MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some Twin Cities apple orchards hit a rough patch after severe weather this summer.

Over the years, Lowell Schaper has seen Minnesota weather impact his orchard in almost every way imaginable.

“We have been here since 1976,” Schaper said.

This year, the 10 acres of Minnetonka Orchards filled with apples took a hit when a hail storm passed through the area in early June, leaving tiny dents in most of the apples.

“Some of them are damaged, so we’ve reduced the price to compensate for that,” Schaper said.

He said his orchard is considering investing in hail netting next year.

University of Minnesota apple breeder David Bedford explains that while the fruit may not look as appealing in some orchards this season, it shouldn’t drive away customers.

“The university research center here and some of our neighbors were hit pretty badly,” Bedford said. “But it turns out that fruit is perfectly good to eat, and there’s no problem with it.”

Bedford said an increase in more severe weather events over the last few years in Minnesota has taken a toll on apples, but it is most likely to hurt the people trying to sell them.


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