Fruit growers ready to bounce back

06/14/2013 02:21:00 PM
David Mitchell

Winkel said apple harvest should start in mid-August. Paula reds will be the first variety off the trees.

Fred Leitz Jr. of Leitz Farms LLC, Sodus, Mich., acknowledged trees tend to bounce back after a down year, but he also said the drought Michigan endured last summer occurred when trees should have been forming buds for this year.

“We probably have some weak trees out there,” said Leitz, a member of the U.S. Apple Association’s board of directors.

Still, Leitz called it an above-average crop.

“There’s a good crop out there, but I don’t think it will be a bin-buster. I think it will be a pretty good crop,” he said.

Grape harvest should start in September and last through December, said Spiech, whose company expanded its grape operations by 35 acres since last year.

That new acreage should help offset an isolated Memorial Day weekend frost that cost Spiech 15% of its grape crop.

“It’s going to be one of the largest grape crops we’ve ever had,” Spiech said. “It’s still a very large crop.”


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