New York Field Office
"Fact Finders for Agriculture"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Marisa Reuber
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
NEW YORK APPLE AND GRAPE PRODUCTION DOWN
Total apple production in New York is forecast at 1.15 billion pounds based on conditions as of August 1, according to Stephen Ropel, Director of the USDA’S National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office. This is 12 percent below the 1.31 billion pounds produced last year. Across the state, growers were expecting an average to below average fruit crop due to this year’s weather conditions. A hail storm on June 16th caused widespread damage from Lake Ontario to the Hudson Valley. While the hail has reduced the quality of the crop, and some fruit will now be left on the trees, total production shows a crop in line with the 5-year average.
In the Lake Ontario fruit region, very few growers were spared from hail storms. Wayne County was especially hard hit. Much of the fresh fruit crop is now only acceptable in the processing market. A few growers indicated that frost early in the season also reduced the crop. In the Hudson Valley fruit region, reports indicate a good crop size, but a large percentage of the crop has been damaged by hail. The quality is low, and many growers are hoping to sell their apples for processing. Frost was an issue for some growers early in the season. Growers in the Lake Champlain fruit region also reported hail storms.
The first U.S. apple production forecast for the 2008 crop year is 9.17 billion pounds, slightly more than the 2007 crop year and 7 percent below 2006. Multiple spring freezes and summer hailstorms damaged orchards across the nation, however, trees in most areas of the U.S. experienced a recovery from the devastating growing weather in 2007.
Grape production in New York is expected to total 165 thousand tons, according to growers' reports. This represents an 8 percent decrease from a year ago. Grape growers in Erie County experienced hard frosts in April and May. Many growers will have a reduced crop due to the frost, while some growers are reporting a total loss. A few growers also experienced hail and lots of rain. The Chautauqua region encountered some early frost and hail damage, but not as severe as Erie County. Some growers are still feeling the effects of last year’s dry conditions. Many growers reported good weather conditions and adequate rainfall. Some growers are concerned there has been too much rain. The wet conditions have increased mildew growth, but growers are keeping it under control with fungicide sprays. Beetles have been reported as a problem in a few vineyards. Growers in the Finger Lakes region were also hit with frost and hail. A mid-July hail storm caused significant damage around Keuka Lake. Minor insect problems have been reported in this region. Growers not hit by hail are reporting a good fruit set and a rapid growing season. Long Island grape production is indicated to be above average for the August forecast. A couple producers had spotty frost, but overall, growers reported very good conditions with healthy looking grapes.
U.S. grape production is forecast at 7.20 million tons, up 3 percent from 2007 and 13 percent above the 2006 season. California leads the U.S. in grape production with 89 percent of the total. Washington and New York are the next largest producing States, with 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. California’s all grape forecast, at 6.40 million tons, is up 6 percent from the July forecast and 3 percent above 2007. Washington growers expect to harvest 375,000 tons, virtually unchanged from a year ago.