2012 a bad year for N.C. apples, good for other fruits

By on January 28, 2013

Photo of apples

North Carolina apple production dropped 76 percent in 2012 because of a late freeze.

Apple production in North Carolina severely declined in 2012, according to a USDA report released Jan. 25.

Total production was 33.5 million pounds, compared with 140 million pounds in 2011, the report showed. The yield last year was 5,000 pounds per acre, compared with 20,300 pounds in 2011.

The 76 percent drop in production was largely attributed to a deep freeze in early spring that damaged Western N.C. apple orchards at a critical stage of fruit development.

Here are some other facts from the Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts report:

  • Apple-bearing acreage in 2012 was 6,700, compared with 6,900 in 2011.
  • Strawberry production in North Carolina in 2012 was 203 hundredweight, a 4 percent increase from 2011.
  • The average strawberry yield was 135 hundredweight per acre, up 3.8 percent.
  • The value of strawberry production was $29.4 million, an increase of about $2 million from 2011.
  • Blueberry production increased 9 percent to 40.5 million pounds.
  • The average yield for blueberries was 7,000 pounds per acre.
  • The value of blueberry production was $71 million.
  • The average yield for peaches held steady at 4.82 tons per acre. Total production was 5,300 tons, also unchanged from 2011.
  • The value or peach production was $6.2 million, a 21 percent increase from 2011.
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