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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A hot, dry summer didn’t keep Tennessee from turning out a bumper apple crop, a University of Tennessee fruit specialist said Monday.

Dr. David Lockwood said growers expect a $3 million apple harvest, slightly above the yearly average for the state.

Lockwood said less than normal rainfall reduced incidence of diseases which are prevalent in wet, cloudy weather.

“We had less disease pressure in the dry areas than we normally experience because many diseases will not show up without moisture,” Lockwood said.

The hot, dry weather caused smaller size, sun scald and delayed color formation in some fruit, but the benefits were greater than the negative effects, he said.

“Overall, the weather didn’t have a severe negative impact on the apple crop, and in some cases actually helped prevent disease and rot. We potentially have problems with these every year, but they didn’t develop to the magnitude that we often see because it was dry,” Lockwood said.

A mild winter and spring also contributed to the good crop, he said.

Contact: Dr. David Lockwood (423-974-7208)