The 2022 Michigan apple harvest is underway with a large crop expected, to the delight of Michigan apple fans and consumers everywhere. Michigan’s climate and geography provide ideal conditions for growing apples, and the mild spring weather, along with dedicated growers, nutrient rich soil, and plenty of heat, sunshine and rain result in quality, colorful, flavorful apples for consumers to enjoy. With an average annual harvest of nearly 24 million bushels, Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the United States. While Michigan is third in quantity, many believe the flavor of Michigan-grown apples is the best in the world.
“Michigan’s climate provides a growing season of mostly cool nights, warm sunny days and plenty of moisture –ideal factors in producing a flavorful crop of apples. This year, growers are optimistic that they will harvest an above-average sized crop with great quality and flavor – and that’s definitely something for consumers to get excited about,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.
According to the official estimate announced at the USApple Outlook Conference in August, growers will harvest 29.5 million bushels (1.239 billion pounds) of apples this fall. Consumer favorites Gala, Honeycrisp and Fuji are commonly found in the produce section of most grocery stores and supermarkets, along with managed varieties that are also grown in Michigan.
The majority of Michigan Apples, approximately 70 percent, are grown in the western part of the state along the coast of Lake Michigan, and the factors in this region make all the difference in producing high-quality, flavorful apples.
The Great Lakes help provide rich soil perfect for growing apple trees. Soil that is not too heavy with just the right mix of nutrients help keep the trees healthy during their entire lifespan. The lake effect from Lake Michigan, along with the humid climate, are the perfect conditions for apple growing.
Even the cold winters here play an important role. This weather helps keep the trees dormant, resting them to preserve energy to grow future crops and protecting them from potential damage
Of course, all these soil and climate factors would be for nothing in producing Michigan Apples without the dedicated growers found here. With more than 14.9 million apple trees found on 775 family-run farms in Michigan, the passion, care and expertise shown by these growers is unmatched. They are part scientist and part artist, and it is because of the knowledge these family growers have passed down from generation to generation that they are able to bring all of these elements together in creating such flavorful apples.
The combination of the natural elements found in Michigan along with the pride, care and expertise of the growers all contribute with having the best tasting apples in the world!
“Many consumers don’t realize that they can support Michigan growers by purchasing Michigan Apples in the grocery store, as well as in farm markets and cider mills. Michigan is the third largest apple producing state – meaning they are sold on a commercial basis as well as in what’s known as agri-tourism locations,” said Smith.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan Apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. Follow the Michigan Apples social media accounts on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest on the 2022 apple harvest.
Gretchen Mensing is the Michigan Apple Committee Communications & Marketing Manager. Learn more at https://www.michiganapples.com/.