Environment
10:39 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Apple Crop Worst in Decades

North Carolina's top apple-producing county is experiencing its worst crop in decades. That's according to growers and agriculture officials who say this year's unusual weather has devastated many of Henderson County's orchards.

Adam Pryor is a farmer and President of the Blue Ridge Apple Growers Association. He says the crop was hit hard in April by an overnight frost, after unusually warm weather had caused the trees to start blooming.

Adam Pryor: There was little visible fruits in the orchards, and it was just at a very tender stage. And those sub-freezing temperatures you get down below about 28 degrees and you really start to have damage. And a lot of places were down into the mid-20s, and those apples never had a chance.

Pryor says crop losses are averaging about 70% in Henderson, which produces about 85% of the state's apples. Similar losses across the country are driving up apple prices. That will soften the loss for many growers, but consumers can expect to pay more for apples and apple products.