Drought and hot temperatures damaging North Carolina's apple harvest

HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Above average heat and below average rainfall is taking a toll on North Carolina's apple harvest.

Kenny Barnwell has been growing apples in Henderson County for 39 years. You'd be hard pressed to find someone more knowledgeable about apple harvests.

"A pink lady's supposed to be pink. Right now, all I've got is some green ladies," he said to WLOS with a laugh. "It's just been too hot."

What's making this year even worse is last year.

"We've had all this hot dry weather, following record rainfall last year, so you've got trees that lost some of their roots last year, that drowned out, and now hot and dry, we're having trees die," Barnwell said.

Some of Barnwell's most popular kids of apples (red delicious, pink lady, cameo, Arkansas black) are supposed to be harvested right now. But with Mother Nature refusing to cooperate, Barnwell only has two options: wait and hope.

"The weather forecast, the cooler weather, I'm looking forward to the weekend a lot to get us back into a little bit more normal temperature so that we can get some of these green apples turning red," Barnwell said.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.