W.Va. apple production up 36 pct. in 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia apple production jumped 36 percent in 2012.

Federal figures show West Virginia growers harvested 91 million pounds of apples, compared to 24 million pounds in 2011.

Martinsburg grower Mark Orr says last year's warm winter accelerated the growing season.

Orr tells the Charleston Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/11GDlH5 ) that his family's orchard, George S. Orr & Sons Inc., harvested 517,000 bushels of apples, its largest crop ever.

Eastern Panhandle growers also escaped the damage that a late cold snap caused to apple crops in other states. That helped to boost the average price for West Virginia apples from 8.3 cents per pound in 2011 to 25.8 cents.

Nationally, apple production fell 4 percent.

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