DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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August 9, 2012

Warm weather in March means early harvest

Local apple harvest is ripe and ready

(Continued)

In addition to a lack of rainfall, frost and pest problems, Hamilton said hail is also a threat to apple orchards and fruit production. While there hasn’t been a problem with hail here, there has been in New York and Minnesota. That means fewer apples nationwide and higher prices everywhere, including in New Hampshire.

“Initially, we thought we were going to lose up 50 percent of our apple crop, but it looks like we will only lose 30 percent due to frost,” said Mike Cross, farm manager at Mack’s Apples. “We lost about the same amount back in 2010.”

Mack’s hasn’t had to bring in outside water yet, Cross said, but they’ve come close. In 2010, the hottest and earliest blooming year, Cross said they did bring in more water to irrigate the peach crop.

Like other local orchards, the fruit is ripening early. Cross said he expected to start selling apples this week.

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