As the calendar turns to the month of August, and the first preseason NFL is slated to be played later this week, it's only natural that some people will begin to think about fall. Minnesota has plenty to offer in the fall season, but one staple, apple picking, might be hard to find this year, and you can blame, what is expected to be a shortage of apples in Minnesota on the drought.

According to Gilby's Orchard in Aitkin, this year has been the 'perfect storm' for poor apple production after what seemed like it could be a bumper crop year this spring. Gilby's website talks about the three ingredients that helped shape this perfect storm.

The first ingredient was frost and freezing temps after a warmer than usual April Gilby's Orchard stated "very warm temperatures early in April, we are about 25% higher in growing degree units this year than last year.  Huge Spring temperature swings from the southern part of the state to the northern part of the state caused many orchards to have frost damage and lose the majority of their crop."

The second ingredient to the 'perfect storm' was the warm weather in April and May that saw portions of the state see 90-degree temperatures so early in the year. Many apple trees can't handle that heat so early in the year. 

The final ingredient that will more than likely cause a shortage of Minnesota-grown apples this year is the current drought we are in. Many Minnesota apple trees had an easy winter, so there were many promising signs for peak apple production, but that hope has seemingly dried up according to Gilby's.

So if you are planning on apple picking this year, you might want to go early in the fall and be checking several orchard websites and social media pages, as I'm sure some won't offer to pick or will limit the number of people allowed this season.

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