Apple crop bounces back this year

8:42 PM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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WACONIA, Minn. - Those who wait with anticipation for apple season each year are in luck.

In 2012, Minnesota lost up to 75 percent of its apple crop when a freeze killed many of the apple blossoms, but this year's weather has been much better for our favorite fall fruit.

"We had a late frost on April 10 and 11 from about 3:13 to 8:14 but who's remembering," jokes Waconia's Lin Deardorff.

This year, he's a happy apple grower.

Deardorff adds, "It's been 10 days behind from the get go."

This year's long cold and wet spring set the schedule back, but hasn't hindered the end product.

"So we're cold, you know, all the way into early May," says University of Minnesota Extension Horticulturist Karl Foord. "And in fact, we had significant snow accumulation in early May.  What that does is that it is keeps the trees dormant through that whole period. And then they come out and by the time the flowers are out, there's very little chance for a late frost to damage the flowers."

At Deardorff Orchards in Waconia, Sweetango is ripe and ready to eat. And Honeycrisp is almost there. They'll be picking some this weekend!

There were some crops here in the Metro damaged by hail this summer and others further north that dealt with a disease called apple scab.

"Overall, it was great, yeah," says Foord. "There's always something, I mean, that's just the way nature is.  We like the apples and so do a lot of other critters."

Deardorff offers some last-minute advice to those heading out this weekend.

"Pick for color," says Deardorff, "the redder the better."

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