posted on August 26, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Holly Whetstone
(DeWitt, Mich.) - Adverse weather conditions, specifically in the late spring and early summer,
have taken a toll on the Michigan apple crop, which is expected to be down considerably in total production this fall.
Typically the state produces about 20 million bushels of apples per year. According to estimates released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Michigan apple crop is expected to be 12.85 million bushels this year.
This is a setback for the industry, which generates about $700 million annually to the state's economy and is the third largest apple producing state in the nation. Industry leaders, however, remain optimistic about the quality of this year's harvest.
"Despite being down in total production about 30 percent, growers certainly feel good about the apples that remain on the trees," said Denise Donohue, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. "They're good-sized, have great color and plenty of sugar which makes for juicy apples."
Many Michigan apple orchards were hit with freezing temperatures in late spring. In June and early July, heavy thunderstorms were reported in several apple growing regions including the Fruit Ridge, where the vast majority of the state's apples are grown.
"Consumers can still expect to see the same wide selection of apple varieties Michigan is known for, you just won't have them around as long," said Donohue. "They'll disappear relatively fast considering the smaller yield overall."
There are over 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 37,000 acres on 950 family-run farms throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to market development, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world.