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Apple Crops Suffer, Price Increases

Last updated on Tuesday, October 9, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana’s apple crop is one of the worst in years and that means higher apple prices at the store.

Jay Hermacinski, of WISH TV8 reports, Nationally, this year's apple crop is shaping up to be the smallest since 1986, down 14 percent from last year. Apple Production in the Midwest has dropped 79 percent.

That has forced local orchards to ship in apples from out of state. The added transportation costs are causing apple prices to nearly double.

Each fall thousands of people visit Stuckey Farms in Hamilton County to pick their own apples. The farm has 4,000 apple trees. The warm March weather followed by a hard frost in April wiped out 95 percent of this years crop.

Orchard owner Jeff Pierce knew in April his crop was in trouble. But he never thought there would be no apple picking come September and October.

Pierce has had to ship in apples from Pennsylvania to keep his apple business running.

Bus loads of school kids come to the orchard each fall to learn about apples, and where they grow.

This year, the students are learning how the weather can wipe out a crop.

He says despite the non-existent apple crop, the apple trees are healthy and he expects next years crop to be bountiful.

While there are no apples to pick, there are plenty of pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.

Pierce says it has been the most robust pumpkin patch they have ever had.

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