Annual apple growers meeting covers changing weather - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Annual apple growers meeting covers changing weather

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Apple growers gathered at the La Crosse Center Wednesday to share their expertise and talk business.

This was part of the 80th Annual Minnesota Apple Growers Association Education and Trade Show. Topics covered today ranged from worker safety to marketing.

Frank Watson, consulting meteorologist and speaker at the meeting, discussed how the changing climate will affect apple growing in the future.

"Weather is probably one of the most deciding factors between a successful season and a disastrous apple season," said Watson. "One of the startling things in the winter is our temperatures in January, February, and March. They're significantly warmer, especially our overnight low temperatures. Where, in winter we really depended on that cold weather, that bitter cold weather, to kill pests. Maybe we're not going to be seeing that."

For some agriculture industries, a warmer climate and longer growing season could lead to higher production. But Watson said this will not be the case for apple growers.

"A warmer climate too means a longer growing season," said Watson. "Well, for an apple grower does a longer growing season really help? They're not going to get a second crop. But what a warmer climate could mean we'll get an extra hatching, or maybe a couple extra two hatchings of pests… And what those growers have to plan for, well, that is going to cost me money… that is going to affect my bottom line. How am I going to protect myself in the future."

Watson said being able to adapt to the changing climate will be key to success in the apple growing industry in the future.

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