Thanks to apple-loving spring weather—cool temperatures and lots of rain—the Michigan apple industry is redeeming itself this year. The state crop was down last year because of hail and other apple-damaging weather events, but the state’s extra-large crop is pulling its own weight. The state is predicted to have up to 27 million bushels of apples this year, up 13 million from 2008’s short crop and up 8 million from its five-year average of 19 million.
At 20 million bushels annually, on average, Michigan ranks third among the largest apple-growing states, behind Washington and New York, but number one in producing Jonathons and Northern Spys. In an average year, the apple industry contributes about $450 million to the state’s coffers each year.
Nick Osmulski, sales manager for Traverse City-based North Bay Produce Inc., said his company would be up as much as 80 percent from last year and 40 percent from a normal year.
Look for the apple harvest to be about four to seven days behind average due to the cool summer weather.