Apple farmers face tough season but remain optimistic

Apple farmers face tough season but remain optimistic

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - If the honey crisp apples you eat this year aren't as red, you can blame the late summer heat.

Farmers in the northwest region of Ohio are anxious for some cooler temperatures to give their honey crisp apples a rich red glow.

"The only thing that isn't there is color. Only because cool nights give apples color. If you want, you know they're supposed to have some red on 'em,  you need a cool night to get 'em to go red," said Mike Mitchel, manager of Erie Orchards and Cider Mill.

Apple crops in Columbus and southeast Ohio are facing rot due to intense heat coupled with heavy rains, particularly honeycrisp apples.

These apples mature earlier so they can be more sensitive to late summer's moody weather.

Farmers at Erie Orchards in Michigan told WTOL 11 this season brings a lot of hard work.  They have to thin the apple trees to take extra stress off their delicate limbs.

Farmers also pick more carefully so the soft honey-crisp skin and tender branches stay intact.

Ultimately, farmers in our region who spoke to WTOL 11 said they aren't worried. They said apple season is a waiting game that's just beginning.

"The crop is good, I mean we have a nice crop. They could have used a little more water to be a little bit bigger, but the flavor is there," said Mitchel.

For many local farms, like Erie Orchards, MacQueen Apple Orchard, and Johnston fruit farms, apple harvests will continue, and prices will stay the same.

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