(Westview Orchards farms=Michigan Korean times) Kevin Shin Reporter =
In Michigan, 2012, 90% of Apple crops were lost due to spring weather.
The spring heated up, letting the crops blossom, but then had an early freeze, destroying many crops.
Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill supporting a low interest loan program for farmers whose crops have been lost due to the early freeze.
The typical crop is about 25 Million bushels, but in 2012, farmers will bring in 3 million bushels.
Many U-Pick farms had to buy cherries and apples from other growers.
It is one of the biggest crop losses since the 1940s.
Now 2013, Michigan is prepared to make a rebound to fix the apple industry.
Earlier in the year, however, there was another frost, but didn’t give too much damage.
We interviewed Sarah Hanning, one of the managers at Westview Orchards.
How good is this season so far, compared to last season?
This is year is going to be a much better year than last year. We're more on target with schedules, as far as harvest dates, and also we did not have the same early heat that we had last year that forced our trees to go into bloom about 3 to 4 weeks early. That didn't happen last year, so that we didn't get as much frost damage when we get frost in the spring time, where last year when we were in bloom, so when we had the frost, it did a lot of damage to most of our fruit crop, just about 90 to 85% percent last year. Much better year this year.
How much percent compared to last have apples grown fully?
Well as far as percentages, we're more on schedule with a normal amount of harvest as far as apples. In fact, because the trees had a year off last year, they overproduced. We have done some hand thinning which you want less fruit with more size instead of a lot of fruit with smaller size, so it's more of a normal season.
What's the best year you've had so far?
That's really hard to say because we've been in business for 200 years. There's a lot of years... it would be hard to trek over exactly which year would be the best.
What year was the worst?
I would probably say last year. I believe it also happened in 1945, it was a very similar year to what we endured last year, but thank goodness it's something you see once in a great while because it was a tough year for sure.
What would you tell the people this year about apple buying/picking?
Come on out, it's going to be a great year. We'd love to see you, we missed you last year. We're excited to have everybody come back. I hope you're excited as we are, looking forward to seeing everybody.
When could people start picking apples?
Around late August to September.
Westview Orchard Information:
Phone number: 586.752.3123
Address: 65075 Van Dyke Rd, Washington Twp., MI 48095
Hours: Weekdays and Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Kevin Shin Youth reporting for Michigan Korean Times.