TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan fruit crops — as expected — will produce lower harvests this year because of warm temperatures in March followed by a series of April frosts.
Production forecasts released Friday by the Michigan Field Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture put this year's state apple crop at 105 million pounds, a fraction of last year's 985 million pound crop. Other states in the eastern U.S. showed similar weather impacts, with New York's apple forecast at 590 million pounds which is about half of last year's harvest. The national apple crop is projected at 8,066 million pounds, down 14 percent from last year. Washington state will produce 5,700 million pounds, a 5 percent increase from last year.
Michigan's grape production will also drop, but much of the damage was confined to the juice grape crop which develops earlier than the wine grapes that dominate northern Michigan's grape production. Michigan grape production is projected at 30,000 tons, down from 94,400 tons produced last year.