GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A warm March and then several freezes in April last year devastated many apple orchards in Michigan.
Some farmers lost 90 percent of their crops, and the damage prompted Gov. Rick Snyder to ask for federal aid for almost every county in our state.
But it has been a different story in 2013, as cool nights, much rain and a good amount of sunshine helped the crops. The Michigan Apple Committee estimates about 30 million bushels for the 2013 harvest, compared to 3 million bushels last year, according to the Associated Press.
24 Hour News 8 was at Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery, 3142 Four Mile Rd NE in Grand Rapids Township, Thursday morning and saw 40 acres of full trees and a great crop. Farmers said they are thrilled with this year's production, because last year they had to buy from other farms due to their damaged orchard.
We also talked with members of the Apple Growers Association who said if the estimates hold true then this could be the 12th biggest crop since the U.S. Department of Agriculture started keeping track back in 1980.
It is great news for Michigan, which is the third largest apple producer in the country, behind Washington and New York. The apples translate into anywhere from $700 million to $900 million of our state's economy.
So with a good apple harvest expected, cider mills will be heavily populated with visitors in the upcoming fall season. The good crop should mean lower prices on apples and cider.
At Robinette's, cider is selling for $7 this year, down from $8.50 last year; a half peck of apples (the most common quantity) is down to $8 this year, from $10 last year.
Ed Robinette said he is also pleased with the peaches and cherries at his orchard.
Stories from last year about the crops:
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was missing.