Freezing temperatures put apple crops at risk - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Freezing temperatures put apple crops at risk

GREEN BLUFF, Wash.-- The dropping temperatures could mean losing millions of dollars for apple growers.  Workers across the state are picking apples trying to fill as many bins as possible before it freezes. The focus is on Fujis, one of the most expensive apple varieties.

Growers say snow, is no problem for the apples, but it's these freezing temperatures blowing in over Spokane County that can be devastating for growers, because when a freeze happens, essentially the season is over.

Mark Morrell says he knows exactly what a good apple sounds like.

"It crunches when you cut it open. It's a good crunch."

And that's why, cutting into his apples was the first thing he did this morning, to see if his crop survived the record breaking below freezing temperatures.

"Did you hear that crunch?" said Morrell. "If it was frozen it'd be crystallized, but in here, its not, it's good."

He says a sigh of relief came over him as he realized his apples past the test.

"Ive never seen cold weather like this, in the 17 years I've been growing apples, it's never this cold in October."

Morrell says, if temperatures dip below 17-degrees the inside of the apple could freeze over. It's already happened to his friend's crop in Quincy, so you can imagine his worry as the forecast continues to decline in the prime of apple season, ironically, he says, when it's his biggest crop yet.

But, so far, so good he says, as long as doesn't get any colder. And business is booming as hundred's fought off the cold Sunday. And brought home heaping hand-fulls of Golden Delicious apples.  

"It's freezing it's so cold," said Michael Shanda, an apple picker at green bluff.   "But it's so worth it, it's a great time!"

KHQ Reporter Kaitlyn Bolduc

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