About 35.5 million bushels of fresh-market apples had yet to be shipped as of May 1, 42% more than a year ago and 32% above the 5-year average, according to the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association.

The association’s monthly Market News report for May also found that total apple movement in April was 6% greater than in April 2008 and 11% above the 5-year average.

The news comes a week after the apple industry announced it was asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy at least 1 million boxes of apples because of record inventories.

The USDA already has committed $16 million this year to buy fresh-cut apples for schools.

More than 50 members of Congress signed letters May 5 asking for the additional purchase.