Iowa’s apple growers are worried about the frigid overnight temperatures the state has recorded lately. Dubuque plunged to 21 degrees on Monday night, and temperatures dipped below freezing last night, too. Orchard owner Richard Czipar of Dubuque is worrying. “You’re at the mercy of Mother Nature,” Richard Czipar says. “What can you do?.” Czipar, who has been in the apple orchard business for 45 years, says the unseasonably warm temperatures in early April “confused” the apples but it’s too early to tell how much damage the frost caused. “They could all fall off from the frost or we can maybe salvage some,” Czipar says. “It’s really a guess. We don’t know what damage we’ve got yet.” He says damaged apples will fall off the tree the first week of June. According to the Iowa Ag Department’s “Apple Growers Directory” there are 127 apple orchards in Iowa. In 2001 — the most recent season for which statistics are available — over eight MILLION pounds of apples were harvested in Iowa.
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