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Michigan Apple Season Has Arrived!

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

Michigan's apple growers are already beginning the 2005 harvest with some of the late-summer varieties. In a few weeks the volume will increase as the fall varieties color up and ripen.

According to early reports, the 2005 Michigan apple crop will be bursting with flavor. The weather has cooperated since spring to deliver exceptional quality this year.

The quantity is also favorable at about 20 million bushels, based on preliminary estimates. That amount is at, or slightly below, the average of the past five years.

Once again, the climate and geography of Michigan has aided the state's apple growers in producing a quality crop. Last spring Lake Michigan did its job by minimizing extremes of temperatures inland. The state's apple crop experienced relatively little springtime freeze damage this year and had ideal pollination conditions.

The majority of Michigan's apples are grown in West Michigan from the Indiana border to Charlevoix. Some interior Lower Peninsula areas with protected sites, especially hilly terrain, also support considerable apple production. Thirty-seven of the 68 counties in Michigan's Lower Peninsula have apple production.

Michigan's dedicated growers produce great flavors and varieties of apples. Michigan is the nation's third-largest producer of apples, growing 22 varieties on a commercial basis.

Michigan's apple harvest begins in August with Paula Red, Ginger Gold, and other popular late-summer apples. In September, harvest picks up steam as growers begin picking Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, McIntosh, Jonathan, Red and Golden Delicious, and Empire apples. In October, Rome, Ida Red, Fuji, Winesap, Braeburn and Northern Spy round out the harvest, which is usually concluded around Halloween.

Apples are a fall tradition, and Michigan's apple industry encourages people to try all the flavors and varieties Michigan has to offer!

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 www.michiganapples.com.