Spring weather hurts apple crops; higher prices expected

NEW BERLIN — The mild spring, followed by a few cold days are spelling trouble for the upcoming apple harvest. The irregular weather will impact those who try to get an apple a day.

Jay Patterson from New Berlin’s Patterson Orchards was hoping to avoid a tough year when FOX6 News talked to him in March as temperatures hit the 70s.

When the “June drop” came in mid-May, Patterson lost a ton of produce.

“We’re just praying to keep what we have,” Patterson said.

The loss of crops means higher prices at the grocery store. “My guess, right now, maybe 30%, maybe 40%. You might see higher increases than that,” Patterson said.

Patterson, a third-generation apple grower, estimates his total yield will be down 60% or more. He says the Patterson orchard has had years with half the typical harvest, but could shore up supplies through wholesalers.

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