Galas, mcintoshes and Honeycrisps will likely follow after Labor Day, followed by jonathans, red delicious and others, he said.
It’s always hard to predict what will happen until fruit is in bins, said Damon Glei, partner in Hillsdale-based Glei’s Inc., but as of mid-August, all signs were good.
“We’re expecting good yields, and with the cool weather we’ve had, we have more color than normal.”
The weather was “very cooperative” through mid-August, said Diane Smith, executive director of the Lansing-based Michigan Apple Committee.
“Everything’s looking very good,” Smith said. “We expect a high-quality crop, and the sizing is nice. After last year, no one knew what would happen this year.”
The Michigan Fruit Guesstimate of 26 million bushels could be on the short end, Smith said.
“I’ve heard anything from 26 million and up, which would leave room for a record crop.”
“It’s one of our largest, if not the largest,” said Don Armock, president of Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc.
It’s not too often growers get a season with as little hail as 2013 has produced, Armock said.
Riveridge began shipping paula reds and ginger golds in late August.
Galas were expected to start shipping from southwest Michigan the first week of September, with production from the Fruit Ridge following a week later, Armock said.