Some orchards around Indiana are running out of apples early this season, after a late spring freeze that obliterated much of the state's crop. State-wide temperature drops in late April and early May were very problematic for the budding, flowering apple trees unable to withstand the cold. The sub-freezing snaps, which led to severe fruit damage and significant crop loss, impacted roughly 70% of the Hoosier apple crop, said Peter Hirst, a tree fruit specialist at Purdue University.
“It's the worst we’ve seen in quite some time, in decades in Indiana," Hirst said. “This is really rare for us to have damage as severe as what we’ve seen this year.”
Damage was widespread across Indiana's orchards, but growers say cold-related damage in neighboring Michigan -the country's third-largest apple-producing state- was likely limited to crops in the southwest, with Red Delicious and Jonagold apples affected most.
According to tribstar.com, Spring frosts in New York’s Hudson Valley and parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia are also expected to reduce the bloom on several apple varieties this year, although the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the nation's 2020 apple crop to be just 3% less than in 2019 and 2% less than the five-year average.