New England Apple Crop Smaller Due to Dryness

In this photo taken Wednesday Aug. 31, 2016 Laurie Loosigian of Apple Annie's Orchard looks at the few apples she has, in Brentwood, N.H. For apples in New England, this year's batch is a bit smaller for many farmers as they struggle with a drought affecting most crops. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

In this photo taken Wednesday Aug. 31, 2016 Laurie Loosigian of Apple Annie’s Orchard looks at the few apples she has, in Brentwood, N.H. For apples in New England, this year’s batch is a bit smaller for many farmers as they struggle with a drought affecting most crops. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Unlike last year’s bumper crop for apples in New England, this year’s batch is a bit smaller for many farmers as they struggle with abnormally dry and drought conditions.

There are still enough apples to go around at most pick-your-own operations. But some farms are not offering that this year and are taking their apples directly to market. Even before the dry weather, higher-than-normal temperatures in February and March, followed by a cold spell in April, challenged the crop.

Lorraine Merrill, New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Agriculture, says fruit and vegetable growers have the capability to irrigate their crops and have kept a steady supply.

Northern New England farmers have fared better than those in the southern part of the region, because they received more rain.

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