Orchards Have Less Fruit To Offer Pickers After Rough Spring Weather

PARIS, Ky. (AP) - Eager pickers have less fruit to forage for in central Kentucky orchards after an April freeze and a hail storm devastated crop yields.

Growers say peaches and pears are a 100 percent loss in many orchards, though apples on many farms survived the harsh weather.

Owner Trudie Reed of Reed Valley Orchard in Bourbon County says they have no Asian or European pears. About ten percent of the Reeds' peach crop survived.

University of Kentucky fruit extension specialist John Strang says the state's fruit crop has a retail value of 19 (M) million dollars annually. Cost estimates of damage for this season are between eight (M) million and ten (M) million dollars.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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