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Apple orchard in Kempton hit hard by cooler weather

Published On: Oct 11 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 12 2012 05:32:46 PM CDT

Cooler temperatures haven't been kind to this year's apple crop.

KEMPTON, Pa. -

There's a shortage of nature's candy in Berks County and the Lehigh Valley.

Some apple orchards are only producing a third of their normal crop.

The register was still ringing Friday at County Line Orchard in Kempton, Berks Co., but there were just fewer apples for people to buy.

"Every year is different, and every year has its surprises, and this year it was mostly the frost," said Todd Smith, owner of County Line Orchard.

Frost and drought conditions in April damaged some but not all of the trees.

"Some varieties are almost full and other varieties there is almost nothing," said Smith.

On average, the trees produce 10 bushels of apples each year. This year, the owners said they've been producing only three.

"For pick your own, there was one weekend we didn't have anything," said Smith.

County Line hasn't raised the prices of pick your own apples, but because of the shortage in the state, some wholesale clients have offered to pay double for the crop.

"I guess we've turned away new people," added Smith. "The places we wholesale to, mostly they are pretty flexible and they get less."

The shortage has also caused an increase in the price of apple cider, but even though apple-pickers might not get exactly what they want.....

"It's not always the variety they were thinking of," said Smith, adding that there is still some good fruit available.