MANCHESTER — Three central Maine farmers said Thursday the drought hasn’t had much of an impact on their apple crops. One even said the drought has actually been beneficial.

“There wasn’t the moisture to create scabbing problems and fungus,” said Marilyn Meyerhans of Lakeside Orchards in Manchester. “The quality of the fruit is really good, and in some ways, the drought was good for apples because the disease pressure was lower.”

Meyerhans, along with apple farmers in Madison and Skowhegan, all said that their apple trees are old enough and established with deep roots that get enough moisture without relying on rainfall.

“Our trees are happy and healthy, and we’re not overstraining them to produce,” said Heather Davis, of Cayford Orchards in Skowhegan. “And actually, having a really dry spring helps with the overall management of the farm.”

Davis said that earlier in the season, she and her husband, Jason, thought they were about seven to 10 days ahead of schedule because of the heat and the excessive dryness. But the farm has received more rain since the middle of August, so things are starting to level out.

Business is starting to pick up at orchards across the area, and the pick-your-own apples season will be in full swing in the next few weeks.

When the weather starts to get cool and kids go back to school, “it’s like someone turns on a switch and it’s amazing,” Meyerhans said while several customers shopped at her orchard’s store on Readfield Road.

Judy Dimock, of North Star Orchards in Madison, said her trees had just enough rainfall to get by.

“We appreciate the crisp weather, and we need more of that,” Dimock said. “It’ll inspire customers to come out and pick apples.”