WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) - A late frost, summer heat, drought and a stink bug invasion took their toll on Virginia's apple crop this year.
Herman Ellison of the Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service says this year's harvest will be about 8 percent less than last year's, when 245 million pounds of apples were harvested.
Diane Kearns of Fruit Hill Orchard Inc. is one of those growers who picked fewer apples this fall.
Kearns says the Frederick County orchard harvested about 900,000 bushels, down from 1.2 million picked last year.
She says while orchard farmers are used to good and bad years, they weren't prepared for the arrival of a stink bug that is native to China.
The pest sucks juice from an apple and is only controlled by costly chemical applications.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)