We knew that fruit production in Wisconsin last year was bad - but it took numbers to show just how bad.
The Wisconsin Ag Statistical Service says that in 2012 - Wisconsin apple and cherry production hit historical lows.
Most Wisconsin apple growers struggled with this year’s crop due to the early spring. There were several reports of trees not producing any apples in 2012. Total apple production in 2012 was the lowest in Wisconsin since 1945. Total was 23.6 million pounds, with 21.4 million pounds of utilized production.
Production and utilization were down 54.0 percent and 44.7 percent, respectively, from 2011. Bearing acres were down 600 acres to 3,200. Yields decreased 6,120 pounds per acre to 7,380. Prices rose 29 percent from 2011 to $0.626 per pound in 2012.
The same bad news impacted Wisconsin's tart cherry production.
The early spring in Wisconsin drastically hindered the tart cherry crop in Wisconsin. Production in Wisconsin was the lowest since 2008, when only 500,000 pounds of cherries were harvested. Wisconsin farmers harvested 1.7 million pounds of tart cherries in 2012, down 75 percent from 2011. Yields were down 73 percent to 1,060 pounds per acre. Prices increased dramatically, from $0.285 in 2011 to $1.110 per pound in 2012.
There was one fruit that did exceptionally well despite the weather - Wisconsin cranberries!
State officials say 2012 was a record breaker for Wisconsin cranberry production with a record 4.83 million barrel of fruit harvested. Producers harvested 19,700 acres, up 9 percent from 2011. Yields rose 0.2 barrel per acre to 245.2. The 130,000 barrels sold on the fresh market brought an average price of $82.40 per barrel. Prices for processing cranberries rose from $43.60 to $46.80 per barrel.
Wisconsin accounted for 60 percent of all cranberry production in the nation.
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