Apple Cider Prices Rise Due to Stunted Crop
Now that it's getting chilly, you might be sitting down with a cup of warm apple cider. But how much did you pay for it? Even if you didn't notice, it was more than last year.
Prices are up a dollar or two per gallon. A gallon of cider will cost anywhere from about $6 to more than $7. Half gallons cost around $4.
"Everything that is used in cider has to be tree picked," said Randy Sambolt, Interpretive Teacher at Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings.
At Afton Apple Orchard and orchards across the state, half of the crop was lost after an early spring brought early blooms, only to be killed by a sudden frost.
"Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you." Sambolt said. "When you are working with nature, you have to be... rigid flexibility. You have to accept what nature gives you, and be grateful for it."
Earlier this year farmers at Afton Apple Orchard tried circumvent what the weather had blown their way with helicopters. Choppers circulated the air, acting as a warming blanket for the apples below.
"The 50 percent that we have is a good crop," Sambolt said.
From what survived, a blend of the last class of apples are pressed to drink.
"That's what's used in cider are the number threes and when those are gone, cider prices go up and there's really nothing you can do about it," Sambolt said.
"I don't drink that much of it, I'm getting it for my father, it's kind of a treat right now so the fact that it might be 50 cents more doesn't really bother me," said Jill Lucas, while buying cider at Afton Apple Orchard.
The price of cider could go up even higher as the season goes on and less apples are available.