April frost hurt apple crop but was not a disaster

Minnesota growers say the April frost will reduce the size of this year's apple crop but was not as damaging as many had feared. One of the most important measures of potential damage, though, won't happen until the apples are ready for tasting.
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Minnesota growers say the April frost will reduce the size of this year's apple crop but was not as damaging as many had feared. One of the most important measures of potential damage, though, won't happen until the apples are ready for tasting.

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Minnesota apple crop arrives earlier than usual, but is smaller

Apple consumers in Minnesota can thank an early spring for apples at area orchards, which are ripening 10 days to two weeks ahead of schedule -- but because of rough weather, the crop is also smaller. KARE-TV reports that shoppers should expect no deals on apples this year, with the exception of hail-damaged fruit -- often sold as "utility" apples -- at half price.

Growers worry frost will imperil plants, ochards

With temperatures set to dip below freezing again, apple orchard operators are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. The early warmth this year means plants are ahead of schedule -- and in danger of frost damage.

An apple a day? He bites 500

For the past 32 years, University of Minnesota apple breeder David Bedford has been keeping the doctor away ... in a big way. He's tasted 500 to 600 apples a day during the apple harvest, the U's Minnesota Daily reports. The university’s 124-year-old fruit breeding program is one of three left in the country. “I don’t eat many apples,” Bedford said. “I taste many apples.”

Orchards are open and apples are abundant

Minnesota’s apple orchards are open for business, and some early varieties are available. But you may have to wait for some, like the best-selling HoneyCrisp. The Agriculture Department says many varieties are ripening later than usual due to the cool weather this spring.