Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Fruit

Apples

  • Early spring weather has been seasonally cool throughout most of the region, without any significant hot spells, lessening the risk of early bloom and subsequent frost damage.
  • 2021 was a reasonably good year for most Northeast apple growers. Some processing growers had blocks of apples nearly bare, such as Ida Red and Rome, while other processing farms had huge crops. Hard cider makers are now a factor in the market. Pricing reached favorable levels in late fall/winter for growers, particularly in the fresh market. Average yield reports were in the 65-75% range of a normal processing crop.
  • Apples have generally been moving well from storage. U.S. fresh-market holdings (as of April 1, 2022) of 53.3 million bushels are 4.0% greater than the than the inventories reported in April 2021, but 1.9% below the 5-year average.
  • Total New York apple holdings of 5.4 million bushels as of April 1 are lower than one year ago, but
  • 3.0% greater than the 5-year average.1

Wine & Craft Beverage

  • Wineries in the Finger Lakes region of NY reported continued strong sales over the winter months.
  • On the grape side, the 2021 wine and juice grape crop in New York saw higher than average yields. Since wine sales in the region were relatively strong, wine grape prices held despite the surge of supply.
  • The craft beverage sector has seen remarkable growth across the Northeast, with particular success in NY and VT. While some in the industry worry that additional vendors may divide the pool of interested consumers, and cannibalize existing sales, growth of this sector has not slowed.

Cranberries

  • The 2021 national crop came in slightly above 2020’s harvest, but 7.5% below the 5-year average. The Massachusetts crop showed similar results. This may be beneficial for the cranberry market, which has suffered from oversupply. Independent buyers have reportedly been offering higher prices than last year.


1 USApple Tracker April 2022