KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and SportsApple prices, picking plans altered by drought

Apple prices, picking plans altered by drought

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Because of the lack of rain, the apples they have will be smaller and a little bit more expensive. Because of the lack of rain, the apples they have will be smaller and a little bit more expensive.

Rena Hebda has worked on 55 acre South Dakota farm for seven years. For the second straight year, her apple crop is below par.

"Crop has been one of the lowest in the years that we have been here," said Hebda.

The summer drought was just part of the problem for Hebda. An early spring meant premature blooming for several apple varieties.

"Apples while in bloom don't tolerate a 32 degree temperature," said Hebda, owner of Hebda Family Produce.

Already this year, they've harvested one-third of their apple orchard, that's more than 1,000 trees. Normally, at this part of the year, they're just getting started.

"We can only let people walk through the orchard because there's no apples to pick. So, that's frustrating," said Hebda.

And because of the lack of rain (many trees had to survive without irrigation, too), the apples they have will be smaller and a little bit more expensive.

"Anything that's in the back part of our orchard is about half the size of what it normally is," said Hebda. "We've got a 10 to almost 20 percent increase on price, depending on the varieties of apples because of the low number being harvested."

That doesn't mean all is lost for the farm, though. Hebda says there will still be plenty of apple pies and apple butter available in their store. She says buyers will just have to act a little more quickly this time around.

"Better get them now, because by November, they'll be gone," said Hebda.

In case you're wondering, apple cider isn't on the shelf, yet. Hebda says that'll probably be available in October through November.

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