With not much of a crop to promote this season, the Michigan Apple Committee is focused on the future.

“We are finalizing the five-year strategic plan and will be releasing to our growers at the end of the year at the Great Lakes Expo,” said Diane Smith, interim director of the Lansing-based Michigan Apple Committee.

Smith said the committee also is working with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the work on those will continue into next season, she said.

“We are looking to the future, which I think everybody here in Michigan is doing,” she said.

While there is no marketing urgency this year, Smith said some speculate the 2013 Michigan apple crop could range as high as 30 million to 35 million bushels.

Michigan Apple Committee retail field representative Ken Meyer was laid off at the end of August because of the short crop, Smith said.

For her part, Smith said she will continue to call on retailers throughout the 2012-13 season, visiting with buyers about the potential for a large crop in 2013 and specific marketing ideas to help move the crop.