How can we mention autumn without giving credit to Michigan’s largest agricultural commodity – apples! Learn something new about apples, courtesy of the Michigan Apple Committee.
2010 Michigan Apple Industry at a glance, courtesy of the Michigan Apple Committee:
- Apples are Michigan’s largest and most valuable fruit crop, with an average annual economic contribution to the state of $700-$900 million.
- There are 900 family-operated orchards throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Small family farmers operating their own orchards continue to dominate the landscape. According to statistics, 65 percent of Michigan orchards had fewer than 200 acres in apples.
- Michigan is the 3rd largest apple-producing state in the nation.
- On average, Michigan harvests about 20 million bushels (840 million pounds) of apples per year. The 2010 crop is estimated at 15.5 million bushels, down 20-25 percent due to some frosty spring nights.
- Michigan has more than 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production, covering some 36,000 acres.
- Michigan plays a vital role in processed apples. About 60 percent of all Michigan Apples are processed into another product. Michigan is the largest supplier of apple slices used in commercially prepared apple pies. Michigan Apples are also a main source for applesauce, fresh-cut slices, and fresh and shelf-stable apple cider.
- The Michigan Honeycrisp continues to grow in popularity. Despite increased tree plantings, Michigan production is still not keeping pace with consumer demand! Honeycrisp has a crisp, juicy bite and a sweet flavor. Best for fresh eating!
- Michigan Apple Committee (MAC) is a non-profit governmental organization that works on behalf of growers in the areas of consumer and grower education, market development and research
The Michigan Apple Committee works…
- To promote buying local, increasing in-store visibility and educating families about the importance of healthy eating.
- To research consumer/market preferences, environmental impacts, new production techniques and to implement integrated pest management practices.
- On policy concerns such as appropriate state funding for MDA, MSU Extension and MSU Ag Experimental Stations; competitive fruit and vegetable inspection fees; continued state-supported migrant housing inspections; and funding for Michigan Agricultural Statistics Service for Fruit.