ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A New York senator wants the federal government to help apple farmers nationwide quickly convert some acres of trees growing McIntosh and other traditional varieties to hot new hybrids like Honeycrisp.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says his bill would provide $20 million for apple farmers to switch to new varieties that Canadian growers are already supplying at eight times the price of traditional apples. The grants and low-cost loans through the Agriculture Department would help pay for the new plantings in November and the loss of revenue during the three years of growth needed before the new variety can be picked.
He says Thursday the measure will help apple growers from Washington state to New York compete with Canada and China.
Copyright 2010 The AP.