The Michigan Processing Apple Growers announced August 29 that its marketing committee has negotiated minimum prices for processing apples with several of Michigan’s processors.
The price schedule looks very much like that negotiated for the 2011 crop.
The price for Jonathan apples 2 ½ inches or larger is $14 per hundredweight.
The price for Jonagold, Idared, and Crispin of the same size is $13.25.
The price for Spy and hard varieties, including Rome and Golden Delicious, is $12.50.
The price for soft varieties is $10.
Dawn Drake, manager of the Michigan Processing Apple Growers, said the marketing committee chose not to negotiate a minimum for juice or undersized apples.
“The juice market is expected to be very competitive because of juice processors attempting to regain markets lost after last year’s devastating crop loss,” she wrote in her newsletter announcing the prices.
“Ultimately this out-bidding process could come at the growers’ expense. Current juice prices are at $12 per hundredweight but are expected to decline once harvest is in full swing.”
In 2011, the negotiated prices for straight loads of juice apples was $7.50. The price for undersized apples in 2011 was $6.50.
Seven of Michigan’s apple processors agreed to this year’s minimum price schedule: Coloma Frozen Foods, Gerber Products, Knouse Foods, Peterson Farms, Pinnacle Foods, Sill Farms Market, and Smeltzer Orchard. Burnette Foods, Cherry Growers, Indian Summer, and Materne USA opted out of negotiations.
Gerber and Coloma Frozen Foods said they will not buy juice apples this year, Drake said, leaving Aseltine Cider, Heinz USA, and Peterson Farms as the buyers.
Michigan had virtually no apple crop in 2012 and minimum prices were not negotiated.
The Michigan Processing Apple Growers is authorized by Michigan law to bargain for price and other conditions of sale on behalf of all Michigan growers who produce apples for processing (about 750).