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Michigan apple industry sets apple shipment record

Contact: Diane Smith

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan apple industry set new shipment records two weeks in a row in October, shipping 414,702 boxes of apples the week of October 12. The news was released late last week after the USDA-MDA Market News Service returned from furlough as a result of the federal government shut down.

“Our growers, packers and shippers are working seven days a week, day and night to move this bumper apple crop,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “These numbers illustrate not only that we have a large crop, but also that there is great retail and consumer demand for Michigan-grown apples.”

According to the USDA-MDA Market News Service, the organization that tracks shipment numbers, the Michigan apple industry shipped 411,973 boxes of apples the week of October 5. That record was broken the following week with 414,702 boxes. In October of 2011, the industry set a shipment record of 378,933 the second week in October.

“October is always an extremely busy time of year for our growers, packers and shippers,” said Smith. “I think what we are seeing this year is the start of a new normal, with increasing demand for Michigan apples and more trees in the ground, as well as new technology that has been incorporated into production and distribution of apples. We are planning to see larger numbers over the next few years.”

With 9.2 million total apple trees in commercial production on 36,500 acres, Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States, and distributes apples to 26 states and 18 countries.  As one of the largest fruit crops in the state, apples have an estimated annual impact of $700 – 900 million on Michigan’s economy.

Comprehensive shipment data for Michigan and the entire U.S. can be found at the USDA-MDA Market News Service website, at http://1.usa.gov/19uMUzi.

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 www.MichiganApples.com.