Michigan Apple Committee allocates funds for research

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Michigan Apple Committee allocates funds for research

The Michigan Apple Committee has approved the allocation of funds for industry research throughout 2024.

The funding will be used to support state apple growers, enhance profitability and production, explore new markets and products, and uncover consumer trends and insights. 

The organization aims to boost the reputation of Michigan apples. MAC’s executive director, Diane Smith says the organization "welcomes proposals from various research institutions and centers of excellence. We’re fortunate to have Michigan State University’s agricultural expertise nearby, fostering collaboration among institutions and colleagues.” 

In 2024, the board allocated $300,830 in funding for 13 diverse projects ranging from pest management to varietal research and planting technology.

Originally established in 1939, the nonprofit served as a commodity group responsible for marketing, communications, consumer education, and research on behalf of Michigan growers. Michigan is the United States' second-largest producer of apples, with more than 14.9 million apple trees covering 34,500 acres on 775 family-run farms.

The United States is expecting a favorable 2023-24 apple season, but according to the USDA, the forecast for Michigan is a 27.4 million bushel crop, a 15% drop from last year's record overall crop of 32.38 million bushels.

USApple, however, set its forecast almost 17% higher, at 32 million bushels, which would be another banner year, if those numbers hold true through the end of harvest. Growers are reporting a strong early harvest.

 As of November 1, 2023, the United States had 191 million bushels of apples in storage, each weighing 42 pounds. Of that figure, 140 million bushels (73%) were destined for the fresh market while 51 million bushels (27%) were designated as processing apples.

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