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Fewer apples harvested, prices up in Minnesota

WINONA, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota harvested fewer apples in 2010. But, growers say prices recovered from a downturn the previous year.

Minnesota Apple Growers Association vice president Ralph Yates says it was a challenging year for the industry. The growing season began with above-normal temperatures that caused many trees to bloom during the last week of April. That was followed by a freeze and frost damage to the blossoms.

Yates says the summer months brought a lot of rain that caused disease. Wind and hail also caused damage to some orchards. A smaller crop boosted apple prices compared to 2009 when a large harvest and the recession hurt prices.

The Winona Daily News says the association's 78th annual conference wraps up today in La Crosse, Wis.