LANSING (AP/WWJ) — Michigan apple growers say they expect to pick a record crop this year.
The Michigan Apple Committee is forecasting a harvest of 31 million bushels. That would be an increase of 7 million bushels over 2015 and the biggest ever for the state, which averages about 22.8 million bushels annually.
Executive Director Diane Smith of the producer-funded cooperative says Michigan’s output has been rising steadily. She credits technological advances and a rising number of growers planting “high-density” orchards, which have 1,000 or more trees per acre.
The state has more than 11.3 million apple trees in commercial production on 825 farms.
Michigan Apples are typically shipped from mid-August through the following June.
According to Michiganapples.com, the Michigan harvest schedule includes early batches of Paula red and ginger gold, with favorites like honeycrisp, red delicious and golden delicious coming in September. Get the full harvest dates schedule here.
“The heat and sunshine we experienced over the summer is going to give the apples excellent flavor. With so many varieties to choose from, Michigan offers an apple for every taste. Our most popular varieties include: Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Empire,” said Diane Smith, executive director, Michigan Apple Committee.
Michigan Honeycrisp, Fuji and Jonagold consistently rank highest when compared to the same varieties grown elsewhere, according to consumer research conducted by an independent researcher and funded by the Michigan Apple Committee.
“The Michigan climate and soil are not the only things that make Michigan Apples delicious,” said Smith. “We believe the apple grower is the most important factor in producing high-quality apples, and Michigan Apple growers are the best in the business.”
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