Central Va. apple growers adjust to rising costs

WLNI-MLYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Rising costs have prompted some Central Virginia apple growers to change their production methods. The Nelson County Times (http://bit.ly/1usDNqw) reports that many orchards have bought smaller trees or dwarf trees, which are easier to prune and harvest. The smaller trees reduce labor costs and require fewer ladders. Saunders Brothers owner Jim Saunders says the orchard wants to harvest fruit as close to the ground as possible. The family-owned Drumheller’s Orchard reduces labor costs by putting family members to work. Morris Orchard has begun planting more varieties of apples and apples that are more resistant to disease. Owner Judy Barnes says people want newer varieties of apples in addition to traditional varieties.

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