Bumper crop should lower apple prices

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan apple farmers are looking at one of their best harvests ever this year.

The U.S. Apple Association said in a Friday statement that Michigan was expected to produce 29 million bushels of apples this season.

That would be a record if not for last year’s 30 million-bushel crop. In 2013, so many apples were harvested in the state that Michigan became the No. 2 apple producer in the country — just behind Washington state and ahead of New York.

This season’s success is due to cool nights, sunny days and plenty of rain — even a dry spell in July produced adequate rain for the crop.

Experts say the crop might have been even larger had it not been for a very cold winter.

“We have had some residual tree damage from the winter,” Amy Irish Brown of the Michigan State University Agricultural Extension said. “It was a very cold winter, and so sometimes that affects the trees. But apple trees are probably the hardiest of all of the tree fruits that we have, so they made it through for the most part. Some areas of the state, not so well — but here on the (Fruit) Ridge, gorgeous crop.”

Apple prices are expected to be a little lower in stores this year because of the huge supply.

“It’s all supply and demand and it applies to apples just like it does to fuel, just like it does to corn, so I expect a little bit of a price break because the crop is not only really big in Michigan, it is big in the whole United States,” Brown said.

The bumper crop apples should start showing up on grocers’ shelves in the next couple of weeks.

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