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Ongoing project

Apple and pear crop estimate (AP16002)

Key research provider: AgFirst

What’s it all about?

This project is responsible for producing apple and pear crop estimates for each season. Detailed crop estimates are designed to provide information on the size and quality of national crops that can then be used by growers, packers, marketers and the industry at large to plan more effectively and maximise the value of the crops.

The project team have delivered the 2020 Apple and pear crop estimate. The report provides an updated 2019 crop estimate as well as a 2020 crop forecast based on grower generated data with additional satellite imagery analysis undertaken to estimate losses related to bushfire damage in three affected growing regions.

Key top-level findings from the 2020 report suggest that:

The gross apple production for the 2020 harvest is expected to be 255,597 tonnes – a decrease of just over 11 per cent from 2019 and a decrease of around five per cent from 2018. The change in production volume is primarily attributable to a reduced Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Gala crop in most growing regions which is generally seen as a response to a very hot and dry 2018/19 season.

Gross pear production for the 2020 harvest is expected to be 93,175 tonnes – a decrease of 0.6 percent from 2019 and a decrease of 11 per cent from 2018.

The project released the industry’s 2019 preliminary crop estimate in mid-December 2018, which was revised slightly for the final estimate issued in February 2019. At this time, the forecast for the

total gross apple and pear crop for 2019 was 417,317 tonnes – an increase of just over five per cent from the 2018 crop. The apple crop was predicted to be almost nine per cent larger than the 2018 crop, while the 2019 pear crop was expected to drop from 2018 levels.

Meanwhile, as part of project monitoring and evaluation activities, researchers evaluated the model that was used to estimate apple and pear crops in 2017 against the production data published in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Annual Commodity Report for that year.

The modelling performed well, indicating that the process is becoming reliable as a prediction tool. Areas where the model could have been more accurate indicated where fine tuning of the method is needed, which will be done before the next predictions are calculated.

The 2018 National Apple and Pear Crop Estimate was announced in February 2018, forecasting a gross pomefruit crop of 413,082 tonnes for the year – up three per cent from 400,902 tonnes in 2017.

Total apple production is forecast to be 296,941 tonnes, which is down from 2017 by just under one per cent, while Class 1 packout volume is forecast to fall seven per cent from last year to 67 per cent of the crop – largely due to the damaging hail experienced in the Adelaide Hills region during October.

Total pear volume is expected to be up 14 per cent from 2017, at 116,141 tonnes, with Class 1 packout at 65 per cent.

The full details of the crop estimate are available on APAL’s website here.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund