Growers of apples and other crops hit hard by cold weather last spring in Michigan are eligible for federal disaster funds.

On Dec. 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 32 Michigan counties as natural disaster areas because of damage suffered March 1 to May 16 due to frost and freezes.

Because of freeze and frost damage in May, Michigan, the No. 3 apple producer, is expected to ship about 15.5 million bushels this season, 43% less than last season and 22% under the 5-year average.

Blueberries and other fruits suffered less damage.