Early Forecast Has Michigan Apple Shipments Looking Good

Early Forecast Has Michigan Apple Shipments Looking Good

While Washington state continues to easily lead the nation in apple shipments, both Michigan and New York have been running neck and neck in recent years for second place.

During the 2018-19 season Michigan shipped apples to retailers in 32 states, up from about 28 states the previous season.

The Michigan Apple Committee in Lansing relates there has been a good increase into markets in the Northeast and the organization is hoping to expand its presence into the Southern U.S.

While the bloom on trees is a little late this year due to a cool and wet spring, warmer temperatures recently have spurred bee activity during pollination. This has observers optimistic about a full crop.

Last year, the Michigan apple shipments totaled about 24 million bushels, down from early season projections of 27 million bushels or more.

Michigan fresh apple loadings typically range from 10 million to 14 million bushels, with the balance of the crop going to processors. The 2018 crop was about 10 million to 11 million cartons fresh. 

While an overall larger crop is seen, one exception could be the Honeycrisp variety, where growers are seeing a somewhat lighter crop compared with a year ago.

While early varieties will begin harvest in August, gala harvest is expected to get underway around Labor Day.