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West Mich. farmers seeing record crop
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Michigan apple farmers are rejoicing this fall with what's looking like a record crop.
The Michigan Apple Committee is estimating 30 million bushels of apples will be harvested. Last year, orchards only brought in 2.7 million bushels, one or two pieces of fruit per tree.
This year, growers can't stop picking. At Husted Farm Market, most of the trees had to be thinned down.
Mark Longstroth, a Michigan State University Extension fruit educator, says, "Not only do the growers pocket that money, the growers get paid and they buy food, and all the people that buy and handle apples. It's all money that gets recycled through the Michigan economy about three times."
Owner Scott Husted of Husted Farm Marker adds, "This year, we were just able to supply people with all the apples they want at a real reasonable price."
Experts say this year's crop is expect to pull in anywhere from $150 million to $300 million statewide. Apples are harvested until November at Husted. Markets like these have been very busy, many offering you-pick apples, and staying open seven days a week.