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Large Michigan apple crop expected

Contact: Diane Smith
Executive Director

Official crop estimate of 30 million bushels for 2013 announced today

DEWITT, Mich. – Michigan’s apple growers will harvest approximately 30 million bushels of apples this year, according to the official crop estimate announced today at the USApple Outlook meeting in Chicago. This is a large increase from 2012, when unusual weather events destroyed most of the crop, and only about three million bushels of apples were harvested.

“Our growers, packers and shippers are already moving Michigan apples into the marketplace and are thrilled with the estimates for this year’s crop,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, who was in attendance at the USApple announcement in Chicago. “There’s a lot of buzz around the estimate here in Chicago and in our state. Growers are looking forward to a successful harvest season.”

In 2012, with an absence in the marketplace, growers, shippers and packers spent the time making investments back into the industry. Improvements to packing facilities, equipment and educational efforts are some of the ways Michigan’s industry looked to the future after the crop loss.

“Our apple growers always maintained a positive attitude throughout the difficult crop year. They made positive investments in the industry and looked ahead to how they could make the industry even better going forward,” said Smith.

The predicted crop size would be one of the largest apple crops Michigan has seen. In 2011, Michigan produced about 26 million bushels of apples. Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States, behind Washington and New York.

“Many factors have contributed to this large crop,” said Smith. “Great weather this past spring and summer, including cool nights, plenty of rain as well as a good amount of sunshine certainly helped. In addition, a long dormant period allowed the trees to store energy to help create a large crop. Finally, a lot of hard work by our growers ultimately gives us a great quality crop of good-sized, flavorful Michigan apples.”

The USApple Outlook meeting’s estimate is the only official national crop estimate this year, as the federal sequester eliminated the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) estimate. The estimate will be important for Michigan as apples are one of the state’s largest and most valuable fruit crops, with an estimated annual impact of $700 – $900 million on the state’s economy.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.