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Michigan Apples are Back!

Contact: Diane Smith
Executive Director

Michigan apple crop comes back strong for 2013

 LANSING, Mich. — With an estimated 30 million bushel crop, expanded and improved equipment and packing facilities, and a continued positive outlook, the Michigan apple industry is making a huge comeback from the significant crop loss experienced last year.

In 2012, Michigan apple growers harvested a mere 2.7 million bushels, an amount considerably lower than the state’s near 20 million bushel average. The crop loss was due to unusually high temperatures in March followed by the normal frosts and freezes of April. Those strange weather patterns did not happen in 2013, and the USApple Association recently projected that Michigan will reach 30 million bushels in production this year.   

“Many factors have contributed to this large crop,” said Diane Smith, MAC executive director.  “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.”

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.

MAC looks to have a strong presence in retail in 2013, with a variety of promotional plans for supermarkets and grocery chains. A Locally Grown themed marketing program focusing on the ever-growing “buy local” movement will be implemented beginning in September to encourage retailers and consumers to support their local apple growers. Additionally, MAC will continue their partnership with the Pure Michigan campaign through radio advertising and product displays with a “Pure Michigan Apples” logo. Consumers can find Michigan apples in stores as well as through local pick-your-own orchards, farm markets, and cider mills around the state. For a list of where to find Michigan apples, visit http://www.michiganapples.com/Where-to-BuyGo/.

“We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from retailers and consumers about the return of the Michigan apple crop,” said Smith. “We are hoping that translates into strong support in the marketplace for our growers and industry partners.”

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.