In the first week of October 2013, Michigan’s apple industry set a record for shipping fresh volume in that week, according to Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, which is based in Lansing, MI. That week was not a fluke.
On Dec. 17, she indicated that in seven of the 11 weeks since early October, weekly volume records were set by the Michigan apple industry.
“It goes back to the incredible work of the shippers and packers” to move such volume, she said.
She added that in the four weeks that did not set all-time records, “we weren’t off by that much” from all-time highs for those weeks.
“We are sticking to the 30 million bushel estimate that was made in August. Nothing has happened that would indicate that this needs to be adjusted,” she commented.
Michigan’s apple trees made a huge rebound in 2013 after freezes in April 2012 virtually wiped out the apple crop.
In August 2013, The Produce News reported: “The freeze damage in March 2012 was set up by extremely warm temperatures — in the 80s.”
Everyone loved the warm weather but the growers were concerned about what might (and did) happen. Michigan’s fruit trees budded and were maturing very quickly before freezes in the last weekend of April “did all the damage,” according to Smith.
Michigan’s apple orchards are geographically diverse enough that one area might be damaged by frost but others will be spared. That wasn’t the case in April 2012.
Smith also noted this summer that growing “weather has been great all summer. The apples are great. We had a ton of blossoms. A ton of energy was stored in the trees” after they were virtually void of fruit in 2012.