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Michigan apple farmers could have record-breaking year

Creative Commons
Apples from an orchard in Ottawa County.

It's a really good year for the 850 family-run apple farms in Michigan.

They're approaching a near-record crop.

It’s thanks in part to the awful winter Michigan had.

It turns out, the cold weather helped the apple trees stay dormant long enough so their spring blooms didn't freeze.

Diane Smith is the executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.

She says this year’s crop is one of the “cleanest” they’ve seen in years – no bug issues or early blossoming killing the crop off.

She hopes this means more people will buy Michigan apples at the grocery store, and on weekend trips.

"That's part of the heritage here in Michigan. That's part of our fall event with family, to go to the cider mill, the apple orchard, get your donuts, get some cider, get some apples."

This summer it looked like Michigan was going to overtake New York as the No. 2 grower of the nation's apples.

But alas, it was not to be.

Meanwhile, Washington still outstrips both Michigan and New York for the  No. 1 spot.

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health and the COVID-19 pandemic.
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