Virginia Apple Board Annual Report 2013
Virginia State Apple Board
In 2003, Virginia apple growers voted to discontinue collecting the apple excise tax. Almost immediately after the vote, a segment of the industry began work to reestablish the excise tax as a way to fund several important programs. After 2 years of working with industry groups and the General Assembly, a referendum was held in 2005 and the growers voted to reinstate the excise tax. The tax will only be collected on those growers who produce 5,000 bushels or more per year on a 5 year average. The rate collected will be .025 cents per bushel and the money will be divided between the U.S. Apple Association, the Virginia State Horticultural Society, the Virginia Apple Research Program, administration and reserve. This funding will continue to keep Virginia growers relevant in the national and international marketplace. The Virginia Department of Taxation will be responsible for collecting the taxes and transferring them to the Virginia Department of Agriculture. The money will be held by VDACS in cost code 646.
During the January 22, 2013 Board meeting, the Board voted to send 40% of the revenue collected to the U.S. Apple Association, 20% to the Virginia State Horticultural Society and 20% to the Virginia Agricultural Research Program and 10% to the reserve fund The Board voted NOT to send any funds to the Administrative fund as that fund was increasing and the money was not being used. The 10% balance will remain in the general cost code 646 and will be redistributed next year. The administrative and reserve funds will be held within the Virginia Department of Agriculture. Cost code 645 has been eliminated.
The 2012-2013 growing season had the usual challenges for the growers. While Virginia escaped any devastating conditions, growers faced the usual East Coast challenges of heat and sporadic rainfall. Virginia growers were impacted by the stinkbug infestation, but losses were not as severe as the previous year. Overall, the quantity of apples was down and the quality was average. Virginia continued to work with all major retail chains to place both bagged and tray pack apples regionally to capture the consumer’s desire to “buy fresh and buy local”. Internationally, Virginia continued as a major supplier of apples to Cuba and growers are anticipating that trend will continue. Central America was another area that bought Virginia apples. Virginia shippers also had spot sales to Russia and India
Virginia did not export any apples to Mexico during this season during this selling season as overall supplies were down and the sizes and grades of apples that go to Mexico were also limited. Mexico still has artificial barriers to trade imposed against apples from the Eastern United States. Work to eliminate the anti dumping duties as well as the expensive and burdensome pre clearance program are continuing but progress is slow. Until these barriers are eliminated, Virginia growers will not develop the Mexican market like they could.
The Virginia apple industry continues to build it’s new web site with funding from the Specialty Crop Block Grant, though this is the last year of funding. The SCBG program is administered by VDACS with funding provided by the USDA. There is a working group comprised of one member each from the Virginia Horticultural Society, Virginia Apple Growers Association, and the Apple Board. The web site is officially more than one year old and the webmaster is continuing to add content to the site.
The Apple Board funded an educational piece in “Virginia Agriculture, A Guide to the Commonwealth’s Farms, Food and Forests” magazine. This publication went to local, state, and federal government officials to educate them on the positive economic impact apples have in the state. The article was very well received.
Virginia growers continue to face many challenges including rising land prices, increased costs of inputs (fuel, fertilizer, electricity), an uncertain immigration situation, a weakened economy, the loss of chemicals, and the increasing global supply of apples. Despite these obstacles, improved growing practices including high density spindle plantings, new technologies, and rising consumer demand for locally grown produce have brought about a renewed sense of optimism.
Lynn Graves, Chair, Virginia Apple Board David Robishaw, Secretary
Board Meetings and Member Attendance
Date Location Attendance
January 22, 2013 Richmond 7
Steve Ginn John Bruguiere
John Marker Dudley Rinker
Ruth Saunders Ricky Berrier
Cost Code 646
Cash Balance: 6/30/2012 100.00
Assessment Receipts: 7/1/12 – 6/30/2013 105,509.14
Tax Collections 93,171.85
Reverse from cc 648 12,337.29
Total Cash Balance 105,609.14
US Apple Association 37,166
VA Apple Research 18,583
VA State Hort Society 18,583
Transfer to cc 647 – Reserve 9,292.33
Transfer to cc 648 - Admin -
Total Actual Expenditures 74,332.00
(from VDACS Financial Analysis)
Cash Balance: 6/30/2013 21,984.81
Cost Code 647 - Reserve
Cash Balance: 6/30/2012 $71,208.27
Transfer from cc 646 9,292.33
Other receipts 0
Total Balance 80,500.60
Deduct Total Actual Expenditures
(from VDACS Financial Analysis) 0
Cash Balance: June 30, 2013 $80,500.60
Cost Code 648 - Administration
Cash Balance: June 30, 2012 $70,569.48
Transfer from cc 646 -
Other Receipts (Interest) 1,782.17
Total Balance $72,351.65
Deduct Total Actual Expenditures
(from VDACS Financial Analysis) 7,905.93
Deduct balance transfer to cc 646 12,337.29
Cash Balance: June 30, 2013 $52,108.43