The Michigan apple industry set new shipment records two weeks in a row in October, shipping 414,702 boxes of apples the week of October 12.

According to the USDA-MDA Market News Service, the organization that tracks shipment numbers, the Michigan apple industry shipped 411,973 boxes of apples the week of October 5 and broke that record the following week. In 2011, the industry set the previous shipment record of 378,933 the second week in October.

The news was released late last week when Market News Service returned from furlough after the federal government shutdown.

“Our growers, packers, and shippers are working seven days a week, day and night to move this bumper apple crop,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.

“October is always an extremely busy time of year for our growers, packers, and shippers,” Smith said. “I think what we are seeing this year is the start of a new normal, with increasing demand for Michigan apples and more trees in the ground, as well as new technology that has been incorporated into production and distribution of apples. We are planning to see larger numbers over the next few years.”

Michigan was expected to produce 30 million bushels of apples this year.

With 9.2 million apple trees in commercial production on 36,500 acres, Michigan is the third largest producer of apples in the United States.