New York grape production up 32%

While a lot of other industries have been reporting less production, grape production in New York State increased 32% last year over 2009.

King Whetstone, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office, yesterday confirmed what industry members have anecdotally been saying -- that 2009 was a bumper crop. He put the total output at 176,000 tons.

However, the state's tart cherry crop is estimated at 7.8 million pounds, down 30% from the 2009 crop of 11.2 million pounds, and the apple crop was down 5%, to 1.3 billion pounds.

The grape production breaks down to 4,000 tons of fresh grapes, with 172,000 tons crushed by wineries and processors. Grapes utilized for juice accounted for 70% of the total grapes processed with the remaining 30% going for wine.

The value of the 2010 grape crop is estimated at $68.4 million, 44% above the 2009 crop value. New York ranked third in grape production behind California and Washington state.

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