EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 16, 2013

Farmers hope apple production turns around

Apple growers optimistic it will be a better year


Cross said blossoms last anywhere from a week to two and a half weeks depending on the weather.

“We are really right on time this year,” he said. “But it’s dragged on a little bit because it has been cold.”

Samuel Nassar, owner of Apple Acres in Windham. said the bloom has been normal for him as well.

“We’ve got a full bloom everywhere,” Nassar said. “This year, they’re going to be ready at least two weeks after they were last year. People won’t have to go apple picking in summer where there are so many other things they could be doing.”

Weather hasn’t been the only factor in the low production statewide. Hicks said there are fewer orchards.

In 2010, Londonderry’s 270-acre Woodmont Orchard sold for about $7 million — for development.

“People have had to diversify their farms,” Hicks said. “They aren’t just being trained to grow apples. As a result, I think we’ve seen less apples produced.”

Nassar said farmers have had to adjust as their customers’ tastes change.

“There is just no demand for second tier apples anymore,” he said. “People just buy them at the store and they get shipped in from China or South America or Australia. We’re under the gun because people are only buying perfect apples now.”

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