Growers claim this year's Connecticut apple harvest is among the best

Fall is apple picking season in Connecticut. Despite the heavy rains that occurred in the summer months, executive director of the New England Apple Association, Russell Steven Powell, said apple orchards across New England have had a great harvest.

“We've been pretty fortunate this year: the heaviest rains that came in July were at good timing for the apple trees,” he said. “Unlike field crops, the trees can absorb a lot more water and need a lot more water. So it was not a problem. It tends to be a problem if it's really close to harvest — the apples would have kind of blown up too quickly.”

But the mid-summer rain wasn’t the only weather event apple farmers saw. The end of August brought Tropical Storm Henri through Connecticut and two weeks later, the remnants of Ida moved through the state, bringing with them high winds and heavy rains. At Gales Ferry's Holmberg Orchards, Russ Holmberg said his "very good, heavy apple crop" stood up to Ida's remnants better than expected.

“Notwithstanding the wet summer we’ve had, the weather has been good throughout critical times,” Lyman told “We didn’t have any spring frost, we had good pollinating weather and we had good growing conditions early in the season, which is always critical. And with the rain, orchards are on hills, so the trees and the orchards haven’t been as negatively impacted as other agricultural operations in low-lying areas.”

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