2016 Michigan Apple crop expected to hit 31 million bushels

Staff report

CHICAGO — Michigan’s apple growers will harvest approximately 31 million bushels (1.302 billion pounds) of apples this year, according to the official crop estimate announced Aug. 26 at the USApple Outlook meeting in Chicago.

This is an increase of 7 million bushels from last year, and would be a record-sized crop for Michigan.

“We have been seeing a steady increase in crop size each year,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “This increase is in large part because of technological advancements, as well as an increase in the number of growers participating in high-density plantings (1,000 or more trees per acre).”

In 2015, Michigan growers harvested an about 24 million bushels of apples. Average Michigan Apple harvest is about 22.83 million bushels per year. There are more than 11.3 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms in Michigan.

“Michigan had favorable weather conditions for growing apples during spring and summer 2016. Growers are indicating that the crop is plentiful and looks beautiful as well. Thanks to plenty of heat during the summer, the flavor will be great, too.”

Michigan Apples are typically shipped from mid-August all the way through the following June. Michigan Apple packers and shippers work throughout the year to bring Michigan Apples to 27 states and 18 countries worldwide, according to Smith.

“Michigan Apple growers share a common goal of producing flavorful, high-quality apples,” said Smith. “They work with tree fruit researchers to implement the latest growing techniques and use new technology to monitor growing conditions. Michigan growers are committed to bringing the best quality fruit to the consumer.”

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.

Staff report

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