U.S. Apples and WI Spud Shipments – Both Normal

U.S. Apples and WI Spud Shipments – Both Normal

024Fairly normal shipments of U.S. apples is predicted this season, with the exception of one state that is expecting volume to rise by nearly one-third.  Also, here’s a look at what to expect with potato shipments from Wisconsin.

Apple shipments in the U.S. this coming season should hit nearly 246 million bushels (42 pounds boxes) this fall, which is slightly over the five-year average.  However, Michigan might edge out New York state as the second-leading apple producer and shipper for the first time, assuming the U.S. Apple Association’s annual forecast holds true to the end of the season.

The projection for U.S. apple shipments is 3 percent over the 2015 crop and the five-year average.  This would make it the 11th-largest crop overall (with the USDA’s 248-million-bushel estimate). The estimate for Michigan apple shipments, at 31 million bushels, is 31 percent over its 2015 harvest, and exactly 1 million bushels higher than the apple association’s New York estimate for 2016.
The association’s Washington crop estimate of 149 million bushels (USDA’s is 152.4 million) is a 5 percent increase from last season’s shipments and 1 percent less than the state’s five-year average.
While production has been increasing in recent years, bearing acreage has dropped significantly in recent years due to higher yields per acre.
“We’re still growing the same sized crops, in fact, in the last five or six years we’ve had some of the bigger crops in history, with the 2014 crop of 272 (million bushels) just a shade below the record crop of 1998,” the apple association said.  In four of the past five years, the association’s estimates have been closer than the USDA’s, which is released in the month before the annual Outlook conference.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

This is a more normal year.  Last year, Wisconsin had very high yields and a bumper crop.

In each of the last two seasons, Wisconsin growers have produced about 63,000 acres of potatoes. But in the booming production of 2015, there was an average of 460 bags per acre. This year the average will still be strong at 430 100-pound bags per acre. The total production for 2015 was 28.98 million hundredweight. This year this number is expected to be 27 million.

The vast majority of the acreage is harvested in September.

U.S. potato crop will be close to last year in shipments, or down no more than 1 or 2 percent.

Central Wisconsin potatoes – grossing about $1000 to Chicago.