Drought might lead to limited Minnesota yield

Wisconsin apple orchards may get less than fruitful crop

Several orchards across the state of Wisconsin are experiencing a Honeycrisp crisis, as many of the apple trees are struggling to produce fruit this season. This year, the orchard’s Honeycrisp trees are looking bare.

“We’re out here every day checking on everything and making sure that things are going well,” Liz Griffith, Door Creek Orchard Manager said. “There weren’t any flower buds emerging in late April and May, when the other trees were blooming, and we said, ‘Oh…there aren’t any flowers.”

Amaya Atucha, state fruit crop specialist and UW-Madison Assoc. Prof. in the Dept. of Horticulture: “I think the main culprit is the drought that we had last year. This is not something we’ve seen on Honeycrisp; we’ve seen this on many of the early varieties.”

According to nbc15.com¸ Atucha said there was also a spring frost that impacted struggling plants across the state.

Drought might lead to limited Minnesota yield
Some Minnesota apple orchards open to the public next month for picking, but the selection on the trees is looking to be slimmer than in past summers due to the drought conditions we’re seeing. At Minnesota Harvest in Jordan, Cody Cook, the assistant manager, says there are sections of trees with a quarter of the expected apple yield.

“It’s kind of a statewide concern as far as the other orchards we’ve talked to,” Cook told minnesota.cbslocal.com. Cook says the dryness has brought out more pesticide-resistant moths than usual that can infect the crop. There was also a late spring cold snap that Cook says decimated a lot of their early growth.

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