For the second year in a row, Michigan is awash with apples, and the same is true for the eastern US market. That is why the USDA is stepping in with another purchase, hoping to reduce excess inventories and support farmers. It will spend $60 million for fresh apples and $40 million for processed apples from the nation’s 2023 harvest.
Even with USDA stepping in earlier this year with a $20 million purchase (benefiting various food nutrition assistance programs such as food banks) of the 2022 crop, there was still a carryover in controlled atmosphere storage of apples into the 2023, says Dawn Drake, Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association’s (MACMA) manager.
The purchase will benefit all apple-producing states, including New York, which the USDA estimates a 26-million-bushel crop, down from its average of 29.5 million bushels annually. However, the late-May frost may have not dented the state’s yield as much as predicted.