Apple Farmers Hoping Cold Weather Won’t Return


(WLNS) – Being a farmer in Michigan can be a stressful job.

But this year, apple farmers aren’t that worried, yet.

We haven’t seen the warm weather we did in the winter of 2012, so now farmers including Bryan Phillips are just hoping temperatures remain stable.

“We’re mostly concerned now with big fluctuations in temperature coming up in the next couple of months,” said Brian Phillips, Phillips Orchard.

When the temperature warms up quickly, buds become active. The problem comes when cold weather returns.

“Come April we could see frost still coming in, and basically killing all of the blooms and that’s exactly what happened in 2012 when we lost 80-90 percent of our entire fruit crop here in Michigan,” said Dr. Ron Perry, MSU College of ANR.

Dr. Ron Perry says that’s not a concern this year, but farmers should wait until the cold weather stops before pruning their crops.

6 News got a chance to look at some of the apple tree buds at Phillips Orchard. They’re bright green on the inside, which is a good sign for the crop.

“We know for sure that bud is happy and healthy and we’re not going to have to worry about it.”

There is still a chance that the cold temperatures we saw last month could do minor damage to apple crops.

That uncertainty is nothing new for Michigan farmers.

“It’s just part of the game if you want to be in farming.”

One crop that’s not doing well this year is peaches.

They’re extremely sensitive to cold temperatures and Brian Phillips says his crop is almost completely ruined.

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