Sad.  That's all I can say I felt when I read this headline on mLive.  Sad.

Apple farmer says, "We're just growing trees this year."

It was the apple farmers greatest fear and honestly it was my greatest fear too, because no one in this country can grow tasty apples like Michigan farmers can.  Well, this season is pretty much a bust for West Michigan apple growers. So many of the farmers depend on a good crop to support their family and carry them through the winter months.  This year is no different.  They will have to go to Plan B if any of them are lucky enough to have a Plan B.  As if the Michigan economy isn't in bad enough shape already.

Why is all of this happening?  Think back a few months when we had that warm spell and all the trees started blooming earlier than normal and we were all celebrating.  Then there were those really cold frosts that came.  It was those hard frosts that are impacting Michigan's apple growers, packers, processors and all of the communities that depend on them for financial support.  the hard frosts we had killed the apple blossoms on the trees and the apple blossoms are what eventually grow into big, juicy, sweet, Michigan apples, but not this year.   The Michigan apple industry this year, 2012, has lost 90% or more of it's yield.  Grasp that concept for a minute.  Michigan apples this year will be far and few.  This has never happened in my lifetime.  The last time Michigan had an apple crop that was wiped out was back in 1945.

Apple grower Joe Klein, said it best, "We are just growing trees this year." He estimates that he lost 95 to 97 percent of his apple crop and he has 160 acres devoted to apples.