North Carolina’s apple industry


Photo by @creasmanfarms

Table of Contents

Fall is almost here, and with it comes apple season and all manner of apple goodness. Whether you want to eat, drink, U-pick, or just admire them hanging languidly from branches, WNC has a slew of ’em, so today we’re looking at the apple industry by the numbers.

  • NC ranks 7th in apple production in the United States. Washington state is the country’s leading producer of apples.
  • The apple industry brings in over $18.5 million to the Tar Heel State annually.
  • Across the state, apples are grown in just 23 counties,16 of which are in WNC.
  • Henderson County is the state’s top producer of apples, growing about 85% of the state’s apples.
  • Henderson County is also home to 1 of NC’s most popular + iconic fests: the North Carolina Apple Festival.
  • 40% of NC’s apples are sold fresh, and the other 60% are utilized primarily for applesauce + juice.
  • There are roughly 10,000 acres of apples in North Carolina that produce around 8 million bushels of apples a year.
  • Need a bushel and peck reminder? A bushel is approximately 4-8 pecks, or lbs. A peck of apples weighs 10-12 lb.
  • NC primarily produces 4 major varieties: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, and Galas. Over 40 other varieties are grown on a limited basis.
  • Despite its popularity and economic clout, apples are not NC’s official fruit: that designation belongs to the scuppernong grape.


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