MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Apple pickers are descending on New England's orchards for the early varieties as farmers around the region predict a strong rebound from a dismal 2012.
Weather conditions have been favorable to apple production this year, with minimal late frosts, a wet early summer and recent dry conditions. This contrasts with conditions a year ago when a warm late April brought apple blossoms but was followed by a killing frost.
The favorable outlook for apples seems to apply nationwide. Industry group USApple says the national apple crop is expected to be up 13% over 2012.
The No. 1 apple producer, Washington state, should see a drop below the 5-year average. But No. 2 New York might jump 87% and No. 3 Michigan could rise nearly 1,000% over 2012.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.