Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- This year has been quite a roller coaster ride for Central New York apple growers. After a mild start to the growing season and then a freeze that killed off much of their crop, the picking is soon set to begin, but the early arrival of apple season won’t come without a price.
Four months ago, apple growers at LaFayette Apple Valley were burning smudge pots to stave off a freeze that threatened crops.
And Pete Fleckenstein from Beak and Skiff’s says the freeze killed 75 percent of the local crop.
The good news is that there are apples in the orchards, just far fewer than in years past. With fewer apples, there will definitely be fewer options at the end of the season. Fleckenstein says there will be plenty to start the season when their stand opens in ten days, but he expects those to go quickly. He also expects to soon see a hike in the price of cider.
The bottom line: Get your favorite varieties early, prepare to pay more for cider and hope for better weather next year.
Fleckenstein says apple producing states are all dealing with poor weather issues, from an early season freeze in the east to a bad hail storm that damaged crops in Washington State.