrels, up 18% from 2019 as growers reported more favorable growing conditions than last year.

Production in Massachusetts, forecast at a record high 2.40 million barrels, is up 11% from last year. As of Aug. 2, 60% of Massachusetts cranberry crop was rated in good to excellent condition.

Grapes: United States grape production for 2020 is forecast at 7.18 million tons, up 4% from last year. California’s winegrape production is forecast at 4 million tons, unchanged from 2019, and represents 59% of California’s total grape crop.

California’s raisin grape production is forecast at 1.40 million tons, up 8% from last year, and represents 21% of California’s total grape crop.

California’s table grape production is forecast at 1.35 million tons, up 14% from last year and represents the remaining 20% of California’s total grape crop. If realized, this will be the highest table grape production on record.

Peaches: United States peach production is forecast at 645,500 tons, down 5% from 2019. In California, Freestone full bloom occurred on March 3, 15 days earlier than last year, and was reported to be good. Harvest began in Kingsburg on June 8, with smaller fruit sizes and a tight labor supply reported.

Clingstone peaches received adequate chilling hours and favorable weather during the spring that benefited the crop. Overall conditions have been favorable as mid-season peach harvest continued.

In South Carolina, despite a lack of chill hours and damage from hail in some areas, the crop is expected to be the largest since 2011. As a result, demand and movement were moderate and steady with generally good quality fruit reported. Harvest began in mid-May and was 90% complete by Aug. 2.

In Georgia, growers were expecting a good crop. Harvest began mid-May and was 97% complete by Aug. 2.

In Colorado, a severe freeze in the western slope growing region severely damaged the crop. In Michigan and New Jersey, the crop was lessened by freezing spring temperatures as well.

Pears: United States pear production for 2020 is forecast at 800,000 tons, up 10% from last year. In California, pear harvest continued. Growing conditions have been ideal which has improved fruit sizing. Growers in Oregon and Washington reported favorable, mild spring and summer conditions ideal for a healthy crop. Growers expect good crop volume with improved quality and sizing.

Gary Pullano, FGN Managing Editor



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