ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- We're now about three weeks into the apple harvest, but the Michigan Apple Committee reports labor is down about 20 percent this year and farmers in Alpine Township and Sparta say they're feeling the pain.
But Amy Irish-Brown, a Michigan State University educator, and Gretchen Mensing with the Michigan Apple Committee both say they're confident the state's crop will get picked; growers will just have to work harder to get it done.
But May has his doubts and stands to lose $100,000 this season. He has nine workers but still needs nine more. Many people assume if you need work, than just pick apples.
But the job is more difficult than you may think, so WZZM 13 sent reporter Stacia Kalinoski out into May's orchard to show what the work is really life.
We start with two bins and two different apple pickers. Felipe Jaramillo has already filled his bin three times in 3.5 hours. That's 70 bags of apples.