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Heavy snowstorm will not affect produce transport

A huge snowstorm impacted many states surrounding the Great Lakes. New York suffered the most damage, while Ohio and Michigan also dealt with extreme temperatures and snowfall. The snowstorm hit on November 18, and dropped an unexpected 180cm of snow on Buffalo, New York and surrounding areas which closed off access to the Thruway, a major highway running throughout the State.

Although transportation may be limited, growers and distributors within New York State remain unworried about the drastic change in weather. “The snow came from a lakefront storm,” explains Mark Seetin, director of regulatory and industry affairs for the United States Apple Association. “Even though it does bring heavy and drifting snow, by the weekend the weather will heat up again.”

The sudden snow might have affected growers still harvesting their apples, but a storage report issued by the United States Apple Association on November 1st states that harvesting was, “very well along”. The majority of apples are safe within a controlled atmosphere storage unit which allows the fruits to stay fresh for up to nine months. 40% of the apples in storage are marketed to retail, while the remaining 60% will be used over the next seven months.

Even with the snowfall set to continue until Thursday evening, distributors are highly skeptical over the threat to produce transportation. “The storm will cause all commercial apple shipment to be a day or two delayed at the most,” states Seetin, “Since the vast majority of our fruit is already in storage, it does not have a visceral impact on the market.”

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