Storm damages Wright County apple orchard

Apple crop damaged by hail
Hail damaged a Wright County apple orchard on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.
Courtesy of Untiedt's Vegetable Farm

Storm clouds unleashed a downpour of rain and hail Wednesday in central Minnesota. Within minutes, most crops at Untiedt's Vegetable Farm in Waverly were ruined.

Farm manager Paul Nelson said the pumpkin patch was damaged, along with the 25-acre apple orchard. He walked through the orchard soon after the 10-minute hail barrage.

"It kind of looks like its all mashed up - applesauce on the top side and a nice crisp apple on the bottom side."

Nelson said the hail was about 3/4 inches in size. The National Weather Service reports 2.7 inches of rain fell at the St. Cloud Regional Airport by evening.

Nelson said the apple harvest was scheduled to begin later in the week, with the popular SweeTango variety.

"It's kind of a disheartening feeling. You put so much work into a crop, you'd like to see it come to fruition," Nelson said. "But [the weather] is one of those few things you can't control."

Untiedt's sells fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, direct sales, vegetable stands and some grocery stores.

Nelson said they don't know yet how much of the damage will be covered by insurance.

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