Fruit growers wrap late crop season as brutal winter nears - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fruit growers wrap late crop season as brutal winter nears

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NACHES, Wash. – John Thompson is enjoying the first few days of November after a late crop season and as he prepares his farm for the winter.

"It's our understanding that perhaps this could be one of the colder winters," he said. "We want to be prepared for it by getting ourselves in order for it and then let her come."

There are still apples to be picked during an unusually warm week of weather that comes after a colder than normal spring. The weather is expected to take a turn for the worst but growers say they will prepare for the winter like they do every year.

Thompson is more concerned about his equipment but says if temperatures fall well below freezing, his fruit could also be in trouble.

"I think it could be a problem," he said.

The National Weather Service says the upcoming La Niña winter could mean a colder and wetter season for the Northwest. It is unclear how much of a difference the region will notice in the months ahead.

"At that particular temperature you could see some major damage and particularly the young trees or the new varieties that are shallow rooted," said Thompson.

Over at Johnson Orchards in Yakima, they're also still picking apples and plan to approach this winter like any other.

Growers agree their apples ended the year strong, giving an unpredictable crop season a sweet after-taste.

Apples will still be available through this weekend at Thompson's Farm, located on 9535 Old Naches Hwy in Naches. Call (509) 949-3450 for more information. Johnson Orchards is still selling apples at their market on 966-7479.

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