The 2012 Apple Bust
Scott Robertello, of Kapnick Orchards in Britton, estimates that he lost about 50 percent of his apples-a significant setback, but not as bad as the 80 or 90 percent losses reported around the state. "The southern tier of Michigan had better crops, but as far as why I didn't lose as many apples as my neighbors here, and hardly any of my peaches, well, there's no rhyme or reason to it, really. The fruit business is fascinating, and when you have a bad year, you have to just try to be philosophical and think over the long term."
Old-timers like Agnes Nemeth of Nemeth Orchards in York Township say they've learned to focus on their blessings and try to ignore things they can't control. "It's Mother Nature, and she does what she wants!" Nemeth exclaims. "And when you get to my age, you just take things as they come. We've been through pretty tough times, and we always come through it. You can't lose sleep over it."
Nemeth says she and her husband, Alex, own fifty acres of apple orchard, and "the apples are pretty well wiped out." But, she adds quickly, "the grapes look pretty good!" When asked if this is the worst disaster she's seen on their eighty-acre farm, she says, "No. One year we had hail completely flatten an entire field of corn. And we were the only farm that got hit."