LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's apple crop should be among its best ever, according to a new report.
The U.S. Apple Association Outlook Conference in Chicago on Friday forecast that Michigan will have a 2014 harvest of about 29 million bushels. That's close to the 30 million bushel record set in 2013.
"The crop is looking great," Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, told the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/1zoGhZG ). "We grow apples pretty much across the state. The size of them is incredible. The quality is great. We've had a lot of up and down years and to have a back-to-back fantastic crop is wonderful."
Michigan's fruit growers suffered huge losses in 2012 because of an early thaw followed by a deep freeze.
Michigan is among the nation's leading apple growers, but Washington dominates. Michigan and New York are vying for the second spot, and their combined harvest is likely to be about half Washington's alone.
This year's bumper crop is the result of ideal weather, Smith said.
Michigan's apple growers have plenty of rain, cool nights and sunny days, she said. In addition, growers have gained through high-density plantings of about 1,000 trees per acre and from advances in technology, such as new techniques to prune trees and pick fruit, she said.
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com