Orchards face apple shortage due to temperatures
BOSTON (AP) -- Phil Rymsha is turning away apple-picking and cider-drinking hopefuls at his orchard in Harvard, Mass., because there simply aren't enough apples on his trees.
Many orchards across New England are facing similar shortages after a warm spring and late April freeze killed early blossoms.
Rymsha has sent many potential Phil's Apples customers to nearby orchards and presses cider one day a week instead of every day after losing 90 percent of his crop to abnormal temperatures.
Apple production is down nationwide everywhere but Washington state and is estimated to be about 20 million bushels below the 225 million bushel average.
New England growers say there are still enough apples for picking and cider in the region and urge visitors to stop by their orchards.