BELLEVILLE – Illinois has a better-quality apple crop this year because of cooler, wetter growing conditions compared with last season's intense heat and drought.
"We have had more moisture and more disease this year," said Mohammad Babadoost, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "But other than that, this year's crops are much, much better and sales are good."
Apple orchards are opening this weekend in some parts of Illinois.
"There are not as many bushels this year as last year, but that being said, we have more than enough apples," Chris Eckert of Eckert's Orchards in Belleville told the Belleville News-Democrat. "The quality of our apple crop this year is very, very good."
Tom Range of Braeutigam Orchards in Belleville says his crop is "significantly above average."
Mike Henry of Simonton Orchards said he's expecting good yields at his Smithton business even though he thinks last summer's triple-digit temperatures will affect his apple trees for the next three to four years.
"I think it's going to be a pretty decent crop, not a great crop, because of some of the damage from last year," Henry said. "But for now it looks pretty good."
Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com