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‘Excellent’ fruit crop for Michigan, farmers say

Shelley Pauls

From apples to peaches to wine grapes, state fruits look to be in great shape for the upcoming harvest.

The weather has been the perfect balance of wet and dry, hot and cool, said Nikki Rothwell, fruit specialist with MSU Extension.

Apples have a "beautiful blush," and peaches are large and mostly avoided brown rot, she said.

"Peaches are really suscpetible to a disease cause brown rot," Rothwell said. "That actually rots the fruit. And because we’ve had dry weather, we don’t see a lot of fruit rot this year, so peaches are beautiful."

She also said wine grapes have a high sugar content. The spotted lanternfly, an invasive species known for targeting grapes in the U.S., isn't concerning yet for the next harvest, but Rothwell said they're keeping a close eye on it.

“It’s a really good feeling right now to be sitting with good crops, high quality fruit," she said. "We just wanna make sure to keep those storms and all of that weird weather at bay to get us through harvest so we can have our growers put their feet up when things are over.”

Farmers were also able to hire an adequate labor force and don’t anticipate any shipping delays, she said.

Ben Jodway is an intern, serving as a reporter for WCMU Public Media and the Pioneer in Big Rapids. He has covered Indigenous communities and political extremism in Michigan.