91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan apple growers expecting a great crop this year

Apples from an orchard in Ottawa County.
creative commons
Apples from an orchard in Ottawa County.

Not only will there be way more Michigan apples this year, they’ll probably be bigger and better looking too.

According to estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture, Michigan apple growers are likely to produce 26.1 million bushels this season. The 5 year average is 19.5 million bushels. Only Washington and New York state grow more.

Denise Donohue is the Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee.

“This is the 5th year on the rollercoaster for Michigan. It’s been an up and down thing for the last three years in particular.”

2009 was a great year for apple orchards. But 2010 was a particularly bad year because of late spring frost. Apple production is expected to be up more than 75-percent compared to last fall.

Good weather is the main factor

  • Trees are “rested” (because of less production and good rainfall last fall)
  • Cooler spring this year resulted in a late blossoming period with no frost
  • Hot summer with some, intermittent rain. Deep-rooted trees are less vulnerable to heat than crops like corn and soybeans.
“Our growers are not necessarily calling this a “limb-buster” or a “bin-buster”. I mean in agriculture if you’ve got a very large, a bumper crop, you know those kinds of words are tossed around,” Donohue said, “But we’re real, real happy about the size of it - don’t get me wrong.”

Donohue says many growers have invested, planting more and better trees in their orchard lately. She expects many more good years like this ahead.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
Related Content