Storms Take a Bite Out of Apple Crop

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By Nick Hausen

JACKSON COUNTY - Late summer means that apple season is upon us. Peak harvesting is usually not until September, but some orchards have already started picking.

"We started picking apples last week with Jonathon," said Lipe Orchards Owner Sara Lipe. "We started picking golden delicious just this week."

In a year where other crops have been exceptionally good, apples have not shared the same fate.

"It's not as good as we would like", explained Lipe. "We had some hail storms come through in the spring and some other storms came throughout the season, and the apples aren't as nice as we would like. They are very flavorful!"

Despite the hail damage, there was one benefit from all the storms. The rain helped increase the size of the apples that survived, but insects and animals also took a bite out of the crop.

"I've seen a bigger problem with deer this year", said Lipe. "It seems like they're multiplying faster and there are fewer predators, fewer hunters, so yes, deer have been a major problem this year."

Lipe Orchard sells fresh apples and will also make cider starting in three weeks. That makes this the owner's favorite time of year.

"Golden delicious is my favorite", explained Lipe. "So that's one of the things I like. I also like the cider. It's a nice part of our business."

A family business that has seen its share of good and bad crops. Lipe Orchard is now in its fourth generation and has been growing produce for more than 130 years.
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