“Most of the peach crop too.” “This is the worst natural disaster to strike Michigan’s agricultural industry in more than 50 years,” said Governor Rick Snyder.
Michigan’s apple crop will be about 90 percent smaller than usual this year because of spring weather damage.
Apple trees bloomed early because of an extraordinary heat wave in March. Then came a series of frosts and freezes that killed most of the blossoms.
The Michigan Apple Committee said Thursday that growers, shippers and other industry insiders predict a crop size of about 3 million bushels. In a typical year, the state produces 20 million to 23 million bushels.
The committee says it’s the biggest apple crop loss since the 1940s.
“This spring, farmers used frost fans, orchard heaters and helicopters to battle the extreme weather conditions’ affect on the orchards. While the efforts may have saved some of the crop, we are hearing about significant loss from most areas of the state,” said Scott Lewis, chair of the Michigan Apple Committee and a New Era, Michigan apple grower.
“From the growers to the shippers, retailers, laborers and consumers, the effect of this year’s crop loss will be widespread,” said Diane Smith, interim executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “No one can put a full value on the loss at this point – it will have an impact on Michigan’s entire agriculture industry and beyond. ”
Annually, the apple industry contributes $700 – $900 million to the state’s economy.
Not good news for the apple and peach growers. Not so great for the consumer, either.
Thanks to John Reno and John the 1st for these links
“Michigan has also lost most of the peach crop too,” says John.
And make sure you see Jack Bailey’s comment:
“We have about 2000 apple trees right next to the Great Smokey Mtn Nat’l Park in Sevierville, Tn and we lost our entire apple crop to this yrs freeze.” says Jack. “It is our 4th major loss, due to cold, in seven yrs….here comes a Little Ice Age….”the Landscheidt Minimum”….”