Michigan Apples: Could Cold Spring Be Bad News for Autumn Apples?
You always hear "one bad apple ruins the bunch" but what if it's really "one bad cold spell" that ruins the apples instead? That is the question many are wondering as the time for Michigan apples to shine is just around the corner.
Michigan Apple Season
Fall is a time in Michigan where everyone has "BAE" and no, we don't mean the shorter way of saying "babe" just because it's cuddle weather or the ever-popular "cuffing season." Here, we mean Big Apple Energy.
Apple orchards all over the state do everything they can to bring fall fun to families and part of that includes apple picking, apple cider, apple EVERYTHING.
According to Michigan State University, McIntosh, Jonathan and Red Delicious are among the most prominent apples produced in Michigan and those are the ones we are going to focus most on here. I'm more of a honey crisp gal, myself, but I digress.
Now, to understand when the peak dates for harvesting these apples, Michigan State University put together data for multiple locations that you can check, "Apple Maturity Model on the Enviroweather website."
Specific Dates for Specific Apples
If you are like me and had no idea how much goes into growing and harvesting apples, our friends at Michigan State University have got us!
According to their data, here is a look at the peak harvest dates in Michigan for 2021 for the three main apples, at least in MSU's Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC) :
- McIntosh: September 1st
- Jonathan: September 27th
- Red Delicious: October 4th
*Keep in mind, dates could vary based on region.
Could a Cold Spring Affect Apple Harvest?
According to Click On Detroit, Michigan usually ranks third out of all 50 states when it comes to annual apple production, however, experts are predicting a late-spring frost could have negative implications this fall.
"The state is expected to produce 18.25 million bushels of apples this year," Click on Detroit reports. "Down from 22 million in 2020, the Michigan Apple Committee reported, citing a forecast from an industry trade show in Chicago."
This forecast is also reflected and explained further with research from MSU Extension (CLICK HERE).
However, despite there possibly being yet another shortage in 2021, it's not all bad news.
“When apple trees produce a smaller crop, energy is stored and directed toward production for the next crop,” Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, told Click On Detroit. "The industry is hopeful we’ll see a larger crop next year."
As you are getting ready to plan your fall fun activities, definitely still get out and support your local apple orchard(s)!