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Apple orchards harvesting as fast as they can before the cold air hits

Posted at 6:51 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 21:46:28-04

MISSOULA — Cold temperature will hit Montana sooner than expected, which leaves little time for the region’s apple growers to harvest.

For Charlie Swanson of Swanson’s Mountain View Orchards, it’s a race against the clock.

“We’re trying to harvest the variety of apples that could be injured from significant weather change,” Swanson said. We’re hoping to get all of the quality apples off plus most of the juice apples.”

In addition to cold air, strong winds are expected to howl across the Bitterroot Valley.

Despite a smaller crew than usual, Swanson says his workers are doing a good job of harvesting the apples on time.

Ultimately, the blast of cold air hitting his orchard sooner than anticipated has not thrown the orchard that far off course. In fact, this is usually about the time that harvesting would occur.

“We like to hold our apples on as long as possible, to get the sugar content up and get the quality of apples the best we can,” Swanson said. “And I think we’re there.”