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Trends in fruit and nut acreage.

Bearing acreage of all orchards and vineyards in the United States declined 4 percent from the 1947 total of 3.77 million acres to 3.61 million acres in 1983. These estimates exclude any acreage of nonbearing age. The largest acreage on record was reached in 1927 with 5.06 million bearing acres of citrus, noncitrus fruits, and tree nuts. For the same time period (1947-83) covered by the acreage estimates in this report, production for all orchard and vineyard crops increased a dramatic 63 percent, from 17.1 million tons in 1947 to 27.9 million tons in 1983. Since 1947, bearing acreages for citrus and tree nut crops have trended upward, while the total bearing acreage for noncitrus crops has continued to decline.

The area devoted to all citrus, noncitrus fruits, and tree nuts in the United States has decreased 24 percent since 1919, the year in which complete acreage estimates became available. However, the reduction in acreage has been more than offset by advances in yields because production for all orchard and vineyard crops has more than tripled since 1919 when only 8.66 million tons were harvested. From 1919 to 1983, citrus acreage almost quadrupled, and tree nut acreage (excluding pecans) increased over six times. However, 1983 bearing acreage (commercial) for all noncitrus fruits (tree fruits and grapes) was only two-thirds of the area devoted to these crops in 1919. Both the Central States and Eastern States regions lost most of their noncitrus acreage but the Western States showed a sharp gain in their total noncitrus fruit acreage during this same period.

The decline in tree fruit acreage resulted from a combination of economic and weather-related factors, including the abandonment of orchards on poor soils or subject to high risks of spring frosts and winter-kill. The decline in the eastern and central regions has been mostly offset by new, higher yielding acreages in the irrigated regions of the West. Yields have increased substantially due to tighter tree spacings, new hybrid varieties, improved cultural and irrigation practices, greater use of fertilizer, better control of insects and diseases, and protection of orchards from low temperatures.

Citrus: U.S. citrus bearing acreage stood at 1.10 million acres in 1983, an increase of 31 percent from the 1947 total of 843,000 acres. In 1983, U.S. all-orange acreage had reached 751,000 acres, 35 percent higher than 36 years ago. Oranges comprised over two-thirds of the total citrus acres. Grapefruit, the second most important citrus crop at 199,000 acres, made only a 3-percent gain from 1947. Lemons and limes made modest gains while tangerines were nearly unchanged. Florida tangelo acreage jumped dramatically as a new crop, but Florida temples held steady.

Florida, the number one-citrus producing State, accounted for two-thirds of the U.S. citrus acreage in 1983. Its total bearing acreage at 732,000 acres was nearly twice as large as 36 years ago in spite of 8 significant freeze years that saw cold temperatures reduce acreage. Citrus acres in California and Texas declined 19 and 41 percent, respectively. Texas experienced 5 major freeze years that reduced acreage but California escaped any major freezing weather. All of California's citrus decrease was in oranges, primarily the result of replacing citrus acres with noncitrus fruits and tree nut crops.

Arizona's 42,000 citrus acres in 1983 accounted for only 4 percent of the U.S. total but were more than twice the State's acreage in 1947. Most of the increase came in new lemon acreage. In Louisiana citrus acreage has been virtually eliminated by the two freezing winters of 1961 and 1983.

Apples: Bearing acreage of commercial apple orchards in the United States continued downward during the 1940's into the 1970's, leveled off in the late 1970's, and began trending back up in the early 1980's. The bottom of the apple acreage cycle was 1975. The increase in acreage in the Western States since 1947 was offset by sharp drops in the Central and Eastern States. Nearly all States in the eastern two-thirds of the United States have reduced their acreages. Acreage in most Eastern and Central States appears to be still declining or holding fairly steady. Recently, New York and Michigan acreage made some modest gains. Washington State's acreage declined until the mid-1950's, increased to a peak in 1964, decreased again for the next 6 years, and since 1970 has made steady upward progress.

Apricots: The 1983 U.S. apricot acreage was only about one-third of the 1947 figure. The decline appears to have leveled off in the early 1980's.

Avocados: California avocado acreage has experienced substantial growth but nearly all of the increase has taken place since 1970. The upward trend continues into the 1980's. Florida acreage has seen modest growth.

Bushberries: Blueberry acreage has experienced steady growth, especially during the 1960's and 1970's. Caneberries have seen mixed growth with most berry acreage in this category reaching a peak in the mid-1960's. However, the data series is incomplete for all bushberries and actual changes cannot be determined.

Cherries: Sweet cherry acreage has fluctuated over the last 36 years, reaching a peak in 1974 and trending down to 1983. Recently, acreage has been heading upward again. Tart cherry acreage trended up until 1959, fell to a low in 1982, and is again on the rise.

Cranberries: Cranberry acreage decreased during the 1950's and 1960's but made some increase in the 1970's and 1980's. Current harvested acres are still below the levels harvested in the 1940's. Grapes: Bearing acreage of grapes in the United States as of 1983 totaled 748,000 acres, 24 percent higher than 1947. However, a high of 777,000 acres in 1930 stood as the record until the 1985 acreage surpassed that level with a new record of 783,000 acres. Acreage declined during the thirties, forties and fifties, reaching a low in 1957. Acreage began to climb again in the 1960's with large increases in the 1970's. Acreage in the Eastern States was steady from 1947 to 1983, but acreage in the Central States dropped by two-thirds of its 1947 level while Western States increased 36 percent. Most of the increase in the West occurred in California, which has 86 percent of the U.S. acreage. The largest increase was in California wine varieties as the result of increased demand for wine, especially premium varieties. Acreage for California raisin variety grapes also made modest gains, spurred on by wine sales and higher demand for fresh grapes and raisins. Table variety grape acreage declined 20 percent during the 1947-83 period but has increased again recently due to rising demand for fresh table grapes.

Nectarines: California nectarine acreage in 1983 was nearly eight times the small acreages in the mid-1940's. Acreage increased dramatically during the sixties and seventies, and continued to expand into the eighties.

Olives: Olive-bearing acreage in California made steady, continued growth from the 1940's to the 1970's, hitting a record high of 37,200 acres in 1978. Acreage since 1978 has been on a downward trend.

Peaches: U.S. bearing acreage of all peaches in 1983 stood at 190,000 acres, only one-third of the bearing acreage in 1947. Sharp declines were registered in all regions. California's clingstone peach acreage fell 35 percent, and that for freestone varieties fell 29 percent. Acreage in most States, including Georgia and Michigan, has decreased substantially.

Pears: The U.S. bearing acreage of all pears fell 55 percent from 1947 to 1983. The all-time record high acreage was set in 1932. Most of the decrease took place in the central and eastern regions but western regions have also declined moderately. Most of the decrease in the Pacific Coast States occurred with the Bartlett variety while acreage for other variety pears was fairly stable.

California Specialty Fruits: California's bearing acreage of dates hit a peak of nearly 5,000 acres in 1953 but decreased in the 1950's and 1960's and leveled off to 4,000 acres. California fig acreage declined from a record high of 46,800 acres in 1930 to 14,700 acres in 1983. Kiwifruit in California is a new crop. Estimates began in 1980 and bearing acreage stood at 3,100 acres in 1983. Acreage continues to make strong gains.

Hawaii Specialty Fruits: Papaya acreage in Hawaii began at minor levels in the 1940's and grew into significant commercial acreage during the 1970's and 1980's. Hawaii pineapple acreage has fallen sharply over the past 40 years but has recently leveled off. Acreage of Hawaiian coffee harvested has decreased substantially since the record high of 5,900 acres in 1959 but has made some recent upturn.

Tree Nuts: California almond acreage has shown phenomenal growth since the mid-1940's and continues to expand into the 1980's. Filbert acreage in the Pacific Northwest has fluctuated but recently appears to be expanding. Hawaii bearing acres of macadamia nuts was small in the mid-1940's but has continued to expand during the last three decades. Pistachios are a relatively new crop in California. Large plantings were made in the 1970's and acreage continues to grow in the 1980's but at a much slower pace. English walnut acreage is dominated by California. Acreage diminished in Oregon while the California crop acreage fluctuated during the 1940's through the 1960's and then trended upward through the 1970's.

Source: Doyle C. Johnson--U.S.D.A.

List of Fruits and Nuts Included, by States


apples grapefruit grapes lemons oranges peaches tangerines


apples grapes peaches pears


almonds apples apricots avocados cherries dates figs grapefruit grapes kiwifruit lemons limes nectarines olives oranges peaches pears persimmons pistachios plums pomegranates prunes tangerines walnuts


apples cherries peaches pears


apples peaches pears


apples peaches


avocados grapefruit grapes lemons limes mangos oranges peaches pears tangelos tangerines temples other citrus


apples grapes peaches pears


avocados bananas coffee guavas macadamias papayas pineapples


apples cherries peaches pears prunes & plums


apples grapes peaches pears


apples grapes peaches pears


apples grapes peaches Kansas apples grapes peaches pears Kentucky apples grapes peaches pears


oranges peaches pears


apples blueberries


apples peaches Massachusetts apples cranberries peaches pears


apples blueberries cherries grapes peaches pears prunes & plums




apples peaches pears


apples grapes peaches pears


apples cherries New Hampshire apples

New Jersey

apples blueberries cranberries grapes peaches

New Mexico

apples grapes peaches

New York

apples cherries grapes peaches pears

North Carolina

apples blueberries grapes peaches pears


apples cherries grapes peaches pears


peaches pears


apples blueberries caneberries cherries cranberries filberts grapes peaches pears prunes &

plums walnuts


apples cherries grapes peaches pears

Rhode Island


South Carolina

apples grapes peaches pears


apples peaches pears


grapefruit oranges peaches pears


apples apricots cherries peaches pears




apples grapes peaches pears


apples apricots blueberries caneberries cherries cranberries filberts grapes peaches pears prunes &


West Virginia

apples grapes peaches pears


apples cherries cranberries
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Feb 1, 1993
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