By Elspeth Mizner
NORTH EAST, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Blue skies in April are welcome news for local farmers especially after a challenging winter.
Tim Burch, long-time farmer and owner of Burch Farms in North East said, “The apple trees at this point are doing absolutely great after the frost damage last year. The trees have come back and there’s a potential of a magnificent bumper apple crop.”
The buds on trees may look perfect right now for the possibility of larger apples in just a few days, that story could be very different with the possibility of colder temperatures on Wednesday.
That news has Burch concerned. “It’s nerve-racking. We honestly believe right now at the pink stage of growth to the trees that they should be able to tolerate you know 30 degrees maybe 28 degrees, the weatherman have not predicted those low temperatures but we’re gonna be very very close”, said Burch.
On top of chilly weather, the price of farm equipment adds another layer of stress to Burch. “Agriculture prices have just gone up so high not only that it’s very very difficult to get replacement parts, it always seems like there’s one item that’s on back order and then when you finally get it and see the bill it’s like ‘holy mackerel’ that very very expensive”, explained Burch.
Burch said he can do everything right when it comes to growing his crops, but it always ends up in the hands of Mother Nature.
“My blood pressure up there, very nerve-racking and stressful but in the end you know there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it, Mother Nature has total control”, said Burch.
Burch said he won’t know the extent of the damage until at least ten to fourteen days after the cold weather expected on Wednesday.