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Solid apple crop expected in Northern New England

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Northern New England apple growers are expecting a decent crop but not as good as last year's bumper yield.

Early season varieties are already ripening, prompting some pick-your-own orchards to open this weekend.

Vermont is New England's second-largest producer of apples after Massachusetts. It produced about 850,000 bushels of apples last year.

Some orchards are reporting a smaller crop of some varieties that produced bountiful numbers last year.

Genny Boyer, of Boyer's Orchard in Monkton, Vermont, estimates they're down about a third in McIntosh apples from last year. But she says other varieties — Empire, Cortland and Northern Spy — are doing well.

Dick Fabrizio owns Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill, New Hampshire. He says scores of sub-zero winter mornings cut his crop by about 30 percent.

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