AG Watch

Apple growers aren't happy with the warm weather

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall crops like apples are used to crisp, cool, even chilly temperatures during the fall.

The Valley apple harvest is showing sunburn damage from the extremely warm fall temperatures we've had -- especially in September.

Crews are picking Pink Lady apples in Madera County. But along with the brightly colored fruit, grower Lance Shebelut has also noticed sunburn damage in his crop. He says it's the worst he's ever seen.

Shebelut figures a quarter of his apples may be affected. "It's been tough. A lot of anxiety. I mean this is how we make our living and to see your fruit out here burning every day and spending more money on water and anti-stress material is concerning."

Shebelut was a Bulldog all-American baseball player in 1988, but for the last 24 years has been busy growing apples, almonds and tree fruit in the Valley.

The apple harvest should last three more weeks.

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