New Hampshire suffers drop in apple production

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New Hampshire suffers drop in apple production

New USDA's 2023 crop report for New England Berries, Tree Fruit and Grapes by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows an overall decrease in the production of New Hampshire apples. 

According to the 2022 Census of Agriculture, there are a total of 1,425 of acres occupied by apple orchards in New Hampshire. The state saw a decrease in both price and price per bushel in apples and pears. 

New Hampshire apple production dropped from 250 tons in 2022 to 186 tons in 2023 and the price per bushel dropped to $46.20 from $55.90 

The drop in apple production in 2023 was offset mainly due to adverse weather conditions including rains and widespread freezes.

North Hampshire farms were faced with the wettest year on record, according to the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, which affected seed germination, and field accessibility, resulting in poor weed control, flooded soil, and nutrient leaching.

In February, a cold snap hit New Hampshire and most of New England, which killed buds of fruit trees and limited apple growth throughout the year.

The excessive rainfall and bitter cold snap during February and May resulted in an estimate of 859.4 apple crops being affected, and a loss of nearly $8 million in revenue.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen urged Congress to provide disaster assistance to New Hampshire farmers impacted by the weather. This was later declared a disaster by the U.S Secretary of Agriculture. 

This year, New Hampshire apple growers are more hopeful for a good year after the weather challenges of 2023, thanks to federal aid and the farming community coming together. 

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