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US apple farmers struggle against climate change, floods and drought


“The weather’s been ferocious,” said Elizabeth Ryan, the owner of Stone Ridge Orchard. “We’re fighting for our lives in this moment of climate change.”

Emma Newburger / CNBC

STONE RIDGE, N.Y. — Elizabeth Ryan was standing among her ruined Golden Supreme apple trees, recalling how they were snapped and toppled by Hurricane Sandy and debating if she should finally replace the remains with plums or grapes.

“The weather’s been ferocious. We’ve seen such dramatic, frightening crop losses,” said Ryan, who’s farmed for 40 years in the rich apple-growing Hudson Valley region of New York.

“I tried to salvage and restake my trees, but they never recovered. It was $300,000 in losses,” she said,…


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