Apple season has arrived in our area, but thanks to unseasonably cold temperatures back in May, it’s a little different this year. On May 18th, our region experienced temperatures in the middle and upper 20’s that devastated many of our region’s crops. “Well, we lost at least 95%, so this is the worst in 23 years.” Phil Murdock of Chapin Orchards says his apples were severely impacted by the late season blast of colder air.
“Up here at the higher elevations, it was about 24 and a half degrees. Down in the valley where I have some of my apples in the lower part, I’m guessing it was down 22/23.” He says many of his apples turned out deformed or discolored.
“Normally it would be just full of apples; you don’t see any apples. Nobody has picked anything off this tree. They didn’t size up; they got damaged, so they basically stunted their growth and deformed a lot of apples. So even when we got a crop on some of the trees, the apples were deformed because some of them formed without seeds.”
“See how it deformed the apple so it’s lopsided? But it also has the frost ring.” Murdock says the apple won’t go to waste. “Below the surface, it’s fine, so it’s perfectly edible, so that’s why it will make a fine cider or cooking apple; you can make a pie out of that.”
This year has certainly been hard on farmers, and they are still experiencing the side effects of the spring freeze and historic summer flooding.