As most of Massachusetts experiences critical or extreme drought conditions, there are concerns growing about the upcoming fall harvest.
In fact, the fruit that New Englanders are used to finding while enjoying apple picking may look a little different this year. That's because the summer heat and dryness the region has been experiencing means that apples are at risk of getting sunburned, according to The Boston Globe.
Excessive sun and heat exposure can actually lighten the apples' skin and cause unsightly blemishes. Honeycrisp apples are especially sensitive to burns, and there are special sprays and other methods that can be used to protect the apples. However, New England farmers don't usually use them, because this isn't typically a problem in the Northeast.
Apple orchards that are irrigated from the Connecticut River have had an easier time adapting to the drought. The orchards that get their water from wells, or other sources, on the other hand, have had less water for their crops. The Globe reports that pick-your-own farms may fare better than commercial orchards.
The apples you pick this year may be smaller than usual, but they also might be a little sweeter because their sugars are more concentrated.