Apple shortage blamed on late spring frost

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A favorite fall activity may not be the same this upcoming season thanks to Mother Nature.

Back in April, a late season drop in temperatures caused frost and freeze conditions across the Carolinas, hurting the growth of apples for local farmers. Many locations along the foothills and mountains reported temperatures dropping into the upper 20s multiple nights in early-to-mid April, causing frost to form.

Doug Carrigan of Carrigan Farms said he knew back in April that it would be a rough season for apples due to that late season frost. Carrigan said many techniques are used to try and manipulate Mother Nature and protect the crops, including covering the trees or applying water to the surface.

Fast-forward to the fall, where many apples either did not survive the frost or had trouble growing through the hot and dry summer.

After only two weeks, Carrigan Farms had to close their doors to apple picking for the public due to the limited amount of apples, only 20 to 30 percent of their average season.

Many apple farms in the Carolinas remain open this year for business, but keep in mind it has been a rough season for the fall fruit.

Besides apples, Carrigan Farms is expecting a great season for pumpkins, with a peak picking time of October.