Worried about the Michigan apple industry? Don’t! Michigan apple growers are resilient, strong and positive. See below for the first in a series of blog posts from apple growers around Michigan about what they are up to this season – and why we should look forward to next year!
Cherry Bay Orchards has never been hit this hard. We have about 50 – 65% of an apple crop –we usually produce about 160,000 bushels. Cherries were hit harder than ever, apples weren’t as bad for us, as the bud development happens later, as far north as we are.
We spent the summer on our typical horticultural practices, such as fertilizing, pruning, disease and insect control, and irrigation. The most difficult part of the crop loss for my brother and business partner, Don and myself, is losing a number of employees this year. We continue to be concerned and hope for the best for each of them and their families.
But farmers are always looking forward to the next year and new opportunities. We encourage each other through these difficult times, because we know they will pass. I expect a significantly larger crop for 2013, assuming good weather conditions.
In this difficult year, we are reminded that we are not in control of all parameters of production. We must maintain our faith that the Lord will provide for us in the coming year.
Bob Gregory is co-owner and co-manager of the 2,600-acre Cherry Bay Orchards Inc. in Suttons Bay, where he cultivates 320 acres of apples.