Mid-May Doesn't Stop Morning Frost - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mid-Michigan Crops Escape Major Frost Damage


(WLNS) – Farmers across Mid-Michigan say they're relieved their crops didn't suffer more damage after an overnight frost.

"We probably lost a little bit of fruit last night, but nothing significant," says Brian Phillips, co-president of Phillips Orchard and Cider Mill in St. Johns. "We would expect at this point to still have a full crop this year."

Temperatures dipped below 30 degrees Monday morning, which is a concern for farmers, who say apple blossoms freeze at about 28 degrees. "In the orchard, the temperature was 25 last night, where by my house it was 29," says Steve Tennes of the Country Mill in Charlotte. Tennes says four degrees can be the difference between 90 percent of a crop and 10 percent of a crop.

Last year, a post-blossom freeze destroyed most of the state's apple and cherry crop, and farmers say they're learning to adjust to seasonal instability.  "We're having to learn to adapt and grow fresh, local fruit and vegetables in a weather patterns that seem to be abnormal, says Tennes.

Farmers say the overnight freeze had little to no effect on blueberries, pumpkin and sweet corn. They're still waiting to see how much the freeze damaged their peach crop.

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter or email at emorrow@wlns.com.

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