NC Apple crop hurting though local crops appear okay - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

NC Apple crop hurting though local crops appear okay

Posted: Updated:
LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) -

An early spring and a late cold snap may have destroyed up to 80 percent of North Carolina's apple crop this year. That's the word from Agriculture extension experts in Henderson County.

They report that some growers lost everything in the late spring freeze. While growers up the mountain face a bleak harvest, not so in parts of Lincoln County, another major apple producer in North Carolina.

North Carolina's apple crop is usually worth about $24 million.

Peggy Laughter with the North Carolina Apple Growers Association says the damage varied, depending on the way cold air moved through mountain valleys. Laughter says she lost 90 percent of her crop.

"They're looking good," said Grower Gary Davis as he watched apples roll down the conveyor at his family's packing house.  Davis said there was some freeze damage to his crop but nowhere near what growers in higher elevations experienced. As a result his trees are full and picking is underway.

Davis said he has experienced losing a crop to weather and doesn't wish that problem on anyone. Still, one benefit to the troubles in Henderson county and other parts of the nation when it comes to the apple crop is that prices paid to farmers keep rising.

Supply and demand is driving those payments up, he said. "It's the highest price we've had since I've been in the apple business."

Pickers could be seen in several orchards across northwest Lincoln County on Wednesday. Farmers expect the harvest to continue at least for another month. Lincoln County's Apple Festival is in two weeks and officials say local growers will have something to celebrate this year.

Powered by WorldNow