Apple farms are feeling the heat in southern Colorado

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Apple farms are feeling the heat in southern Colorado with the hot and dry weather impacting crops.

For one family-owned orchard in Penrose, while the weather has been tough, business is still doing well.

Lance and Gail Tyler have owned Third Street Apples for 20 years now, saying despite the unfavorable conditions this season business is still going strong.

“The apples are a little smaller this year because it’s been so dry. We were only able to irrigate once back at the end of April and since then we’ve been operating on city water to keep the trees alive,” said Lance Tyler.

The Tyler’s said the hot and dry weather is impacting their apples with some just not growing to what they have in years past and others falling from the trees more easily.

“Well, the ones that fall we don’t sell, for health reasons. We do give them away to people for livestock and there are lots of people who come and clean up under the trees and feed them to their pigs and horses,” said Lance.

This season the Tyler’s said because they are relying on the city’s water for moisture, they had to raise their prices on apples by ten cents.

“Last year we had very little snow, so what was in the reservoirs, is now gone and the creeks are low and to recharge all of that you need to have a snowpack,” said Lance.

As for the couple, they said they’re just grateful their crop made it through the tough season.

“I think we both feel truly blessed that, at our age, to be able to do something and have something like this to share with people,” said Gail Tyler.

The Tyler’s said they’ve sold about two-thirds of their crop so far and hope to keep their trees filled with apples until early October.

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