Aug 15, 2022USDA: Cranberry production to rise, grapes, peaches and pears down
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released forecasts for a number of fruit crops, putting cranberry production up from last year, but peach, pear and the overall grape category (table, raisin, juice and wine) down.
The forecasts are in the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service August Crop Production report, released Aug. 12.
The USDA is forecasting 2022 cranberry production at 7.44 million 100-pound barrels, up 5% from the 2021 crop.
Wisconsin, which produces the most cranberries in the U.S., is projected to produce 4.3 million barrels this season, a 3% increase this year, according to the USDA’s Crop Production report released Aug. 12.
Massachusetts production is forecast to increase 11%, to 2 million barrels.
Wisconsin and Massachusetts saw cold, wet weather and hail early in the growing season.
“The planting season started the first of week of June but was delayed due to rainy days,” according to the report. “Warmer temperatures and better weather conditions helped cranberry plants and berries to develop. Cranberries continue to increase in size, as growers monitor fruit quality.”
U.S. cranberry production is forecast at 7.44 million 100-pound barrels, up from the 2021 crop, with 7.07 million barrels.
Oregon production is expected to be at 550,000 100-pound barrels, up from 520,000 barrels, and New Jersey’s 2022 crop is forecast to be 590,000 barrels, just 1,000 barrels over the 2021 production, according to the report.
Overall production is estimated at just under six million tons of grapes, down 1% from last year. California’s winegrape production is forecast at 3.5 million tons, a 4% drop from last season. The California winegrapes represent 62% of California’s total grape crop.
Raisin-type grape production is forecast at 1 million tons (18% of overall harvest), a drop of 7% from the previous season.
Table grapes are expected to contribute another 1.1 million tons, an increase of 5% from last season. Table grapes represent 20% of the overall crop. Growers across the state struggled with labor costs and availability, as well as water availability. Vineyards in San Joaquin County reported frost damage that was significant enough to impact yields, according to the USDA-NASS report.
Total U.S. peach production for the season is forecast at 583,500 tons, a 15% drop from the previous season. The bulk of the crop is from California, which estimates production at 430,000 tons, down 15% from 2021.
California freestone peaches will contribute about 240,000 tons, 4% down from the previous forecast from the previous pre-season forecast, and 14% lower than 2021 production.
California Freestone production has been forecast to produce 240,000 tons, a 14% drop from the 2021-22 season.
Clingstone production is forecast at 190,000 tons, unchanged from the previous forecast and down 16% from 2021. Full bloom occurred on March 6. Chilling hours in the northern and central areas of the State increased from the previous season. Freeze events occurred in February and April which affected the crop, according to the USDA report.
South Carolina production is forecast at 76,000 tons, down 13% from the previous season. Peach production was affected by a mid-March freeze. Harvest began in mid-May and as of Aug. 1, harvest was 85% complete. Georgia production, forecast at 26,000 tons, is down 26% from the previous season.
Total U.S. pear production is forecast at 690,000 tons, a 2% drop from the past season. In Washington, the largest growing state, snow fell in mid-April, followed by a cold, wet may. Growers, however, expect those conditions had a minimal impact on the yields.
In Oregon, the pear crop fared well in spite of an April cold snap and rainy weather throughout the spring. In California, the pear crop has had late harvest in recent years, however, the 2022 crop is back to its normal timing. Growing conditions have been optimal this year, with expectations of having a high-quality crop.