October 26, 2023

Ag Economy

Fruit Industry Snapshot

Tree Fruit

  • USDA estimates New York’s apple crop at 26.2 million bushels, 12.8% below the 5-year average. Washington state’s crop is estimated at 159.5 million bushels, 13 million greater than last year, but still slightly below the 5-year average. Most states are estimating a crop slightly below the 5-year average, with the exception of Michigan, which, while below last year’s record, is estimated to come in nearly 30% above their 5-year average harvest. 
  • Late spring frosts negatively affected many tree fruit growers, although the impact was highly variable. Some New England growers reported losing most of their crop for 2023. This was particularly devastating for PYO growers, where the apple harvest drives fall traffic to their stands. 

Small Fruit

  • New Jersey blueberries showed strong yields early on, but heavy rains led to soft, lower-quality fruit later in the season for some growers. Some brokers were rejecting fruit due to splitting and quality issues. The late frosts that hit region impacted many growers of small fruit as well, particularly in New England, although the damage was inconsistent due to localized weather conditions. 

Wine/Craft Beverage

  • Wine/Craft Beverage: Reports of 2023 wine sales continue to be somewhat lackluster, and lag behind the stellar 2020 and 2021 figures. However, this is more of a “return to baseline” after the COVID surge, rather than a downturn from longer-term trends.
  • There was a major freeze in late spring in several parts of New York and New England that damaged buds on grape vines. Yields are expected to be down from last year, but not as much as originally thought.  


  • It was a tough frost season, followed by an excessively wet period during bloom. Ultimately yields were off a little, but the quality was higher than usual. Overall balanced out in terms of the marketable crop. Pricing is stable to down slightly from last year. 

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