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SCOTT JAGOW: In this country, it might not be so easy to find your favorite fruit at the grocery store in the coming months. Weather has devastated crops in the Southeast. Marketplace’s Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.
JANET BABIN: First, a brief warm spell accelerated crop planting and tree growth. Then two weeks ago, a cold air mass settled in. Fragile peach and apple tree buds were no match for the deep freeze.
Bill Carson owns the Altapass Apple Orchard along North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
BILL CARSON: We had three nights in a row of 17 degrees temperature, and all the blossoms are dead. We have lost what appears at this moment to be the entire crop from 3,000 apple trees.
The apple crop took its worst hit in 50 years. But wheat, pecan, blueberry and blackberry producers were also damaged. Preliminary crop losses topped $100 million in North Carolina alone.
And last weekend, strong winds and rain hurt the buds that did manage to make it through the freeze. Some consumers could face higher prices or shortages in coming months.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.
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