Weather impacts apple orchard growing season

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne apple orchard, Cook’s Orchard, lost nearly half of their apple crop this year due to weather throughout the growing season. They said that while some farmers have had a good growing season, certain weather events this year negatively impacted the apple crop as a whole.

“In May we had this cold spell and it froze out several varieties. Also the dry weather that we’ve been having, no rain, and so the apples have been coming in smaller than normal. That’s what’s happened to our crop this year,” said Al Ruch, store employee at Cook’s Orchard.

Fort Wayne is over an inch below normal in the precipitation category to date in 2020. Much of the dry time has occurred over the duration of the growing season.

Cook’s Orchard says that an ideal apple growing season would feature mild temperatures in the spring, with near or just above average precipitation to the help the apples achieve their full size.

Despite the loss in crop due to weather, Cook’s says that many people have been coming out to pick apples amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the business like it has been because of COVID, I think people wanted to get out and get into the fresh air. They came and picked and the business has been good,” said Ruch.

The combination high demand and a lesser apple crop have resulted in only a few apples left to pick in the entire orchard. Cook’s said that the best time to apple pick at their orchard is in mid-September.

Despite the loss in crop, Cook’s Orchard still has an abundance of apples and other products for sale. The orchard brought in apples from an orchard in Michigan to sell, which is something they do every year, regardless of how the local apple crop develops.

Outside of apples, Cook’s has many fall favorites for sale. The orchard is open daily from 9 AM until 6 PM. For more information, click here.

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