State News

N.C. apple growers say drought might shrink fruit

Posted August 22, 2008 7:22 a.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2008 10:16 a.m. EDT

— Some western North Carolina apple-growers say they're concerned that the drought in the region will result in smaller fruit this year.

The lack of rain in the western part of the state has resulted in smaller apple sizes in the more than 6,000 acres of orchards in Henderson County, a primary apple-producing area.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that processors and growers want fruit that is at least 2½ inches in diameter.

Grower Adam Pryor said only 70 to 80 percent of this year's crop will hit the ideal size. Pryor said that if the crop gets rain in the next week or so, it can still produce larger apples.

Henderson County's apple growers were hit with a spring freeze in 2007 that cut production nearly in half.

There had been hope that Tropical Storm Fay would move into western North Carolina and bring rain, but weather patterns stalled it farther south.