Weather hits apple crop, but don't blame drought

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Indiana apple orchards are seeing one of their worst crops in 80 years, but don't blame the drought.

Purdue University fruit scientist Peter Hirst tells The Indianapolis Star ( ) that unusually high March temperatures led to early blossoms that were damaged when a frost returned in April.

Hailstorms that knocked young apples off the stem compounded the problem, and some orchard owners say they have lost 90 percent of their crop.

Hirst says this is the worst Indiana apple crop since the 1930s.

The reduced crop is forcing some orchards to raise prices and cancel public apple-picking. Others are shipping in apples from other areas or swapping varieties with other growers.

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