LANSING — Michigan apple growers expect to pick a record crop this year.
The Michigan Apple Committee is forecasting a harvest of 31-million bushels.
That would be an increase of 7-million bushels over 2015 and the biggest ever for the state, which averages about 22.8-million bushels annually.
Diane Smith, executive director of the producer-funded cooperative, said Michigan's output has been rising steadily. She credits the rising output to technological advances and an increasing number of growers planting "high-density" orchards, which have 1,000 or more trees per acre.
The state has more than 11.3-million apple trees in commercial production on 825 farms.
Michigan apples are typically shipped from mid August through June.