posted on October 16, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Denise Yockey
(DeWitt, Mich.) - Michigan apple shipments hit an all-time high for the week ending Oct. 6, with more than 337,000 cartons packed and shipped within the seven-day timeframe.
According to the USDA-MDA Market News Service, which keeps track of the figures, Michigan typically ships around 200,000 cartons a week in October. USDA officials say this is the first time Michigan apple shipments have entered into the 300,000-plus carton range.
The record-setting week ended up at 337,235 total boxes shipped, an increase of more than 83,000 from the same week in 2006 and up over 118,000 from the same week in 2005. The state's 12 apple shippers are working double-shifts, six days a week to keep up with demand.
"Obviously, the demand for locally-grown Michigan apples is off to a very strong start. We've shipped more in the first week of October than ever before and it's great news for our apple-growing families," said Michigan Apple Committee Executive Director Denise Yockey. "The Michigan apple industry is having a great year for quality, and we're also benefiting from the loss of the apple crop in Southern states."
High-volume shipments are expected to continue, with shippers pointing to this crop's outstanding flavor and texture as a reason, as well as the fact that Michigan apple varieties continue to better meet consumer demand.
Apples are Michigan's largest and most valuable fruit crop, with a total economic impact estimated at $450 million annually. There are more than 8 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 37,000 acres on 950 family-run farms throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.