Apples in Vermont are behind only dairy and maple in total annual crop value. Since the 1990s, Vermont’s share of all apples sold to eastern U.S. wholesale markets has decreased. Apple acreage fell from approximately 3,500 acres in 2001 to 1,700 acres in 2017. Local sales at pick-your-own and farm stand sales have increased, and cider markets have grown, but have not replaced lost volume nor revenue from wholesale sales. Some Vermont orcharding communities are seeing a loss of economic activity from crop sales and farm employment and the disenfranchisement of growers. Without supportive policies and more investment in marketing, technical assistance, and supply chain coordination, Vermont growers will continue to lose out to growers in regions where larger concentrations of orchards have the advantage in efficiency, modernization, and infrastructure.
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