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CHICAGO -- Mark Seetin, director of regulatory and industry affairs for the U.S. Apple Association, discussed the anticipated 2011 U.S. apple crop during the first day of the association’s Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference, held here Aug. 18-19.

 

Mark Seetin
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expecting a 2 percent increase in U.S. apple production. More specifically, it is anticipating that eastern yield will be down 2 percent from last year and 4 percent from the five-year average. Western states have a similar estimation, decreasing 3 percent from 2010 and 2 percent from the five-year average. In stark contrast to these moderate decreases, the Midwest is expected to be up 49 percent from last year due largely to a significant jump in Michigan’s production. This is 19 percent higher than the region’s five-year average.

 

In addition to discussing the upcoming crop, Mr. Seetin compared the 2010 season to last year’s predictions. The USDA’s estimate was within 2 percent of the 221,467,000 bushel yield. However, Mr. Seetin likened the association’s 0.04 percent error to “shooting a stinkbug off of an apple from 100 yards away.”

Shortly after Mr. Seetin spoke, participants gathered into region-based groups to compare individual and collective predictions to the USDA’s 2011 anticipated figures.

The U.S. Apple Association’s 2011 estimate was scheduled to be released Aug. 19 at the conclusion of the two-day conference.