Drought Affects Missouri Apples

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FULTON- The yearlong drought across the mid-west has found it's next victim, apple orchards.

Red Bird Orchards in Fulton has harvested an apple crop for 25 years. Instead of their normal 150 to 300 bushels of apples, farmer Leemer Cernohlavek harvested six.

"They are watered by nature," said Cernohlavek. "It's because I'm small and I don't have an irrigation well or a lake."

Cernohlavek has never seen the ground as dry as this year. He said it has made the trees produce limited fruit because they are just trying to survive.

The National Weather Service says Columbia is 1.5 inches behind normal rainfall for October and 4 inches behind for the entire year.

"It's very dry this fall, but it started a long time ago. The concern is that this drought is intensifying, it's spreading, and it's going to be in long duration," said Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst.

It is predicted to rain later this week.