A hailstorm that affected the New York region on Tuesday could hit apple growers hard, according to reports, leaving the second-largest apple producing state in the US with a significantly lower crop when harvesting begins in August.
Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association, told The Packer that western New York was the worst affected area, although it was too soon to make an official damage estimate to get precise loss figures.
"I've never seen hail hit such a widespread area. It was a pretty tough storm," said Mr Allen.
Mr Allen said he expected a lot of apples originally set for the fresh market to be used for processing because of the hail, while some apples were too badly damaged even for industrial use.
Despite the fears of widespread losses, some growers remain upbeat. Lee Peters, vice-president of sales and marketing at Fowler Bros. Inc, said: "It's not as bad as some people think it is. We'll probably have way more good apples than bad apples."
A revised estimate for the crop will be officially announced following an industry conference call on 23 July.