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Premier Apple Conference in Syracuse

U.S. Apple Association announces 2017 crop estimate

Jim Bair, Diane Kurrle and Mark Seetin of the U.S. Apple Association traveled to New York to attend the 2017 Premier Marketing Apple Forum held June 26 – 27 at the DoubleTree in Syracuse. 

USApple President and CEO, Jim Bair gave a short state of the association address, Diane Kurrle, Senior Vice President provided an update on movement of advocacy priorities within the Administration and on Capitol Hill, and Mark Seetin, Director coordinated the first estimate of the 2017 U.S. apple crop with industry experts on-site. 

More than 140 attendees of the Premier Apple Coop meeting representing all major apple producing regions of the U.S. discussed 2017 apple crop prospects and developed a consensus estimate of the 2017 crop. The estimate was based on conditions as of the end of June and assumes normal crop conditions until harvest. 

At 255.6 million 42 pound bushels, the 2017 crop estimate is roughly 2 percent more than the USDA’s August estimate of the 2016 crop. The Premier estimate reflects a 2017 crop from the East and Midwest regions that is 4.5 percent less than the 2016 crop. The Western region production is expected to be roughly 5 percent more than that of 2016. 

Also, for the first time in a public forum setting, plans for an apple tree insurance program were discussed. USApple has been working with AgriLogic Consulting, LLC and the USDA Risk Management Agency over the last three years on this latest industry effort to offer growers a new risk management tool. 

“The current crop insurance program helps growers mitigate risk, but the policies only apply to the apples, not the trees themselves,” said Jim Bair, President and CEO of USApple. “Developing an apple tree policy will fill a gap in coverage and protect the investment in trees, arguably the most costly component of apple production.” 

With the shift to high density planting, five times as many trees are planted per acre than a generation ago. This translates to between 1,200 and 1,600 trees and at least a $40,000 capital investment, per acre. Still under development, the apple tree insurance program will be the first of its kind to protect this investment and costs associated with weather damage and fire blight, a destructive disease specific to apple trees that kills the entire plant. 

Korenna Wilson 
U.S. Apple Association 
Tel: 703-442-8850 

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