Apple Growers Face International Competition - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Apple Growers Face International Competition

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YAKIMA, Wash -- Even under the best circumstances, apple farming is never an easy business. Mark Holtzinger's family has been in the apple business for 100 years, and he says there are a lot of challenges facing apple farmers today.  

"Access to water and pesticides are big issues that we deal with," said Holtzinger. Farmers in other countries, especially developing ones, typically have fewer environmental rules to follow. And can hire cheaper labor.

This year however, the crackdown on the U.S. boarder means fewer apple pickers in the Northwest-- and therefore an ever higher labor cost per unit.

Holtzinger says that while American apples may be slightly more expensive to produce the quality is much better. "The type of soil we have and types of climates we experience here, allows us to compete very favorably on the quality basis in the international market."