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Commodity Apples

Apple TreesOverview

Apples are one of the most valuable fruit crops in the United States. The 2012 apple crop was valued at nearly $3.1 billion, up from more than $2.8 billion the previous year. The utilized apple crop was nearly 9.0 billion pounds, down from more than 9.3 billion pounds in 2011.  (NASS 2013)

Every state in the United States grows apples, and 29 states raise apples commercially. Washington State produces about 70 percent of the apples in the United States. Other leading states include New York, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.  (NASS 2013)  December 2013 ...  Apples


  • Apple Industry Per Acre Receipts for Red Delicious and Gala, Washington State University - These research findings can be used to estimate the increase in receipts associated with making improvements in the fruit.
  • Apples Industry & Trade Summary, Brendan Lynch, U.S. International Trade Commission, 2010.
  • Commodity Highlight: Fresh Apples, Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, ERS, USDA, 2005.
  • Consumer Response to Apples, Washington Tree Fruit Postharvest Conference, 2001 - A study, funded by the Washington Apple Commission and Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, reviewed consumer attitudes toward apples.
  • Expense Method of Depreciation - Vineyards, orchards and groves can qualify for the expense method of depreciation. The IRS agrees that I.R.C. §179 is available when the vineyard is placed in service even in situations where the taxpayer established the vineyard years earlier by planting the seeds and capitalizing expenses during the preproduction period. The IRS position in the past was that orchards, groves and vineyards were not able to capitalize direct and indirect costs until the vineyard became productive. Tax returns for the open tax years (generally three years back) can be amended to either make or revoke an I.R.C. §179 election. Taxpayers that put a vineyard, orchard or grove in service in the past three years but didn’t elect I.R.C. §179 can now do so.
  • Fresh Fruit (Apples, Grapes, and Pears): World Markets and Trade, Foreign Ag Service (FAS), USDA.
  • Fruit and Tree Nuts, Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA - This government portal provides general information and statistics on the U.S. fruits and nut tree industries.
  • Global Agricultural Trade System (GATS), FAS, USDA.
  • Michigan Apple Committee.
  • New York Apple Association.
  • Resolution in the U.S. – Japan Apple Dispute: New Opportunities for Trade, ERS, USDA, 2005 - With the elimination of the restrictive fire-blight protocol Japan previously had on U.S. apples, the United States now has a new opportunity to export apples to a high-quality export market.
  • U.S. Apple Association, Vienna, Virginia - This national trade association represents the apple industry. Members include 36 state and regional apple associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 300 individual firms involved in the apple business.
  • Washington Apple Commission.


  • Apple Products Research & Education Council - This organization provides handling, receiving and production guidelines for the processed apple industry. It also includes health and research information for consumers.
  • Hard Cider & Apple Wine, Processed Apple Product Marketing Analysis, Cornell University, 2000 - This report provides background on hard cider and apple wine, and their potential roles in the processed apple industry.
  • Hard Cider Industry Profile, Ag Marketing Resource Center, Iowa State University - Hard cider is traced back to Europe. In this country the cider tradition is being renewed. Cider can be found on tap, in six packs and in wine bottles. Cider is not wine and it is not beer. Like wine, it is fermented from fruit and can capture the complex flavors of fruit. Like beer, cider has under six or seven percent alcohol and tastes best with some sparkle. It is different from both: a unique beverage.
  • Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Production Guide, Penn State University - This guide features sections of cider production, processing and labeling.
  • Postharvest Information Network, Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington State University - This site provides information by variety as well as subject, including quality, marketing, organic and storage.
  • Preserving Apples, Kansas State University, 1995 - This document contains how-to apple information for freezing, canning, and making butter, jelly, juice and sauce.


  • Apple, University of Georgia - This site provides an overview of apple cultivars, production, harvest, handling and nutrient content.
  • Apple, Integrated Pest Management guidelines, University of California, Davis.
  • Characteristics of Conventional and Organic Apple Production in the United States, ERS, USDA, 2011 - This report uses data from USDA’s 2007 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and other sources to examine trends in the U.S. apple sector and compare production and marketing characteristics under organic and conventional farming systems.
  • Cost Estimates of Establishing and Producing Organic Apples in Washington, Washington State University Extension, 2011 - Washington leads the nation in the production of certified organic apples with an estimated 74 percent of total U.S. organic apple acreage as of 2009. The per acre cost of producing certified organic apples is estimated at $11,407 in the scenario described for this budget, compared to $10,757 for conventional Gala apples using a similar production scenario and 2009 input costs.
  • Cost Estimates of Establishing and Producing Gala Apples in Washington, Washington State University Extension, 2009 - Gala is the second largest cultivar grown in Washington following the traditional variety, Red Delicious. Gala apple production has accounted for approximately 20 percent of all Washington apple shipments since 2007. The estimated cost of production for a five-year-old Gala block is $10,757 per acre.
  • PlantFacts, Ohio State University - This site provides a full-text search engine of all extension and academic department information from all land-grant universities in the United States. Additionally, there are significant image and video databases, a FAQ database and a glossary.
  • Per Acre Receipts for Red Delicious and Gala: The Effects of Grade, Size, Cullage and Yield, Washington State University.
  • Sample Costs to Establish an Apple Orchard and Produce Apples: Fuji, University of California-Davis, 2007 - This study provides cost estimates for Fuji apples grown in the Intermountain Region of El Dorado County.
  • Sample Costs to Establish an Apple Orchard and Produce Apples: Granny Smith, University of California-Davis, 2001 - This study provides cost estimates for Granny Smith apples grown in the San Joaquin Valley.
  • Tree Fruit Farm Business Summary, Lake Ontario Region, Cornell University, 1999 - The fruit farm business summary identifies necessary financial and business information, and provides ideas for using the information to evaluate the business. Most of the growers in this study were apple growers.

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Apple Crisp Cooperative, Webster, Minnesota - A group of seven apple growers in southeast Minnesota formed the Apple Crisp Cooperative to work together to develop new products and markets.
  • Apple of His Eye Orchard, Anderson, Indiana, 2008 - Richard Sochacki and his wife decided to start an apple orchard just four years ago. With their 320 trees now producing old and new "favorites," their on-site gift shop offers apple products, including their popular apple cinnamon donuts; other seasonal crops; and gift items.
  • The Big Apple, Rural Cooperatives, 2002 - This article tells how new products and added plant capacity are playing a major role in Tree Top’s marketing strategy.
  • Knouse Foods - Founded in 1949, Knouse Foods is a cooperative that represents hundreds of grower members in the Eastern United States. Musselman’s is one of the group’s branded products.
  • Scotian Gold Cooperative Limited - This business is the only producer-owned apple cooperative in Nova Scotia, handling fruit from 55 growers.
  • Tree Top - This company originated as a grower-owned apple processor in 1960. Today it has more than 1,300 grower-owners in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Links checked July 2013.

Related Links

Apples, Fruits and Nuts: 2007 and 2002, 2007 Census of Agriculture - State Data, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, 2009.


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