07/15/2012 02:55 EDT | Updated 09/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Quebec apple producers expect disappointing crops

Quebec's apple farmers are expecting mediocre crops because of the extreme weather and high temperatures that have been affecting most of eastern Canada.

"We're not expecting record productions this year," said Daniel Ruel, regional director for Quebec's federation of apple producers.

"We will have a reasonable quantity but not a large pick. It will probably be around five million cases of apples, rather than the six million we had last year."

This could represent a 15 per cent decrease compared to last year.

Ruel warns that estimates should be taken lightly, since mid-season evaluations and predictions are not due until the end of July.

The abnormal heat at the end of March, when most of province's southwest stayed at a steady 20 C during five days, had caused trees to bud too early.

Apple producers say this year is much like 2010, when buds bloomed much earlier than normal.

Thankfully, after the heat spell in March, temperatures did not dip too far below freezing point, keeping most of the buds alive and healthy.

Though farmers were worried about the intensely dry weather and heat, the rain that fell in late June was favourable to the apples' cell growth.