Which US State Yields The Highest Fruit Production?

Many states are synonymous with specific fruits. Florida is famous for its citrus, for example, in particular oranges and grapefruit. According to Visit Florida, 70% of the citrus supply in the U.S. comes from the Sunshine State. Washington is known for its apples, with 65% of fresh apples in the U.S. produced there, according to Fruit Growers News. Georgia is so entwined with its peaches that the state's nickname is the Peach State, even though the state is not the country's biggest producer of peaches (via University of Georgia). Maine is known for its delicious wild blueberries (via Visit Maine). And you can't even think about Hawaii without envisioning fresh pineapple.

But while states may have certain fruits they're certainly proud of and known for, there is one state that reigns supreme when it comes to fruit production. This state is not known for one, or two, or even three fruits. This state is known for so many fruits that it is far and away the country's biggest producer of a variety of fruits.

Year-round production is key

This state is so "golden" that it is the largest producer of seven different fruits: grapes, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, kiwifruit, prunes, and plums, according to the USDA. The state is also a significant producer of apples, pears, and cherries and is behind only Florida in terms of citrus production. Yes, we're talking about California, a state that the USDA says accounts for a whopping half of the country's entire fruit acreage.

According to Realonomics, one of the main factors that contributes to California's agricultural success is its year-round warmth, which allows for multiple growing seasons. With winters mild and (typically) wet and summers hot and dry, California provides the perfect climate for a number of crops. In other regions of the U.S., like the northeast, farmers and gardeners don't plant seeds in the ground after their fall harvest because the climate is too cold. But in California, farmers and gardeners can plant pomegranates, pears, pumpkins, persimmons, cranberries, grapes, and so much more during the fall and beyond. 

With its fertile soil, consistent climate, and sheer size, California is far and away the biggest producer of fruits in the U.S.