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Wisconsin 2012 apple crop down 54%


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTAQ) - Bad weather is being blamed for the smallest apple production in Wisconsin in nearly 70 years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports apple production in 2012 was down 54 percent, with yields off more than three tons per acre compared to the year before.

Warmer than normal temperatures in early spring caused apple trees to bloom prematurely.

Then, a late spring freeze was damaging, followed by a summer dry spell.

Wisconsin produced 23.6 million pounds of apples last year, compared to more than 51 million pounds the year before. Because of supply and demand, apple prices were up 29%.