Michigan grower-shipper Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc. should have another big apple crop in 2014.

Even with a near-record crop in 2013, Sparta-based Riveridge expects ample volumes again this year, according to a company news release.

A new method of testing buds in late winter and early spring allows Riveridge to predict the size of the upcoming crop, president Don Armock said in the release.

“Blooming is now under way, weather conditions are good and we’re indeed seeing a strong return bloom,” Armock said. “We know those blossoms are very viable, and we anticipate setting back-to-back large crops.”

Despite a cold, snowy winter, apple trees suffered no damage, Armock said. Thanks to a cold start to spring, however, apple blossoming was about ten days late as of the week of May 19.

Wind machines installed after devastating freezes in 2012 helped Riveridge protect trees from frost on two cold nights in mid-May.