CONCORD, N.H. — While apple growers in some states are enjoying an earlier-than-usual harvest, many in New England and upper Midwest are reeling from the effects of two hard frosts in May.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts the apple crop in every New England state except Rhode Island will be down by almost 20 percent compared to last year.
Dick Fabrezio, owner of Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill, N.H., says he lost 80 percent of his apple crop — upwards of 5,000 bushels, forcing him to eliminate pick-your own for the season.
Jon Clements, fruit specialist for the University of Massachusetts Extension Service, says Massachusetts had pockets of loss, but nothing like Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Michigan was also hit hard.
The frosts hit after an unseasonably warm spring in which apple trees blossomed early, making them most vulnerable to the cold temperatures.