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Is the Apple-ocalypse Upon Us? UPDATED

I’m a big apple guy. So imagine my dismay on Friday when the USDA staged a classic end-of-the-week bad news dump: We’re projected to come up about a billion pounds short of last year’s apple crop--around 3 billion apples, based on the last time I measured out a pound of apples at the store (luckily, it looks like we'll be laying off enough teachers to offset the shortfall).

I've reached out to experts at the USDA for further insight, and will update this post if and when I hear back.

UPDATE (Tuesday afternoon):  If these apple projections come to fruition, they would represent the biggest year-to-year drop since the 1940s, according to Fred Granja, Agricultural Statistician at the USDA’s Washington D.C. office. First corn, now apples—how many carts can the hottest July on record upset?