Extreme Weather Leaves Few Apples for Fall - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Extreme Weather Leaves Few Apples for Fall

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Jessica Daley

jdaley@myabc5.com

@TheDaleyReport

Labor Day weekend marks the transition from summer to fall putting apple picking on the "To Do List" for many Iowans.

It's slim pickings at orchards around Iowa. Mother Nature has not been kind to apple trees this year.

The apple trees at Iowa Orchard in Urbandale are pretty bare. An early bloom ruined by a freeze in April and the drought this summer.

In the 40 years Bryan Etchen's family has been in the business, this is the worst.

"Iowa's going to have very limited apples. Lucky for us, we have other orchards we rent so we're able to have a nice crop of fruit."

There's just not enough for people to pick themselves, but people can get apples by the bag and pies.

Another central Iowa orchard, Storybook, in Story City isn't so lucky. The owner says they have practically no apples.

Both places expect prices to be higher this fall.

"I think they'll have to be to counteract the lack of fruit."

Etchen relies on the next two months for 80% of his profit. He's hoping Mother Nature will be on his side the coming weekends so people keep coming to the orchard.

"We grow a fabulous apple here in the state of Iowa. There are many great orchards throughout the state that you need to make sure you support this year because this is really the year that everyone needs it the most."

The biggest problem is apple cider. Etchen thinks prices will be double this fall.

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